The Sandman: More Farm Stories  by Willliam J. Hopkins

The Bull Story

dropcap image NCE upon a time there was a farm-house, and it was painted white and had green blinds and it stood not far from the road. In the fence was a wide gate to let the wagons through to the barn. And the wagons, going through, had made a little track that led up past the kitchen door and past the shed and past the barn and past the orchard to the wheat-field.

When little John was a very little boy, only about four years old, Uncle Solomon had a bull. The bull had never done any harm, so Uncle Solomon thought it was a pleasant bull, and he used to let it out into the cow-yard, and sometimes he would send it to the pasture with the cows. But when the bull went to pasture, either Uncle Solomon or Uncle John went along and led the bull by a stick that was hooked into a ring that was through a hole in the bull's nose. They wouldn't let any little boy drive the cows when the bull was going. Little John was too little to drive cows then, but sometimes little Charles drove them.


One day Aunt Deborah was getting dinner ready and she wondered where little John was. She looked out of the door and she didn't see him, so she thought that perhaps he had gone to the barn to play, and she looked that way, but she didn't see him. Then she was afraid that little John might be in the barn and get near the bull and be hurt. So she started out to the barn, and while she was going she heard the bull making a noise, so she knew the bull was in the cow-yard.

When Aunt Deborah heard the bull, she began to run, and she called to little John. And just as she called, she saw little John go up in the air higher than the cow-yard wall, and then he went down again behind the wall. And Aunt Deborah was very much afraid, for she knew that little John was in the cow-yard with the bull and that the bull was tossing him into the air.

Then she called to Uncle John, as loud as she could, but Uncle John was far off in the field and he did not hear. So Aunt Deborah ran to the kitchen again and took down the horn and blew it very hard, and Uncle John heard the horn and he knew something was the matter and he dropped his hoe and ran home, but he didn't get there soon enough.

When Aunt Deborah had blown on the horn, she ran out again, and she saw little John go up in the air again, higher than the cow-yard wall, and down again into the cow-yard. And she ran to the barn, to get the pitch-fork, to try to scare the bull away from little John, but before she could get into the cow-yard, little John went up in the air again. And this time, he came down outside the wall, where the bull couldn't get at him. So the bull just made a big noise inside the cow-yard. And Aunt Deborah dropped the pitch-fork and took little John in her arms and carried him into the house and up-stairs, and laid him on the bed.


Carried him into the house.

Then Uncle John came running, and they looked little John all over, but he wasn't hurt, only frightened. And they were all very glad. And when Uncle Solomon heard about it, he sold the bull because he thought bulls were too cross for him to have on that farm, and he didn't keep a bull any more.

And that's all.