Dad bought the young jersey bull calf from Mr. Reid, our neighbor, as it was pure-bred registered stock. It’s father was the meanest bull in that county, but Dad thought if he bought it when it was a tiny calf, and raised it as a pet, with us kids and our three dogs, Jack, and Queen, the two bull dogs, and Kate, the English setter bird dog, it would grow up gentle and docile.
It was kept in the yard, and we played with it, feeding it lettuce and green vegetables from the garden, and milk, of course.
We all were fond of homemade bread, real butter, jam and jelly sandwiches and shared them with the calf—which acquired quite a liking for them. We called it the rather silly name “Bullie.”
All was fine when the calf was small, but when it grew larger, and “sprouted” horns, and came at us—determined to get our sandwiches—and chased us until we handed them over– it wasn’t so “cute.”
Harry got the– he thought—brilliant idea of “curing” the yearling of it’s fondness for sandwiches. So, he got some long—very hot—peppers from the garden and “fixed” a samwich for Bullie. And when he “demanded” our samwiches, Harry handed him the hot-pepper one.
Bullie started chewing it—stopped, and lowered his head, opening his mouth and shaking the samwich out. He just stood there a few seconds with his head lowered, then bellowed and charged me—there was only Ralph, Harry and I in the yard—knocking me down.
I still have quarter-size scars on my thighs from his horns.
Jack lunged at Bullie and got him by the nose, and Ralph pulled me away.
Fortunately, Dad was warking in the bee apiary, adjoining the yard, and seeing what happened, came and had to choke Jack loose by twisting his collar. He had bought the bull dogs for watch dogs, and for protection of us kids, and said, up until then he didn’t know how well Jack would protect us.
After this, Bullie had to be kept in a pen, as Dad said he could never trust him again. He later sold him as he seemed to be developing into as mean a bull as the Reid bull, and was too dangerous to keep around.