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Memory Monday-Herding Cows

Memory Monday–It’s a thing…

Growing up in an old farm house, there were always odd sounds. Stories about hearing or seeing odd things were pretty common. After my grandmother passed away and I moved out, my cousins moved into the house. They lived there for a few years and came to the conclusion those of us who had “experiences” in the house were either suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning or were drinking.

Fact is, one of the scariest moments of my life happened at that house and wasn’t a product of CO2 or drinking. It was a product of cows. Big cows.

It was summer and since school was out, sitting up until the wee hours of the night was a given.  We didn’t have central air and depended on one window AC unit in the living room, fans, and open windows to keep us cool at night.  I was in my bedroom with the window open and a radio turned down low to keep from waking my grandmother up in her room next door.  I was reading or scribbling in a notebook when I heard a strange sound.

The sound was outside and seemed to be near my window.  At first I tried to ignore it thinking it must be deer or some other woodland creature having a snack from the apple trees behind our house.  The noise kept getting louder.  Back in those days, I was a big fan of scary movies and my mind started replaying every movie involving some sort of glowing eyed demonic wolf or other mutant beast.  At that point, I knew I had to look.  No point in running from demonic monsters, right?  Face ’em head on!  I slowly made my way to the window and pulled back the curtain.  A huge black shadow was moving around right outside my window!  The thing tossed it’s head up and let out a loud snort which set off my “scream for your life” reaction.  Then in almost mid scream, I realized it was just a cow.  A bull to be exact.  Not only that, but it was our cow and I had seen it a hundred times before in the pasture.

Somewhat more calm now, I went to wake my grandmother to let her know the cows were out.  We’d have to do a little midnight roundup action to keep the cows from wondering all over the country side.  We called in some reinforcements, in the form of my mother, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Now, when I say I grew up on a farm, that doesn’t mean I personally was a farm girl.  Sure, I played in the mud and liked to wonder around the hills, but rustling cattle was not my cup of tea.  On this particular night, I was about to get my first taste of what it was like to run with the bulls in Spain (or wherever they do that crazy sort of stuff).  My aunt handed me a stick and told me where to stand.  She gave me explicit instructions to wave the stick and make noise if the cows came my way.  She assured me they would be frightened by the commotion I made and run the other way into he pasture field.

Please keep in mind it was around 2:00a.m. in the morning and pitch black outside.  I’m standing there, stick in hand, listening to the sounds of my family whooping and hollering to try to herd the cows back to the pasture.  In what seemed like the blink of an eye, there were four cows running straight for me!  I dropped the damn stick realizing my aunt had set me up to DIE by giving me a twig to fight off 500+ pound monsters hell bent on trampling me.  I was screaming and trying to run away from the cows.  Suddenly my aunt was there…yelling at ME to do what she told me to do so the cows would turn back.  She was clearly insane at that moment, but I still love her.  The rest of the family caught up with the cows and helped maneuver the cows back into the pasture.

So, things that go bump in the night?  Footsteps when nobody is there?  Disembodied voices?  Sounds of breaking glass where nothing is broken?  Sounds of pianos playing where there are no pianos?  Floating, misty masses?  Bring ’em on!  I can handle that stuff.  No way that is scarier than having four huge cows try to kill you.




About Marsha Blevins, Author

Marsha Blevins lives in West Virginia with her boyfriend and six fur-children. She earned her B.A. in English with a concentration on writing from Marshall University. Two of her short stories and several poems were published in the university’s literary magazine, Et Cetera. She is an active member of the writing group Wicked Wordsmiths of the West and WV Writers. Follow her at on Facebook at, on Twitter @marbleswords.

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