By Samuel L. Brown
I had a lot of adventures with my Grandpa Samuel and also with my Uncle George, Grandpa’s brother. Both of these old guys had a lot of energy and when they were together doing something, that something got done.
One morning Grandpa discovered that one of our cows could not have her calf and that the hooves of the calf were delivered but the cow was not able to finish the job. In the “olden” days a rope was tied around the hooves of the calf that were protruding from the cow and then the calf was “pulled.” On this particular day, Grandpa enlisted the help of his brother George and my Dad and me.
Just getting the rope around the hooves was a chore and when the cow saw the rope she went crazy. I suspect she thought it was a snake and took off. She kept looking back and I am sure she thought that snake was chasing her. We caught the rope once and wrapped it around a tree. I don’t know about the others but I got a real bad rope burn as she pulled the rope from around the tree and out of my hands. Evidently she did the same thing to the others because she was free again.
Grandpa, Uncle George, and I chased that cow around and around trying to get ahold of the rope again. She ran across a freshly plowed field and we had a time following her. It was like trying to walk through mud. She finally ran until she ran into a fence and wasn’t fast enough to get away from us. We all grabbed the rope at once and delivered that calf.
Uncle George found a tow sack and proceeded to bend over and start wiping the little heifer off. As he bent over the old mama cow decided she was going to settle this for once and for all. She headed for him with eyes red and horns ready. I think she had had enough of us. She tried to gore Uncle George and luckily she only ripped his shirt up the back.
We carried the new calf home and put her in a pen with her “crazy” mama. That old cow would not have a thing to do with the calf so Grandpa gave her to me and I started her on a bottle. I named her “Sissy.” I don’t know what happened to the old crazy cow but I suspect Grandpa and Uncle George sold her.
By Samuel L. Brown
One bright sunny Saturday when I saw Grandpa gathering a Number 3 washtub and several buckets and some rags, I knew something was up. I really knew I was in for another adventure when I saw Uncle George walk up. It turned out that Grandpa, who dearly loved honey, had found a bee tree out in the pasture close to Jeddo. The plan was to rob the bees of their honey and fill the washtub and all the buckets. The rags were to be used as smoker fuel and the makeshift veils to keep the bees out of our eyes.
We loaded everything in our truck and Grandpa, Uncle George, my Dad and I were on our way. Now the bee tree was way back in a pasture at Jeddo. Manten Harrell had leased the ground and gave us permission to rob the bee tree. We had to park a good ways from our goal and carry the washtub and buckets with us.
It turned out the bees, and their honey and home, were in a tree that had grown into a fence along a fence line in the pasture. Aggressive Grandpa and fearless Uncle George walked right up to the bee tree, used an old-timey crosscut saw to cut the tree down and when it fell cracked it open and began reaching inside for the filled honey comb. It didn’t take long for the bees to discover that they were being robbed and they began to fight back. Grandpa’s and Uncle George’s hands and arms were covered with bees. One of the things I remembered was Uncle George just reaching over and brushing the bees off as if they were gnats. Well, they called me to bring the washtub and buckets, so I put on my makeshift veil and took them over. I just had to see what was going on so I walked right up to the action. The bees weren’t going to let me off easy either and got under my veil and went straight for my eyes. I didn’t see much after that. I decided I would just back on off while Grandpa and Uncle George filled the washtub and buckets with filled honey comb. The next thing was to carry the honey back to the truck with angry bees following us.
That was the best honey I ever ate—and I became a beekeeper and have had bees ever since thanks to Grandpa and Uncle George.