MAINE MEMORIES: A fun birthday when I was a girl

photo by Will Clayton (

by Evangeline T.

Hello and welcome to Maine Memories, little snippets of life from our home state.

This week, I want to tell you about a fun birthday I had as a girl.

When I was ten, we moved to a 250-acre farm.

Like most farms back then, the house, shed, and barn were connected. If you walked around the house outside, you needed to walk around the shed and barn, too.

Dad had fenced off an area for pasture, so walking around the house meant climbing over the first section of fence, walking across the corner, and then climbing over the second section to complete your journey. The second fence section had a large pole gate in it. A pole gate was long poles that slid to one side so you could have access to the pasture.

For my 11th birthday, mom gave me a party with my new friends. She planned games, baked a beautiful cake, and made delicious ice cream. We all got a chance to turn the crank on the churn to help the ice cream freeze.

One of the games we played was if you lost, you had to pay a forfeit. The forfeits were written by mom on slips of paper placed in a jar. Of course, I lost. When I picked out my forfeit, it said to run around the house once.

Out the door I went, everyone else went also to watch me.

I wore a pretty blue dress, so I was careful. I slid under the first section of fence without a problem. Cheers went up from my friends.

I crossed the corner and came to the second section of fencing. Going between the poles on the gate seemed my easiest way.

It was a great plan, except for one thing: the old cow in the pasture had been observing me and figured I might need a little help. My blue dress going between the poles of that gate caught her eye, and she proceeded to butt me with her big hard head right where I sat. I landed on the other side of the gate, dress safe and sound. My pride was another matter!

Everyone laughed, and the cow, well, she voiced her opinion of the whole thing with a loud “moo”. I never did like that cow!


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