Page:Pieces People Ask For.djvu/70

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The regular herd-book stock were they, and how much butter they made each day,
I hardly would dare attempt to say.

No greater joy had Deacon Brown, than to sit on the porch, as the sun went down,
And view his acres so broad and fine, and feast his eyes on his Jersey kine;
But now his face wore a look much vexed, and he drummed his knees in a way perplexed,
As, sitting snug in his tilted chair, he gazed at the goodly show and fair,
Of bovine beauties grazing there.

Well might the Deacon muse and frown, and vaguely scratch his smooth, bald crown;
For a Jersey heifer, his pride and boast, the one of all that he valued most,
Had taken it into her head that she not like her meeker sisters would be,
And so, at sight of the milking-pail, would lower her horns and thrash her tail,
And kick till her kicking power would fail.

All sorts of cures had the Deacon tried; but, alas for a good old churchman's pride!
"The finest heifer in this 'ere town" would never a drop of milk give down
For one whole day, though coaxed and fed with the "cream of the place," so the Deacon said;
And when thrice she'd knocked the good man over, as if barnyard mud were a field of clover,
He vowed in his wrath, as a deacon may, that he'd sell the creetur the very next day,
To the village butcher, and risk his pay.

Yet now, as he sat and thought it o'er, it seemed that his cross was indeed most sore;
He could not do it; 'twould break his heart, from his goodly heifer this way to part!
Just then strolled toward him his elder son, who never a bit of work had done,