It’s been some time since I blogged.
I don’t know how old I was when the following incident occurred. I do know however, it was before I started Kindergarten at five years of age. I know this occurred during late summer because that was when Cleo would hire extra farm hands to help bail hay and bring in various other crops. Mostly corn.
There were always a lot of dogs and cats on the farm. I remember sitting on the ground have a great time playing with a little tan puppy I had named Tico. The thing I remember was Tico was licking my face and Cleo started screaming at me because I “was dirty.”
My sin? I had grass stains on my clothes.
The next thing I remember was Cleo picking me up enraged that I had grass stains on my clothes and hurled me into the manure pile. This was the manure pile from cleaning out the barns. Lou would then use the manure to fertilize the fields with a manure spreader. This was not a cow patty or single horse dropping in a field. I remember trying to get up and kept sinking into the pile. Lou did come and lift me out of the manure pile. Cleo was furious. The next thing I remember I being placed in the basement in my manure stained clothes.
After what seemed like an eternity, Lou came and took me out of the basement. Lou took me up to the bathroom, gave me a bath. Lou’s baths are still traumatic for me to remember. Lou used to wash me all over, even my private parts. Lou used to spend a lot of time on my private parts telling me, “we need to make sure you are clean here.” Lou used to “wash” his private part when he gave me a bath. Lou then used to take me and lie me on his bed. He would powder me all over then Lou used to teach me “how to be a good wife” when I grew up. Lou had the same ritual every time he gave me a bath.
What is more disturbing is that even when Cleo gave me a bath, she had the same ritual.
Cleo’s cruelty was not limited to me. She was cruel to animals as well. Poor Tico did not escape her wrath. Cleo tied Tico up, kicked, rarely fed and constantly beaten by Cleo with a long stick that resembled a 2 by 4. By the time Tico was about 6 months old he was a vicious dog that only Cleo would dare approach because Tico would cower from her. Tico remained chained up until the day Cleo shot him. By that time, Tico’s ribs were showing. Tico was a Golden Retriever which Cleo succeeded in turning vicious. As you may know, Golden Retrievers are known for their gentleness. Tico wasn’t the only dog that turned mean as a result of her treatment. It was a game with her to torture animals.