Inside Front Cover - Percy Peters and the Wild Cow
ISSUE : Issue 51
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/2/1
Percy Peters and the Wild Cow Oh, there's different ones I could fill in for you, about the cattle that I had experience with.... You know, and it's just little things, incidents; I could fill a book. (What's the story that you want? ed to tell?) Well, it's about a cross cow I bought. And it was the day the Canso Causeway opened. And I left here in the morning with the truck, and I went up through the North Side of East Bay. I picked up a couple of calves and I picked a cow or two up. And I went on in? to Eskasoni, the reservation. And there was a fellow there who looked after the cattle and the horses for the reservation. The federal government--the Depart- ment of Indian Affairs--they put horses and cattle there and they built a large barn when they moved them there for to keep cattle and horses. I got acquainted with this man--Victor Jeddore was his name. And he looked after those things. If you borrowed a horse to go get your wood-- that'd be the Indian people--you'd have to bring him back and look after him. They could go there and milk their cattle, and take the milk home. And this went on. So I got acquainted with him. And anything was around for sale, he'd always tell me when I'd be going through, and I'd pick it up. So. I went out this morning--Saturday morning--and I met him. He said, "Peter, there's a cow up in Castle Bay for you there. At Alex MacDonald's. He told me when I see you to tell you to come." So I said, "Well, I'll go right up." He said, "I'll go with you." I said, "Yes, I would like your company very well." So anyway, we went along, went up--drove down to his house. He was a bachelor, by the way, this MacDonald. And of course, being around with the cattle, just him? self, they got domesticated. So this par? ticular cow didn't like a stranger. But I wasn't aware of that, getting there. So I knew him, and I said, "Do you have a cow for sale, Alex?" "Yes." I said, "Well, we'll go up and have a look at her." He said, "You fellows stay out on the road, and you walk up the road way. Don't come in the field--she'11 be up in the pas? ture." He didn't say why. So we walked up the road. And the cow was over with the other ones. She came to him all right. But she was watching us, walk? ing up. She didn't pay any attention to him. And I saw her tail switching back and forth, back and forth. I said to Victor, I said, "You know, that cow looks like she could be pretty wiry. She's watching us-- she doesn't like strangers." "Yes," he said, "I think that's right, too." So anyway, he got her by the head--he nev? er took her by the horns--and she walked over so far. So I was going to get through the fence and go in and have a look at her, see her condition. "Oh," he said, "you stay out there now. If you can see her well enough from there." "Yes," I said, "that's all right." So, I looked at her, and I figured what was in her, and she was fat. And I said, "That's all right. What do you want for her?" And he told me. And I said, "Well, that's fine. You take her to the barn and I'll buy her." "Yes. But you stay out there." So we walked down the road back to the house. And he put her in the barn. Alex came back. He said, "Now you give me your rope, Peters, and I'll put her on the truck for you." That's fine, sure. "She'll follow me anywhere." So she did. But once she got on the truck, she started to raise old Cain with strange cattle. And she was confined, and that's something she was never used to. Of course, I suppose strangers, too, we upset her some. She was wiry, starting. So an3rway, I got ahead of the story. When up in the field he had ahold of her, he put his arm around her head, and he put the arms around and he blindfolded her. And (Victor Jeddore) said to me, "Peter, there's some? thing wrong with that cow--he makes her PERCY PETERS CONTINUES ON PAGE 30 Front Cover Photo: Alice Smith and her granddaughter Sharon Kelly Smith
Cape Breton's Magazine