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So You Want to Milk a Cow!

Water Works Wonders
A History of the White, Wilson, McMahon,
River Junction School Districts Page 8

Sooo Bossie!

So you want to milk a cow! Alright, first put her in a stall and secure her head -- oh, better feed her some chop so she'll stay put long enough to tie her up. That takes care of that end.

Now to approach the other end! This is the business end. In one hand you have a shiny bucket, and in the other a little one legged stool, about nine inches high.

Approach the cow from the right hand side; set the stool down carefully and ease yourself onto it, close enough to the cow, so you can lean your head into her flank. Put the bucket down underneath her udder (bag). Now if your hands are cold, you had better push really hard into her flank with your head, or oop's -- one cow's foot goes in the bucket; but maybe not. Grip the two front teats and squeeze, starting with the top fingers and squeeze down -- good. You got milk. What a neat sound it makes when it hits the bottom of the pail; a few more squirts and you are getting confident. Smack! One hairy tail lands across your eyes. You react with a slap to the ribs of this unmannerly beast. Oh darn, her one foot is in the bucket.

I guess you should have tied her tail to her off side leg before you started milking. Go rinse out the pail, tie her tail and start again. Now you are back on the stool and she knows who's boss! The milk is making a nice foam in the bottom of the bucket. Bossie is chewing her cud. Oh look, there's the kitty. A squirt in his direction might be fun. Bad idea! The rhythm is broken, Bossie jumps away, the stool tips over, the milk spills into the gutter.

All is not lost, there are still the two back teats to milk. Be ready this time. Put the hobbles on the cow's back legs, and start again. This time hold the pail between your knees so you can rescue it if necessary. Get on your stool, put your head in her flank, forget the cat and keep milking.

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup