"I didn't mean to wake you", Ben said to his wife as he got dressed before the sun was even up. "I'm going out to milk the cow before leaving for work."
"That's okay, I'll get your breakfast while you're at the barn. You need to eat." Mary was a young wife and intent on being a good one to her wonderful husband.
Ben finished dressing by donning his heavy coat since this was mid-winter and he couldn't afford to catch a cold. He then headed for the barn where 'Old Bess', the cow was waiting with straining utters and a bucket load of fresh milk.
"Easy girl", he said as he placed the kickers on Bess's hind legs. These were important in order to keep her from kicking the bucket over and spilling the milk just before the process was over. He had already put feed in the trough for her breakfast and now got down to washing her udders and pulling the milk from her in long squirts and splashes into the bucket. This was one chore that he enjoyed. Coming out this early in the morning gave Ben the opportunity to watch the world wake from its slumber and witness the dawning of another day. But it sure was chilly out here.
With the milking done, dawn was just beginning to break, though inside the stall it was still difficult to see in the early morning gloom. He had to feed the mule and check on the chickens before he was done.
Problem was, he felt the need (more so by the minute) to go visit the outhouse! "It sure is a long way out there", he thought. And it certainly was, especially on a cool morning such as this. Plus he would still have to return to the barn and finish his work here after he finished there!
"Oh, bother. Well the cows and the mule use it in here, maybe that's what I'll do .. just this once. Nobody will know." Ant that is exactly what he did.
Once he finished, he was trying to get his overalls pulled up when something jerked them back down!
He glanced around but couldn't see anything, so he decided he must have just lost his grip due to the cold. Again he pulled the pants up ... and something jerked them back down. He looked around once more. The filtered light was getting a bit stronger by the minute in the barn, but he still couldn't see what was doing this. He wasn't close enough to the wall to be hanging on a nail and there was not anything in here, that he could see, to be pulling his pants down! One more time he pulled them up and, once more, something pulled them back down. Difference was, this time he was expecting it and maintained his grip on the pants, held them up and ran from the stall!
Shaken and confused he quickly finished his chores and left the barn determining to always, no matter how cold it was or how late in the morning it might be, always to make the trek to the outhouse from then on.
Ben returned to the house where Mary had put together a breakfast of eggs (scrambled with cheese), toast, blackberry jam (home-made), grits and sausage (from the boar hog they had slaughtered earlier that winter). He ate with enthusiasm and then got ready and left for work without once mentioning his adventure in the early morning at the barn.