Colts, Lambs And Raccoons
Top: Donald (left) and Marjory (right) with the foal, Nancy, from their first horse, Bird, circa 1932.
Bottom left: Marjory and Lizzie, originally a bottle-fed lamb. Marjory liked to take Lizzie on tours through the house while Amelia was entertaining company.
Bottom right: Marjory with Perley and Nancy (circa 1933).
Excerpt from Donald B. Johnson manuscript:
"Our first colt [foal] was the chocolate-colored Nancy, from Bird, the old pony mare. She was soon a spoiled pet and was really cute when she was little. I took her into the house one day. All the floors were waxed and slippery then, and when we were going through the living room she got excited and started to run, but she didn't get anywhere because she couldn't get any traction on the waxed floor. She must have been awfully cute, because Ma didn't bawl me out." [27.170-7]
"We [also] had a couple of little pet 'coons that we took in the house. They climbed up the curtains and across the windows and down the other side. We got by with that, too. It seems Ma was a lot more tolerant of animals than she was of us. They must have been cuter."
"Pa bought five sheep the first or second year on the farm and five more the next year. Our first sheep pasture was the woods along [Christina] lake by the point. One day Ma and Pa and Marj and I went across in the Model T to take salt to them.
"When the sheep were licking the salt and we were ready to go, Ma and Pa and I walked up to the Model T, but Marj stayed behind and was engrossed in singing and dancing for the sheep (something she learned at school -- some-thing about 'dancing for the muffin man').
"All of a sudden she let out a scream and she was running in a big circle as fast as she could, with the big, old sheep buck right at her heels. After a big circle she got back near Pa and he side-tracked the sheep buck. She got teased for years about how fast she could run." [27.172-6]
"We had a couple of orphan lambs one summer when we were kids and we taught them to nurse a cow. We kept them in the barn and turned them loose to nurse while we were milking. Before long, the cow 'mooed' for them when she came into the barn, just as if they were her calves."
"The first year we had sheep (five of them) Pa got hold of an old sheep shears, tied the sheep's feet together, and snipped off the wool himself. He had awfully poor shears, and one sheep took him about half a day." [17.125-4]
"When we had a few sheep, we would take the wool to the Fergus Falls woolen mill and trade it for woolen clothing or cash. They processed the wool right there on East Lincoln Avenue and wove a lot of their own woolen goods. The whole place smelled like a wool warehouse and there was a lot of machinery running all the time in the back half of the building."[26.168-4]