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Owen P. White

One day my brother and I ran away, off into the vast wilderness that surrounded three sides of our home. We were gone a long time, and my mother, in anticipation of our return, got down the old quirt [whip], which had done noble duty on many previous occasions, and sat down to her sewing to wait for us .... Finally she saw us. We were on our way home, trudging aimlessly along through the mesquite brush, and at the same instant that my mother saw us she saw something else. Coming along directly behind us was a big drove of cattle!

. . . [T]here wasn't anything that anyone, except my brother, could have done to save us, and strange to say he did it. He had human intelligence. He and I saw the herd coming behind us, and instead of trying to outrun the cattle, as I tried to do, he grabbed me by the arm and ruthlessly dragged me into the middle of a huge mesquite bush, where, with a million thorns puncturing us in every direction, we remained, while about the same number of cattle, eyes glazed and horns cracking, went thundering past.
I say "a million went thundering by," because, although it is probable there were only about fifteen hundred, and they were merely trotting, they were countless to me .... In her joy at having us restored to her, even though we were considerably damaged by thorns, my mother forgot all about the quirt, gathered us into her arms, wept over us, and treated us generally to an amount of love of which we were entirely unworthy. But later on, because my mother was always very just, she remembered that we had something coming to us, and so, but in a modified form, we got it before we retired.

Source: Owen P. White, A Frontier Mother, 91-93.

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