The Cow that





       Stuck in the




This is another “stick-to-it” story, but it is a story about Sister White when she was a little girl. The family name was Harmon, and the Harmon family lived in the country near Gorham, Maine. The home was on a hill. Back of the home was a valley. Through this valley there ran a little stream. This land back of the home on the hillside and across the stream was largely in woods and served as a cow pasture.


In the Harmon home, each of the children had their duties. They were taught to do their part in the home. They learned to do their work well. When Ellen was just a little girl, it was one of her tasks to go to the pasture gate in the evening and open the gate and bring the cow up to the shed where her father did the milking. Every evening when she would go down to get the cow, the cow was there, because cows have a way of knowing when it is time to be milked, and they know they will get something special to eat too.

And so each evening Ellen went down to the pasture gate, opened the gate, and brought the cow up to the shed. But one evening, as she went down to the gate, the cow wasn’t there. “That’s strange,” she thought, “where’s bossy?” So she began to call, “Come bossy, come bossy, come bossy!” Then she listened, but she didn’t hear a thing. Then she called louder, “Come bossy, come bossy, come bossy!” Then she listened. There wasn’t any response, and she knew that something was wrong, because Bossy was always there when it was time to be milked.

Now I know some boys or girls who would have said, “Well, it’s just too bad. If Bossy isn’t here, there is nothing I can do about it. I can’t help it.” But Ellen and her sisters and brother had been taught to carry responsibilities. They had been taught to find a way to do what needed to be done.

But where was Bossy? Ellen opened the pasture gate and she started walking down through the woods towards the little stream. And she kept calling, “Come bossy, come bossy, come bossy!” And then she listened. “Come bossy, come bossy, come bossy!” And then she listened. But she didn’t hear a thing. She walked on and on down through the woods on the pasture trail. She kept calling. Finally when she got down near the stream, she called, “Come bossy,” and she heard just a faint “Moo!” She knew that Bossy was nearby. She kept calling and she was looking this way and that. Finally she got to the stream, and there was Bossy, standing in the stream, stuck in the mud!

You may think it strange that a cow should get stuck in the mud, but I have known of cases where cows have been stuck for a day or two as they were in soft mud and were unable to get out.

Now what could Ellen do? Here was the cow and the cow was stuck. How could she get her out? She began to think. She found some nice tall grass, picked some big handfuls and reached out to where the cow could reach it. And oh, it tasted so good to Bossy! She got some more grass, and she reached out again, and Bossy could eat that. And then she got some more grass, but this time, she didn’t give it to Bossy. With one hand, she took hold of Bossy’s horn and she held the grass close to the cow’s mouth, then she moved the grass quickly away. As she did this, she said, “Come on, Bossy!” and gave a quick pull on her horn. The cow reaching for the grass, made an extra effort and got out of the mud. And then Ellen let the cow eat the grass.

It was getting late when she got back to the house, but Bossy was with her. She had found a way to do that which needed to be done. This was a lesson that helped her all through her life. Sister White was called upon to do many hard things. It was because while she was a little girl she had learned to be faithful and to do what needed to be done that she was prepared to do larger and more difficult things later in life. We do not find that when Sister White had something difficult to do that she complained and said, “I can’t do it;” No, she found away. This is a lesson that each boy and girl must learn too. If we learn this lesson, it will help us all through life.

W. C. White account

As told by Arthur L. White.