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The Cow Strikes Back


When brought in to the slaughterhouse, the cow doesn’t usually have a say in its fate, but the Pioneer Express reported today in 1897 that a particular Pembina County cow did try to turn the tables.

Charles Keller had to think fast when his ax glanced and cut the rope that tied his cow down. The injured and enraged cow attacked Keller as he scrambled up a ladder, but not before she was able to deliver a few blows to the farmer. From the rafters, Keller used a pitchfork to fish the rope from the stall. Meanwhile, said the Plainsdealer, “He argued with the cow for an hour and finally succeeded in convincing her that it was her turn to be killed.”

When he finally got the rope, he attached it to a windlass, hoisted the cow’s front feet off the ground, and finished the job. The Pioneer Express said Keller was lucky to survive the cow’s counterattack, but stated that he will use a stronger rope next time.

By Tessa Sandstrom


The Pioneer Express, Sept. 17, 1897: 4.

The Plainsdealer, Sept. 24, 1897.