The frightened heifer, with snorts and bounds, and her load of a hundred and ninety pounds.
The roaring scapegrace behind was left; while, like a creature of sense bereft,
Young Peachblow flew with her frantic feet, a-bellowing down the village street,—
To the district school-boys what a treat!
The Deacon's neckerchief flapped in the wind; his hat blew off, and was left behind;
His eyes bulged out, his face grew white, his fringe of hair stood up with fright;
The children scampered with laugh and hoot, the dogs all started in mad pursuit;
The geese they squawked, and the chickens flew; the wives ran, startled by such ado;
Out ran the husbands, to cry, "Halloo!"
And the good old parson, with face aghast, flew to the gate as the deacon passed.
What a dreadful scandal throughout the town might rise from this frolic of Deacon Brown!
Was he drunk, or crazy, that thus he'd ride? And, loud as he could, the parson cried,
"Stop, stop, Brother Brown! Oh! where will you go?" and back from the dust came these words of woe:
"The Lord and this cow, sir, only know!"
But she stopped at last, this steed so gay; she stopped quite short in a sudden way,
Struck out her heels with a graceful poise, and the hundred and ninety avoirdupois
Shot over her head and into the dirt, with buttonless breeches and tattered shirt.
Sadder and wiser, Deacon Brown led Peachblow home as the sun went down;
And all the questioners got him to say was, that he might tell them some other day.
But Peachblow was lamb-like enough that night,—was milked very meekly, and seemed all right.
And the Deacon mused: "Wal, the heathen may have fust-rate cow cures, but I must say,
They are tryin' to old folks, anyway."
Mary C. Huntington.