Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 65 > Page 20 - The Day the Men Went to Town

Page 20 - The Day the Men Went to Town

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1994/1/1 (228 reads)

dry. He doesn't think there wUl be enough for the cows for an? other week, and Clemmie told me that she remembers when the people who used to live here had to take the cows down to the spring near the river in cold weather • and that is a whole mile away. The snow had to be cleared away before the cattle could reach the water and then some one had to stand by until they had finished drinking. Sometimes if a heavy frost followed a thaw, the cows couldn't cross the ice to get near enough to the spring to drink. THANK HEAVENS! Only the rinsing to be done. I stretch my back again. What was that? A racket in the bam? It's noon already. No wonder the cows are complaining. All ani? mals make a fuss when they are thirsty. I had better take a look. They'll have to wait for their hay until I feed the children and settle them down for their nap. I put on my coat and rubbers and run down the yard. I throw open the door to the cow stable and brace it to the wall with a big stick, and step inside. It isn't until my eyes have grown accustomed to the half-darkness that I can see the buming eyes not two feet away. The bull! He must have broken out of his stall. And there he is standing behind the cows with a length of frayed rope round his neck. I can feel a con? striction in my throat. My mouth is dry. I can't speak. I can't move. My senses come back slowly. I feel the pounding of my heart. Slowly I step back into the open doorway and quickly Discover Richmond County From Johnstown to Arichat, Louisdale to Lx)ch Lomond, an extraordinary mixture of Acadian and Irish, Micmac and Scottish traditions welcomes the visitor. The setting is the quiet beauty of Richmond County. The culture and heritage are centuries old. We invite you to take Route 4, the road that leads through Richmond County. It is the road less travelled, and it will make all the difference in your Cape Breton Vacation. MUNICIPALITY OF THE COUNTY OF RICHMOND kick the prop aside and slam the door. What am I to do? I can't leave him there. Most of the cows are heavy with calf; they are wrenching at their chains, trying to free themselves. What can I do? I must try to get him back into his own stall beside Silver and across the threshing floor. I'll have to get behind him. But how? The only way is to crawl through one of the cows' feed? ing bins. Making sure that the door is secure, I mn over to the "Uttle people's door" cut in the big double doors that are only opened for the hay making. The bull hears me and turns. Then he stands stUl and glares at me for a moment before pawing the gutter. Oh, God! Joe Beaton has stabled Jennie in the stall be? yond Silver's, and if the bull passes his own stall and Silver's and reaches the mare, he'll gore her or she'll kick at him. Jen? nie'11 kick at anything. She even kicks the boards of her own stall for want of something to do. I'll have to build a barricade of some kind to stop the bull passing his own stall, that is, if I can get him back that way at all. There's a pile of old boards that Jim has left stacked in the comer. I pull out board after board. Thank goodness! Some of them are long enough to stretch from the wall to the end of the stall. But how am I going to support the boards? There is nothing but an old puncheon. I push and haul the puncheon over and use it as a brace. I slant some of the boards so that they slide in between the rails of the bull's stall. Perhaps the puncheon will keep them in position. It's heavy enough. Jennie is getting restive now, pulling at her halter and stamping her feet. Then she kicks with both of her hind legs. The beating of hooves against the walls of her stall sounds like thunder, but my barricade holds in spite of the shak? ing posts that anchor them. Now I'll have to reach the far side of the bull. How can I manage that? I could go outside and climb in through the little dung window...crawl through on my belly and then drop to the floor. No! I couldn't do that! There's another way. I can crawl through into a feeding bin in front of one of the cows, slide past her to reach the gutter. I walk down the length of the bam, passing each cow. Which stall shall I try? Star's? Poor gentle Star. Jim says she's so gentle that "she'd feel terrible if she even bumped yer!" I open the clapper and look in. There's Star, but her eyes are now fiery and her nose so huge that a piece of paper couldn't be squeezed past them. Per? haps I can get past one of the calves. Their homs are shorter. I ran down to the other end of the bam. A pitchfork would be useful! I had better take it along. I can use it to drive the bull • ROUTE 4 The road less travelled! QCad'dings Xmas & Crafts "sdoppe" 4* #/ # /it f Monday - Wednesday, & Saturday: 10 AM - 4 PM ' 1' Thursday & Friday: 10 AM - 9 PM ? Sunday: 1 PM - 7 PM j 9711 GRENVILLE ST. • #4 HIGHWAY • ST. PETERS Phone 535-2248 • open yearly from IWay 24 to Decemtter 24 The convenience of modem accommodations in the charm of an historic village at INN ON THE CANAL St. Peter's 20 Motel Units Licensed Dining Lounge • Cable T.V. BEACHES FISHING • GOLFING HISTORIC SITES Come visit us at the Inn where the only thing we overlook is the beautiful Bras d'Or Lakes! Box 9, St. Peter's, N. S. BOE 3B0 * 1-800-535-2200 Discover Cape Breton Dlfferentlyl KAYAK TOURS INSTRUCTION • RENTALS • KAYAKS • CANOES • BIKES • • OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT- LOG CABINS on the Bras d'Or Lake Ask for brochure: KAYAK CAPE BRETON R. R. 2, West Bay, N. 8. BOE 3K0 OR PHONE (902) 535-3060
Cape Breton's Magazine
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