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HOME > Children's Novel > The Tale of the The Muley Cow > II WHY JOHNNIE HURRIED
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 It was a proud day for Johnnie Green when his father told him that he might have the Muley Cow for his very own. The moment he heard the news Johnnie couldn't help interrupting his father with a shout.  
"Not so fast!" said Farmer Green, with what Johnnie knew was only a "pretend" frown. "She's not yours—yet. And when you learn what you'll have to do to win her perhaps you won't want the old cow after all."
"Won't I?" cried Johnnie Green. "I'll do anything you ask of me!"
"When you've learned to milk her, she'll be yours," his father said.
It was noon on a summer day when all this happened. And Johnnie Green wanted to go to the pasture at once and drive the Muley Cow home to be milked. But his father wouldn't let him do that. He said Johnnie must wait until milking-time came, that evening.
Now, it had often happened, in the past, that Johnnie was late in driving the cows home. But on this day he started off for the pasture with old dog Spot a half hour earlier than usual. Any cows that lingered to snatch a mouthful of grass by the wayside found themselves rudely urged along toward the barn.
There was some among them. And the Muley Cow told her companions that if she had known Johnnie Green was going to be in such a hurry she would have jumped the fence into the back pasture and stayed there as long as she pleased.
They had not been in the barn a great while before the Muley Cow had a surprise. Johnnie Green, carrying a three-legged stool in one hand and a milk pail in the other, stepped alongside her, on her left.
"If I were you, I'd get on the other side," said his father with a grin, "unless you want her to kick you and teach you better."
Johnnie Green couldn't help looking sheepish. If his father hadn't cautioned him he would have tried to milk the Muley Cow on the wrong side. He was so eager to learn to milk her, and to win her for a prize, that he scarcely knew what he was doing.
There was a stir among the cows nearby. They talked in a undertone, telling one another that Farmer Green's boy was going to learn to milk the Muley Cow and saying they were glad it was not themselves that Johnnie was going to try to milk.
"No boy shall ever milk me!" the little red cow muttered to the Muley Cow. "If I were you I'd give him a good kick."
"Oh! I can't do that," the Muley Cow told her. "Farmer Green has always treated me well. I don't want to hurt his boy."
"I'd give him a good fright, at least," the big white cow advised her. "I'd put my foot in the pail, if he tried to milk me."
But the Muley Cow said that she would stand as still as she could and give down her milk just as she always did for Farmer Green himself.
And everybody told her that she was making a big mistake.

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