The Wild Cow by Edgar Wilson Nye

Story type: Essay

When I was young and used to roam around over the country, gathering water-melons in the light of the moon, I used to think I could milk anybody’s cow, but I do not think so now. I do not milk a cow now unless the sign is right, and it hasn’t been right for a good many years. The last cow I tried to milk was a common cow, born in obscurity; kind of a self-made cow. I remember her brow was low, but she wore her tail high and she was haughty, oh, so haughty.

I made a common-place remark to her, one that is used in the very best of society, one that need not have given offence anywhere. I said “So”–and she “soed.” Then I told her to “hist” and she histed. But I thought she overdid it. She put too much expression in it.

Just then I heard something crash through the window of the barn and fall with a dull, sickening thud on the outside. The neighbors came to see what it was that caused the noise. They found that I had done it in getting through the window.

I asked the neighbors if the barn was still standing. They said it was. Then I asked if the cow was injured much. They said she seemed to be quite robust. Then I requested them to go in and calm the cow a little, and see if they could get my plug hat off her horns.

I am buying all my milk now of a milkman. I select a gentle milkman who will not kick, and feel as though I could trust him. Then, if he feels as though he could trust me, it is all right.

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