I was thinking about some of the interesting times I have had, and situations I have seen occur, in East Tennessee since moving here from Massachusetts in 1979. One such early occurrence popped into my mind, and I thought … that would make an interesting blog post. So, here we go …
Welcome to East Tennessee
My parents bought a house in the Hidden Hills subdivision on Possum Hollow Rd. For some reason, the road’s name has been changed to Hidden Hollow. I was so sad to see that, and I wish they hadn’t changed it. I think Possum Hollow Rd had so much more going for it.
Behind the house, a steep ridge went up to a flat pasture that a neighbor grazed black angus cattle in. Before I left for my Army basic training, I sometime would squirrel hunt on that ridge, and somehow, I managed to keep from shooting any cows.
It was a great place to live and the first few weeks we lived in Tennessee seemed quite pleasant. There was one problem, however. The barbed-wire fence that separated the pasture from the woods along the slope of the ridge was in terrible shape. So, periodically we would come home to find one or two black black angus cows grazing in our yard. They would wander through a break in the fence, and come down the ridge to our lawn, I guess in search of greener pastures.
Either my Dad, myself, or maybe my brother would have to herd the cow (or cows) back up the ridge, through the dilapidated fence, and back into the pasture. Then we would do what we could to repair the break. We actually got pretty good at herding cattle! However, once the novelty wore off, it began to get a bit old.
One Sunday, my mother and father came home from church to find a cow munching happily away on the lawn. My dad decided he’d had enough, and called the local sheriff’s office. About twenty minutes later, a patrol car pulled up to the house and a sheriff’s deputy got out of the car. My dad explained the situation to him, while the deputy listened patiently, nodding his head and taking notes.
When my dad had finished, the deputy put his pen away. “Well, sir, I can file a report and go talk to the owner of the cattle. But I really don’t see the problem.”
“No sir. If I was you, I’d open the garage door, shoo the cow inside, close the door, and say nothing at all.”
Why would I do that?” my dad asked.
The deputy smiled. “Well sir, I reckon you’d have a pretty good supply beef to start with, and then, after the owner lost a couple more cows, he’ll most likely fix the fence.