One spunky lady I interviewed had a tough childhood growing up in the thirties. She plowed the fields, tended the animals and quit school, like so many did, when she was barely a teenager. But she always had her pets. They might have been considered livestock but to her they were friends.
First there was Baby, a calf who she fed daily and who eventually learned to jump into the grainery after her so that it could get the best feed of the herd. The calf continued to follow her everywhere even after it was full grown. When the cows were herded in at night, Baby hung behind and walked beside the girl. If any of the dogs dared to walk anywhere near "her girl", the cow chased them away. Baby was the best milk cow they had and for that reason one day she was sold to a local farmer. Neither the girl or the cow ever got over that. The cow's milk production decreased significantly and the girl, well she still talks about the cow called Baby who was her friend and companion through some tough years in her young life.
Well, if the cow didn't work out you just have to move on. So then came the colt. So many years later my companion doesn't remember the colt's name but what she does remember is that she snuck sugar to it daily. The colt began to look forward to this and expect its daily treat. One day she was busy in the kitchen and hadn't had a chance to feed the colt its treat. The colt got tired of waiting and came up the porch steps and right through the screen door. It ended up standing in the middle of the kitchen looking calmly around for its sugar handout.
And then came Nellie. Nellie was an obstinant creature. An unrideable horse that had to be wrestled with to do the most basic duties like pull a plow. Obviously a challenge for any animal lover. "So," she says and only the wrinkles in her face give away her age, "I set out to train the horse." Nellie let her up on its back, kicking a bit before settling down. They rode along for a few minutes until the horse arrived at the appropriate destination. The slough. And that's where she was thrown off. When she arrived home, soaking wet and muddy her Dad took one look and said, "Nellie."
Who said a horse doesn't have a sense of humor?
She ran a hand along the cow’s tough hide. “Men are nothing but trouble, Ingrid. Do you know that?" Eva Edwards - From the Dust