John Larrysson's Column: Summer Story Chapter 6 Part 4a - Milking Sukey the Cow (2 of 2)

Her mother said that Laura could come with her while she milked their cow, Sukey. They got all their fresh milk from the cow. Laura could carry the lantern that would give them a little light.

Her mother went up to the gate and pushed against it to open it. But it did not open very far, because Sukey was standing against it. Her mother said, “Sukey, move over!”

She reached across the gate and slapped Sukey's shoulder. In the weak lantern light Laura saw long, black fur and two little eyes. Sukey was a cow and had thin, short, brown fur. Sukey also had large, gentle eyes. Her mother said, “Laura, walk back to the house.”

[audio 1]

So Laura turned around and began to walk toward the house. Her mother came behind her. When they had gone part way, her mother picked her up off the ground, lantern and all, and carried her into the house. Then she slammed (closed hard) the door. Laura said, “Mother, was it a bear?”

"Yes, Laura," her mother said. "It was a bear."

Laura began to cry. She hung on to her mother and sobbed, “Oh, will he eat Sukey?”

[audio 2] 

“No,” her mother said, hugging her. “Sukey, our cow, is safe in the barn. Think, Laura - all those big, thick wooden barn walls. And the door is heavy and solid, your father made it thick to keep bears out. No, the bear cannot get in and eat Sukey.”

Laura felt better then. “But the bear could have hurt us, couldn't he?” she asked.

[audio 3]  

“He didn't hurt us,” her mother said. “You were a good girl, Laura, to do exactly as I told you and to do it quickly, without asking why. Laura, you need to know what to do if you meet a bear. First keep away from the bear. Bears will avoid you and not be violent unless they are protecting cubs (baby bears) or food. Walking between a mother bear and her babies can easily be deadly. Walk, do not run, away from a bear. Bears and other meat-eating animals understand that food runs away and that they need to fight animals that run towards them. Dangerous, but non-threatening, animals walk away.”

Her mother was shaking and she began to laugh a little. “To think,” she said, “I've slapped a bear!”

[audio 4]

[Review Questions]

[Answers for Review Questions]

The Little House in the Big Woods

Chapter 1 - Part 1: Introduction

Chapter 1 - Part 2: Wolves in the Night

Chapter 1 - Part 3: Venison

Chapter 1 - Part 4: Smoked Meat

Chapter 1 - Part 5: Food for Winter

Chapter 1 - Part 6: Butchering Time

Chapter 1 - Part 7: After Butchering Time

Chapter 1 - Part 8: Winter

Chapter 1 - Part 9: Winter Night

Chapter 1 - Part 10: About the Author & Where to Find the Book

Chapter 2 - Part 1: Winter Days and Winter Nights

Chapter 2 - Part 2: Jack Frost

Chapter 2 - Part 3: Laura and Mary Helped Mother with the Housework

Chapter 2 - Part 4: Churn on Thursday

Chapter 2 - Part 5: The Best Time of All

Chapter 2 - Part 6: Her Father Began to Play his Fiddle and Sing

Chapter 2 - Part 7: Father Told Stories

Chapter 2 - Part 8 - The Story of Grandfather and the Panther

Chapter 3 - Part 1: Introduction (The Long Rifle)

Chapter 3 - Part 2: Making Bullets

Chapter 3 - Part 3: Cleaning the Gun

Chapter 3 - Part 4: Loading the Gun

Chapter 3 - Part 5: Where and Why to Keep a Gun

Chapter 3 - Part 6: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 1

Chapter 3 - Part 7: The Story of her Father and the Voice in the Forest Part 2

Chapter 4 - Part 1: Christmas in the Forest

Chapter 4 - Part 2: Making a Gift for his Wife

Chapter 4 - Part 3: Christmas is Coming

Chapter 4 - Part 4: Children Make Pictures in the Snow

Chapter 4 - Part 5: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 1 of 3)

Chapter 4 - Part 6: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 2 of 3)

Chapter 4 - Part 7: Prince & the Blue Dress (part 3 of 3)

Chapter 4 - Part 8: Christmas Morning

Chapter 4 - Part 9: Santa Claus Only Gives Presents to Children

Chapter 5 - Part 1: Sundays

Chapter 5 - Part 2: The Weekly Bath

Chapter 5 - Part 3: Being Quiet

Chapter 5 - Part 4: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 1 of 4)

Chapter 5 - Part 5: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 2 of 4)

Chapter 5 - Part 6: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 3 of 4)

Chapter 5 - Part 7: The Story of Grandfather's Sledge and the Pig (part 4 of 4)

Chapter 5 - Part 8: Sunday Music

Chapter 5 - Part 9: Birthday Spanking

Chapter 6 - Part 1 - Introduction (Two Big Bears)

Chapter 6 - Part 2 - Getting Ready to Go

Chapter 6 - Part 3 - Milking Sukey the Cow (1 of 2)

by John Larrysson

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A native English speaker who has been teaching practical English in Hong Kong for over two decades.


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