Posted in Memories of the Farm, My Vivid Memories

My Vivid Memories: Suzette vs Susie

I spent a great deal of Summertime on my grandparents’ dairy farm as a child. Their house was at the top of a sloping hill with a gravelly road leading up to it from the blacktop well-traveled road below. On either side of that gravel road were pastures. One contained the barn (closer to the house) where the cows were milked and the other was the grazing area. So, late in the day, the cows would gather at the ‘grazing’ pasture gateway waiting to cross the road so they could access the ‘milking’ barn. Someone (often my grandmother) had to open the gates on either side of the road to allow the cows to cross. Usually, a person would stand on either side of the cows on the road while they filed. Part of it was to watch for cars but most of it was just to let the cows know that they shouldn’t decide to leave the line and take the liberty of ambling up the road.

My grandparents had a herd made up of primarily Holstein cows. They were big milk producers and a very docile breed. But Grandpa had a few Brown Swiss cows mingled in for their higher butter-fat content milk. Brown Swiss were a bit more ‘uppity’ and I always thought it was because they tended to be smarter. One in particular became my nemesis. Her name was Suzette. Each of the cows had names back then not numbers. I can still bring to mind many of the old ‘girls’ by name.
Brown Swiss cows stood noticeably taller than the Holsteins and when their horns were allowed to grow, (betcha you didn’t know that cows naturally grow horns, but farmers remove them) those horns would grow straight up not curled and rounded. Yeah… to a kid, those Brown Swiss were menacing creatures in every way.

Well, at some point, Suzette ‘got my number‘. She realized that I was frightened of her. Now and then, she’d look me in the eye and snort or shake her head from her stanchion.

One day, Grandma asked me to stand on the upside of the filing cows on the road just as a human reminder for the cows to stay in line. I was about ten. It was an honor to have graduated to an adult duty BUT that meant I would be standing mere feet away from Suzette with no barrier between us.
Grandma had no idea that Suzette and I already had a strained relationship, and I didn’t want to be a ‘whiny’ kid, so I armed myself with a handful of pebbles. Are you laughing? Yeah! I was 10 and I did think a handful of pebbles was a defense against a 1,400-pound charging cow.

I can still feel the beating summer sun and imagine my rapidly beating heart as Suzette reached the road crossing. As she walked among the other cows, she suddenly paused and lifted her head in my direction. That’s when I raised my arm and shouted at her as I threw the pebbles at her feet. (Heck… I wasn’t one to want to harm ANY animal.)

Suzette snorted and glared at me! Then… she continued to cross as if nothing epic had just occurred. I clearly remember how I felt. I stood straighter than ever because I had single-handedly slain my first dragon!

Our cow/kid relationship improved after that. My willingness to ‘take her on’ had changed her mind about terrorizing me from afar.

I’m still proud of 10-year-old Susie for meeting the challenge and hiding her fear. ❤


I love a well told story. If it makes me laugh, all the better.

11 thoughts on “My Vivid Memories: Suzette vs Susie

  1. Excellent memory! My uncle had a farm and bred pigs and then sheep. They also had a cow (my aunt made her own butter), chickens and a guard goose. It was better than any dog! I remember washing the newly laid eggs and one broke in my hand as the shell was so delicate and my five year old self was a bit heavy handed. I cried because I’d broken it but my Aunt said it didn’t matter but I didn’t feel any better.

    1. Farm memories are wonderful. Wish every kid got the chance to have them. it builds character.
      Thanks for commenting and revealing how we connect even beyond Star Trek. 😉

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