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Ghost stories of bovine proportions

Mickey Starling: Greene Publishing, Inc.

This flashback from Madison County's past comes to The Madison Enterprise-Recorder courtesy of E.B. Browning's book, The Florida Scene, which is available for reading in the Treasures of Madison County Museum, a place where Madison County history is alive and well.

Browning recalls a conversation with a man many years ago who met up with frightful circumstances when walking along an old plantation road around noon. Upon looking up on one occasion, he saw in the distance something of an unknown substance flailing briefly in the air, some thirty inches high. This action repeated in a manner that led the gentleman to believe that a spirit from another world was beckoning him to come closer.

Thinking better of accepting such an invitation, the man stood motionless in the road for a while, before deciding his next move. "Well, you can call but I am not coming," he said. Curiosity getting the best of him, he decided to make a wide circle and hopefully happen upon a better view. His attempt successfully brought him into view of the signaling creature, which was far removed from anything of an extraterrestrial nature.

It turned out that the creature was a patient cow, basking in the shade and enjoying a good chew of the cud, while scurrying away the flies with her tail. What a mighty tail it was, to be able to carry a man's mind away with the fear that he was being summoned to interact with ghostly creatures from another dimension. Perhaps he needed the shade as much as the cow did.

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