Quilting, Farming, Variety

Friday, April 22, 2011

Rabies and Fearful Times -- continued

"Don't move or say anything!"said Daddy in a frightened whisper and he kept the beam of light from the flashlight on the fox as it walked around the feet of Daddy, Mama, and Wanda. They stood motionless as the fox sniffed Daddy's shoes, then ignored them and ambled off into the darkness. "Get in the house!" Daddy ordered. "Something was wrong with that fox! I'll bet it was mad," he said.

During the night the old dog came to the porch, licking himself, and Daddy said is was a sign that he might have been bitten. So the dog was chained up until enough time had passed to see if he would take rabies. The girls were told to stay away from him. It was hard for Charlotte to stay away from Pudge; while Wanda was at school he made a good companion, but she knew Mama and Daddy meant what they said, so she squatted down on the back doorstep and talked to him. "Are you mad about something, Pudge?" The quarantine time passed and the dog showed none of the signs of rabies and so Daddy turned him loose.

One day the milk cow bawled from morning until evening and when Mama tried to get her in the barn she wouldn't go inside to her calf. Charlotte could hear the cow bawling before she went to sleep and when morning came the cow was very restless, circling the barn, bawling. Daddy went with Mama to the barn and when he opened the door to let her inside with her calf, she ran up to the stall and stopped, then went inside. She snorted, pawed the ground, slung her head at Daddy, and kicked at the calf. She turned to the door and Daddy quickly put the calf in another stall and went outside. "I've never seen a cow act like this before. Let's leave her in here today and maybe she'll calm down." All day she bawled and thumped against the walls of the barn; by mid-afternoon the thumping had stopped, but the cow hadn't calmed down. She had broken the latch on the door and was outside the barn. She still bawled.

...to be continued


  1. Wow, you're really keeping us in suspense! But I'm glad Pudge didn't have rabies!

  2. Yikes! Did the cow have rabies? I think its possible.
    We don't hear much about rabies these days like I remember hearing about it when I was a kid. I wonder if its gotten less common?