It started with a trip to a dairy farm. We were all herded single file through the rooms with grey cinder block walls and floors and the Mexican workers sitting beside the cows. The udders hung full and swayed heavily as the cows slowly headed single file through the metal shoots. Into the milking room and the smells of hay and animal filled my nostrils. All the cows were milked. We saw the whole process as kindergarten kids but I don’t remember any milk that we drank. It was just a field trip. The closest I got to cows.
Years later, in my complete naiveté, I stood beside a life-size statue of an animal. I called to my Dad from several yards away, “Hey Dad, watch me milk it.”
His shocked face and squinted eyes stared at me. He quickly pleaded, “June, please go get your daughter.”
I did not actually touch the statue and I was ignorant of my mistake since the hanging bulge looked like an udder to me and I had never seen anything except “cows.”
So, when it was explained, “Ruth Mary, that is a bull.” I was mystified and embarrassed.
You would think at age 19 I should have known better. Ah, the dangers of early childhood impressions. I was indeed, “udderly mistaken.”