17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Friday, June 14, 1912: Such a time as I had a running after Jake this afternoon. He broke out of the field and when I spied him he was walking up the railroad. Carrie was over this evening.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Hmm—who was Jake? I never really thought about it before, but I bet that the Muffly’s had a bull—and that Jake was the bull’s name.
Bulls are MEAN. They have unpredictable tempers and sometimes charge people.
This adds a whole new dimension to what watching cows involved. When Grandma wrote about watching cows—it probably wasn’t a pastoral pastime, but a potentially dangerous job.
An aside—Most farmers started using artificial insemination to breed their cows in the 1950s and 60s—and they were very, very glad that they no longer needed to have bulls on the farm.