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A Nail Eating Cow, A Teeny Tiny House, And A Frozen Chihuahua – Oh My!

A Nail Eating Cow, A Teeny Tiny House, And A Frozen Chihuahua – Oh My!

My grandmother had a cow who ate chains, nails, and anything else she could wander up on.  After further investigation with my sister, I discovered her name was Bessie –  the cows name – not my grandmothers. Her name was Ida and she would not let any of her grandchildren call her anything but Ida. I’ve tried to get my girls to keep the  ‘Ida’ name in the family but they won’t hear of it. Andrew is still in the running though. I have time to work on him. Jessie is still trying to hide from the family name ‘Luticia’ she got stuck with. 🙂 I’m getting a little off subject here so let’s get back to Bessie the cow.

There’s not a lot to this story. My mother would always tell stories to us and she would ramble on trying to keep us occupied as we traveled to Alaska for that homesteading adventure. After reading every children’s book she had brought with her and even some of her own books, exhausting the supply at hand,  we would beg her to tell us stories of the ‘olden days’. Now I know all you did the same with your parents about wanting to hear about the ‘olden days’. So far my children and grandchildren have not requested that of me, but I’m expecting it any day now. Oops…off subject again. Sorry.

It seems that my grandparents had a cow named Bessie. She would always eat chains and nails and even ate Ida’s clothesline one day. I wonder if there were clothes hanging on it at the time. Hummm? My mother would wind those stories around, adding this and that making them very interesting to children under the age of eight or so. We were enthralled. You see we didn’t have TV, internet, Xbox, or actually anything electronic as the kids these days do. Stories did it for us and we were happy to have them.

I seem to remember that I was very much apprehensive about this cow-eating-metal story and figured it may be dressed up just a bit to keep us entertained until I saw this blog one day in my WordPress Reader. Thanks for all that useful bit of info Sheryl. It made a believer of me.

Another story my mother use to tell us was about the teeny, tiny woman. It went something like this:

  • There was a teeny, tiny woman who lived in a teeny, tiny house.
  • She had a teeny tiny dog and a teeny, tiny mouse.

That’s all I can remember! Sorry Mother. Wish you were here to boost my memory on that one.

This is a Teeny, Tiny House!

This is a Teeny, Tiny House!

Now this I know is a true story. My grandmother, Ida, had a Chihuahua dog. I can’t remember the dog’s name, but I bet my sister does. It was a tiny little brown thing and she would carry it around the house in the pocket of her house dress – you know the kind –  the ones with those big patch pockets and buttons or a zipper all the way down the front.  Well, that little dog was a perfect fit in that pocket. One day the dog went missing and Ida said, “Frank?” (My grandfather. He let us call him PaPa.) “Where is that dog? I haven’t seen her for hours and she is always under foot.”

They retraced her steps from the day and guess where that dog was! In the freezer. Yep, she was. Sitting there with little bits of frost on her nostrils and the tips of her ears and shivering as the icicles were beginning to form. She had hopped right out of that pocket into the freezer when Ida wasn’t looking and Ida shut the door on her. Ida whisked her out of that freezer quickly, rubbing  her down good with a fluffy towel and she lived to be quite an old dog. From then on when Ida went to the freezer she made sure the dog was still in her pocket when the freezer door shut! LOL


I know I’m not the only one who’s mother told stories. What stories did your mother tell?


About Elle Knowles

Elle Knowles lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband and off-at-college-most-of-the-time son. She has four daughters, one son, and eleven beautiful grandchildren. 'Crossing the Line' is her first novel. The sequel 'What Line' is a work in progress. Recently published is Coffee-Drunk Or Blind - a nonfiction story of homesteading in the Alaska wilderness with her parents and four siblings, told through letters by her mother and remembered accounts from the family.

6 responses »

  1. Great stories! Ever since you mentioned that one of my posts gave you an idea for a story, I’ve been wondering how you were going to include the information from my blog about metal-eating cows in your blog. It’s fun to read about Bessie and the clothesline. I laughed the entire time I was reading it.


  2. My mother often tells the story about how she fell out of a tree when she was a child. She has many others but I can’t really think of them off the top of my head. One night when she came to stay over she had the Tween enthralled for hours listening to stories of the ‘olden days’. lol


  3. Gee, Elle, when it came time to butcher the nail eating cow your family would have no trouble meeting their minimum daily iron requirement. And I can just picture that poor little dog in the freezer, wondering how he got transported to the North Pole!



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