The Bull and His Horns

The Bull and His Horns

Remembering happy times past is wonderful, isn’t it? So is reading. Sometimes when events swirling around me get to be too much, I like to take a trip back a hundred years or so  to Etta Bend, the way it was as a prosperous farming community when my mother was a little girl. I like to read or remember some of the stories she told me about her family. 

One story was about a time when an animal, not a wild animal but one that was supposed to have been domesticated, presented a very real threat to the Latty family at Etta.  On my grandparents’ busy farm, several buildings were necessary for things to run smoothly. Pappy had built a blacksmith shop out of strong logs and was able to make just about anything he needed. On wintry Sunday afternoons, Ma and the children liked to sit in the shop watching Pappy work and enjoying the warmth from the forge. The peace of one particular Sunday afternoon was shattered when danger came calling in the form of a white- faced bull.

Outside the shop, the Lattys heard snorts, bellows and somebody yelling. They ran out to see what was going on. A huge bull charged toward them. He was so close, they could hear his breath as he snorted, see the froth around his mouth, and they could see the whites of his red rimmed eyes. The bull was not in a good mood. He ran at trees, bushes, anything he could see. The bull’s owner, a neighbor of the Latty family,  followed him on horseback, holding one end of a rope which circled the animal’s thick neck. At times, the bull charged the horse but the horse, wise to the ways of this angry animal, nimbly sidestepped.

“Get them back inside, Lee!” the neighbor shouted to Pappy and nobody needed to be told twice. The family ran into the safety of the blacksmith shop. Pappy dropped the heavy latch across the door just as the bull hit the walls. Time after time, the bull rammed the log walls of the shop. His roars rose to a shrill scream. At last he must have decided he had subdued that enemy and he, the horse and rider made their way toward home, the bull’s bellows growing fainter in the distance. (from the book, Remembering Etta Bend)


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