Boy helped drive cattle herd on small pony

From our October 2012 issue

By Russell Sparrow – Brandon, Man.

Circumstances arose in the fall of 1937 that we had to move from Harding Man. to a farm at Roseneath approximately 40 miles away.

My family included my father and mother, one brother Edward and three sisters, Josephine, Olive, and Betty, and me, almost 10 years old. Money was scarce so dad sold a horse to Arthur Carter for $105. This money was to help with the moving costs.

The most practical way to move the livestock was to walk them, so on the morning of the move, the cows were milked early. I was to start off on a pony with the small herd of cattle and dad and my sister Josephine were to follow.

Dad drove a team of horses hitched to a hayrack loaded with household belongings and hay for the horses. Josephine, who was 15, drove a team and wagon-box loaded with small pigs and chickens.

I started off with the cattle and they moved along quite briskly so we made good time. I became concerned when dad and Josephine were nowhere in sight. They were later starting out than planned, as they were gathering up the remaining odds and ends.

When they couldn’t see me, they too became concerned. They started stopping at farmhouses along the way asking if they’d seen a young boy on a pony driving a small herd of cattle.

Eventually, they caught up. We went through the town of Rivers where we had lunch that mother had prepared and watered the cattle at the river on the east side of town.

After resting the livestock we took off. As it was fall, the daylight hours were short and it soon became dark. Dad had arranged for us to overnight with a farmer friend but we hadn’t got to his farm. We stopped at Nick Miska’s farm and they put us up for the night. We milked the cows and were given something to eat.

Early the next morning we realized one of the horses had colic and had to be treated with Dr. Bell’s Wonder Medicine. We then started out and arrived at the “new” farm by late afternoon.

Mother and my siblings, Olive and Betty, had already arrived. A neighbour had driven them in our Model-T Ford. My brother Ed rode with Russell Beale in the truck which was hired to move the household furniture.

After unpacking the necessities and setting up the beds we had some supper. Needless to say we were all very tired but thankful the move was accomplished.

Almost 75 years later, I still remember the trip quite well.