And sure enough, just like his first book, once I began reading, I couldn’t stop, racing through the non-stop astonishing stories of Brown’s career as a veterinarian, focused on farm animals.
In his first book, Brown was trampled, dragged, mauled, and more by farm animals, especially horses. And the beatings continue in book two.
In the very first story, an enraged cow chases Brown into and through a house, destroying everything in its path. “Talk about a bull in a china shop!” he writes. “I never heard so much thrashing and crashing. The one-horned monster destroyed the whole first floor, butting into cupboards, the refrigerator, and the stove. He rampaged into the front sitting room and completely destroyed the farmer’s tattered furnishings in a matter of minutes.”
Eventually, the cow followed Brown out through a window, shattering the glass and busting out the entire window frame, charging back into the barn after Brown, who hid behind a tractor. “Killer smacked into the post with colossal force,” Brown reports. “The whole building shook like a minor earthquake, raining ancient hay chaff down from every crack… Trembling behind the tractors, I heard Killer emit a groan, followed by a tremendous thud. I peered over the tractor to see that the mighty beast had knocked himself out cold.”
And there’s a lot more to this entertaining story, with lots more stories ahead.
Brown defined hard work. In one story, he has just returned home at 3 am on a Sunday morning, after seven hours of farm calls following a busy Saturday in his small-animal hospital, to get a call from an adult son of a farmer who didn’t dare tell him what was wrong. “Uh, ah, can you come right out here, uh, Doc?”
“What’s the matter, Lucas,” asked Brown.
“I can’t say nothin’ over this party line,” he responded. The son asked Brown to go into the house first, to see his father, before he went into the barn.
As he went into the dark entrance to the house, Brown tripped, tumbling down into a woodpile four feet below and scattering the contents of his bag all over the woodpile. And the story just gets more interesting after that.
The farmer turned out to be the one in need of attention. He’d been sick for three days, with pneumonia. He didn’t like people doctors and figured that the veterinarian could fix him up. Brown ended up calling an ambulance and transporting the farmer to the hospital.
There are some remarkable stories in the book, about desperately ill farm animals that Brown saved, and a few that he could not save.
Bradford Brown grew up on a farm in Vassalboro, and like his two brothers, graduated from Cornell University School of Veterinary Medicine. He and his brother Phil shared a veterinary practice in Belfast. He retired to the family farm in Vassalboro – where, I hope, he’s keeping his distance from these wild and crazy farm critters!
Both of Brown’s books were published by Tilbury House, the first one in 2006 and the second one in 2007. Fortunately, both are still available in paperback. Just be sure you’ve set enough time aside to read the entire book, because you won’t want to stop reading!