family lived on a farm near Lorena, Texas prior to our moving to Spunky Flat.
We moved there in the early thirties after the oil boom turned to bust in west
Texas. The countryside was in stark contrast to the arid flat land of our previous
home. Our farm lay in the rolling hills of north central Texas where trees were
commonplace instead of a rarity as in the desert area of Wink, Texas. It gave
me great joy to run across the grassy fields and rest under the oaks on our farm,
which I did almost daily.
Our cousin Mildred from Louisiana came to visit
us one summer and I wanted to share the fun of roaming the meadows with her. I
was 5 and she was 6 years my senior so I really wanted to be grownup like her.
I took her by the hand and led her through the gate out to the open pasture. We
strolled along enjoying the fresh air and the scenery for a while when I suddenly
saw a look of horror on her face. I turned to see a heard of cattle rushing toward
us at breakneck speed. We started to running for our lives but the cattle were
clearly gaining on us. We figured these vicious beasts would soon trample us.
Mildred screamed at me. “There’s a fence up there. If we can make it we’ll be
safe.” I could feel their hot breath on my back as we slipped under the barbed
wire in the nick of time. Just getting a fence between the cattle and us was not
enough. We ran inside a vacant house, slammed the door and peered nervously out
the window. The cows kept bellowing and walking around with what we took to be
a serious threat of bodily harm. Eventually they tired of waiting and one at a
time ambled off to the other side of the pasture. After the last animal left we
saw our chance and made a break for it back to the main house. It took us several
minutes to calm down and tell my father what peril we had experienced. I couldn’t
understand why he burst out laughing. This was serious business.
was a city girl and I was too young to realize that each day my father would walk
the same path we had taken and the cattle would follow him to the building we
had used for refuge. That vacant house was full of hay and they were waiting to
They weren’t killer cows after all. They were just hungry.