16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Thursday, October 20, 1911:Got out of school early this afternoon. I gathered some walnuts after I got home. Mollie gave me a kick in the back while milking another cow this evening. I’ve named Ruth’s twin calves, one Brutus and the other Caesar, but I can’t tell which is which.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Ouch! It sounds like the kick hurt. Grandma’s cow Mollie had her first calf in August. And, Grandma had been pleased with how well Mollie adjusted to being milked, For example on September 27 she wrote:
“Was in doubts and fears as to how Mollie would act when I commenced to milk her. Pop milked her last night, but I had to do it after that, so I got up early this morning, resolving to come off conquering and I did. Hurrah. She didn’t kick.”
But apparently something upset Mollie while Grandma was milking the next cow—and she gave Grandma a kick.
There have been huge changes in how cows are milked over the last hundred years. In 1911 most farmers had just a few cows that were milked by hand. Today most cows are milked by machines in milking parlors (and some are even milked by robots.)