1950 Memories of Suburban Adventures

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Mad Cow Hero

Next time I'll have Daddy-O turn you into hamburger!

Next time I’ll have Daddy-O turn you into hamburger!

Some people are preordained to become heroes. I humbly confess that yours truly was one of them.

I previously rescued David from burial-at-pond (like burial-at-sea, but on a smaller scale) and I saved Dad from a poison clam, so it was a matter of time before my heroic actions would be called upon again.

On an early spring day, Mom and I sat in the backyard reading near Paula’s playpen. Mom and I read in the dappled sun of a big oak tree’s outer shadow and the playpen hugged the trunk in full shade.

Dad and David were shooing heifers outside the barn. Cooped up inside all winter, this was the first time outdoors for the young cows.

A loud crash suddenly interrupted our rural reading tranquility. A heifer plowed through the barbwire fence separating the pasture from our backyard, and it was stampeding straight for baby Paula.

Mom jumped up and ran to get Paula. I sprang up and ran toward the charging beast, yelling and waving my arms wildly. The distraction worked. The heifer changed course from Paula to me. The idea of climbing up a tree barely passed through my head when time ran out, and I was trampled.

Paula a year later, with a diaper hood.

Paula a year later, with a diaper hood.

Mom scooped up Paula and hurried to see how badly I was injured. The wind was knocked out of me; I couldn’t speak or stand.

The young cow ran back along the fence-line and continued toward the barn. By then, Dad and David were outside to corral it. Mom screamed to Dad as he closed the gate on the mad cow.

“Freddy, hurry! Mary’s hurt.”

He ran to see what happened, followed closely by David. My breath came back as they arrived. I was bruised and sore from the hoofs, but no bones were broken.

Describing the event, Mom said, “Mary probably saved Paula from being seriously injured. There was no way I could reach Paula before the heifer.”

Dad and David seemed impressed.

“Why would it do that?” I asked. “It charged right at us.”

Dad explained, “Once in a great while, the change from inside all winter to outside causes a heifer’s eyesight to temporarily invert. It drives them crazy until their eyes have time to adjust and go back to normal.”

I didn’t care what caused the heifer to go crazy; I was a hero. I should consider getting a cape.

Lesson learned: The greatest hero is one who doesn’t blow his own horn. I couldn’t help tooting a little bit.

Related posts: Chapter Two: Doty’s Pond; Chapter Ten: Poison Clam

Now it’s your turn: Have you ever been trampled?

© Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures, 2012 forward. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary Norton-Miller and 1950s Suburban Adventures with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. mikesteeden says:

    Another very fine post – enjoyed the read.

  2. Elle Knowles says:

    Maybe you should consider getting into the ring with the bull! Then you would have that cape! So glad it all turned out for the good.

  3. suzjones says:

    Most definitely cape worthy 🙂

  4. I always feel transported right into your life, house, family, everything when I read your stories.

  5. Glynis Jolly says:

    Definitely you have more guts than I do. That was amazing.

  6. Wow! Your cows sound dangerous! The most antagonistic gesture I ever got from an English heifer was a licked face – and believe me, until you’ve been licked by a cow you’ve missed out on one of life’s great experiences.

    But my question: weren’t you turning your back on a career in rodeo, or something? If you can’t get a cape, at least you should be entitled to a really business-like pair of chaps.

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Ha ha, Fred. I did ride a heifer bareback, but it wasn’t a successful venture. I wrote about it in Chapter 7: Mary Reincarnated.
      And I have been the victim of cow lick. It’s similar to getting slimed in The Ghostbuster movie.

  7. Ralph says:

    Oh, my heroine. I’m impressed ❤

  8. kriskkaria says:

    Ouch, run over by a cow. I don’t recall ever being trampled, but I exited my horse in some unusual ways over the years. I have the bruises to show for it.

  9. spunkybong says:

    ‘Burial at pond’ ! Skinny you are just too much. You should see the heifers back home in India, Skinny. One minute, they’ll be sunbathing in the middle of a thoroughfare with the traffic going around them and the next they’ll leap up and prance around all over the road. Indian heifers are crazier, no question about it. If you had been in India you’d be history, Skinny. 😀

  10. obviously like your web-site but you have to take
    a look at the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife
    with spelling issues and I to find it very troublesome to tell the reality then again I’ll definitely come
    back again.

    • skinnyuz2b says:

      Thanks for stopping by. I use spell check before importing my post, but then do lots of adding and editing. I will be going back to recheck the spelling now.
      And I look forward to seeing you again!

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