“It’s somebody cows in our garden—in Hal’s corn, too, I expect,” said Daddy Blake. “Mr. Porter saw them and told me. We ought to have Little Boy Blue here to drive them out with his horn. But I’ll have to use a stick, I guess.”
“Oh!” cried Hal “Cows in my corn! They’ll eat it all up!”
“That’s what they will, and Mab’s beans and Aunt Lolly’s green peas and other things if I don’t get them out,” said Daddy Blake from his room where he was quickly dressing.
“Where you going, Hal?” asked Mab as she saw her little brother come from his room half dressed.
“I’m going with Daddy, to the garden, to drive out the cows!”
“No, you’d better stay here,” his father said. “The cows might run wild when I drive them out, and step on you. It isn’t any fun to be stepped on by a cow.”
Hal thought this might be true, so he stayed in while Mr. Blake hurried out to the yard in the early morning. Hal and Mab looked from the windows at the back of the house but they could not see much of the garden on account of the thick, leafy trees. They could hear their father and Mr. Porter talking, though.
Then while they waited, they heard the mooing of cows, a little later there was a rushing sound at one side of the house, and next several of the big creatures ran out of the side gate into the street.
Daddy Blake made sure the gate was fastened, so the cows could not get in again, and then he came into the house.
“Is my corn all eaten up?” asked Hal, anxiously as he thought of the prize ten dollar gold piece. “Is it all gone, Daddy?”
“No, not very much, though some is trampled down.”
“Is the whole garden spoiled?” asked Mab.
“Well, a little corner of it is. The cows got in among the green peas and they liked them so well they stayed there eating, not going far from where they were planted. So, though we may lose some corn and peas, nothing much else is harmed.”
“Whose cows were they?” asked Aunt Lolly.
“Mr. Porter says they belong to a milkman who lives on the other side of the town. They must have gotten out of their pasture during the night and then then came here to our garden. They broke down part of the fence to get in.”
“That milkman ought to be made to pay for what his cows ate,” said Uncle Pennywait.
“Perhaps he will,” said Mr. Blake. “Mr. Porter says the man is very good and honest. We won’t make a fuss until we see what he will do.”
Hal and Mab were anxious to see what had happened to their garden, and so, as soon as they were dressed, they went out along the paths that were made among the different plots where the potatoes, beans, peas, lettuce and various vegetables were growing.
“Oh, look at my corn!” cried Hal “It’s all spoiled!”
“No, not all, though you will lose several hills,” said his father.
“And my beans are all trampled down,” wailed Mab.