When her father was a nine-year old boy he had to go every afternoon to find the cows in the forest and bring them home. His father told him never to play, but to hurry and bring the cows home before dark, because there were bears and wolves and panthers in the forest. However he did play and forgot to get the cows. Now night is coming, the forest is getting darker and he cannot find the cows.
Her father told his story: My legs were scratched as I ran through the plants. When I ran through the bushes their branches struck (hit) me. But I kept on, looking and calling, “Sukey! Sukey!” Sukey was the name of one of our cows.
"Sukey! Sukey!" I shouted with all my might (strength). "Sukey!"
Right over my head something asked, "Who?"
My hair stood up straight on end. (with fright)
“Who? Who?" the Voice said again. And then how I did run!
I forgot all about the cows. All I wanted was to get out of the dark forest, to get home.
That thing in the dark came after me and called again, "Who-oo?"
I ran with all my might. I ran until I couldn't breathe and still I kept on running. Something grabbed my foot and down I fell. Up I jumped and then I ran. Not even a wolf could have caught me.
At last I came out of the dark forest, by the barn. There stood all the cows, waiting to be let in through the fence. I let them in and then ran to the house.
My father looked up and said, "Young man, what makes you so late? Have you been playing?"
I looked down at my feet and then I saw that one big-toe nail had been torn clean off (completely off). I had been so scared that I had not felt it hurt until that minute.
He always stopped telling the story here and waited until Laura said:
"Go on, Father! Please go on."
"Well," her father said, "then your Grandfather went out into the yard and cut a long stick of wood. And he came back into the house and gave me a good beating, so that I would remember to obey him after that."
"A big boy nine years old is old enough to remember to obey his father," he said. "There's a good reason for what I tell you to do," he said, "and if you'll do as you're told, no harm will come to you."
"Yes, yes, father!" Laura would say, bouncing up and down on her father’s knee. "And then what did he say?"
He said, "If you'd obeyed me, as you should, you wouldn't have been out in the Big Forest in the night and you wouldn't have been scared by an owl."