My Dad told a story set in the early 1900’s of an old obstinate country gentleman named John who was walking his cow to town one day. The old man was leading the cow down the road by a rope tied around its neck. Just before John and his cow reached the big curve in the road they passed by old Miss Sadie’s house. Miss Sadie sat most times on her front porch and spoke to everyone who passed by. It was old Miss Sadie’s favorite pastime.
As Miss Sadie saw John and his cow coming nearer to her home she cried out, “Oh, John, what you doing leading that cow down the road on a rope?” Old John replied that things had gotten lean and the going tough around their place so he was taking his cow to town to sell it. “John, don’t you think you should say, ‘The Lord willing, I’m gonna take my cow to town and sell it?'” asked dear old Miss Sadie. John replied with a harrumph in his voice, “It’s my cow, it’s my rope, and I’m gonna do what I want to do with them.” So, John and the cow proceeded on down the road and around the curve.
As old John and the cow rounded the curve in the road they chanced to meet one of the new horseless wagon contraptions called an automobile. The old cow became startled and bolted right in front of the vehicle snatching the rope from John’s hand. The nervous new owner and driver of the automobile could not avoid running into the startled cow causing its death. Old John after seeing that the driver of the vehicle was unharmed, slipped his rope off the neck of dear Ole Betsy and started walking back home to get his mule and wagon to take his dead cow to the butcher.
John soon rounded the curve and neared Miss Sadie’s house again from the opposite direction. With his head hung low he heard Miss Sadie ask, “Oh, John, what was that awful sound I heard up the road a few minutes ago? What you doing with that empty rope in your hand?” John replied to Miss Sadie telling her about the tradegy and the death of his dear old cow Betsy. “What you gonna do now, John?” asked Miss Sadie. John replied in a very humble tone, “The Lord Willing, Miss Sadie, I’m gonna take my rope and go home!”
-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013
–Note to all zealots: No animals were actually harmed in the telling of this old tale. Neither is this fable intended as a religious doctrinal statement or advocacy in any regard. OK, you can relax and smile now.
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