#8 --Superintendent John Duff and Annie, the "Gentle Cow"

In my early days at school we had a superintendent named John T. Duff, a disciplinarian of the old school, who firmly believed in the old adage of "Spare the rod and spoil the child." I can assure you that he did not spare the rod, as many of the boys could testify. After you had been whipped, you generally ate your meals standing up; as you were too sore to sit down.

Mr. Duff was naturally left handed, but he had learned to write with either hand, and very beautifully too. I have seen him walk up to the blackboard with a piece of chalk in each hand, and write two different sentences at the same time.

In those days, many people in town kept their own cows; and the superintendent was no exception. However, he decided to get rid of his cow, so he placed an advertisement in our local newspaper called The Index. It read as follows: "For sale, gentle cow Annie, (named after his daughter Annie), with calf by her side."

A few days after the notice had appeared in the paper, Mr. Duff came to school with a beautiful "shiner." Not only was his eye swollen shut, but it was the most beautiful black and purple that I ever saw. We in school did not know what had happened until later in the day when the story got out. The evening before, he was milking "Gentle cow Annie," when she kicked over the bucket of milk, also kicking him. You may be sure that no one laughed about it to his face; but there were plenty of smiles behind his back, both pupils and scholars alike.

Next week's story: Watch Repairman Ern Crater Did Not Like to Work. Stories are reprinted from a series is stories by former NCTnews contributor, D.B. Moore. The historic tales are from Moore's book, My Hometown, Gekelemukpechunk. The book is a collection of true stories that Moore recalled from growing up in Newcomerstown.