Mildred Heard


The following interviews were obtained from Mildred Heard, a young woman

who has lived in the country most of her life and might easily be

described as a child of nature. Although a full grown woman and the

mother of two children she seems much older than her years, this is true

I believe because she has always lived among much older people. She is

fairly intelligent and expresses her thoughts clearly and without

hesitation. Quite a few of the stories related here were handed down to

her from the older residents of the settlement. These stories are

related in her own words.

Animal Behavior--Cows "I have always lived around animals and used to

spend whole days in the woods; but first I want to tell you about a

story concerning cows; and this is the trufe too. Every New Years night

when the whistles begin to blow, cows get down on their knees lift up

their front legs and make a mumbling noise. This is true cause one night

I made it my business to be around some cows when the whistles begin to

blow and sho nuff they got down on their hind legs and started making

that noise. I was so fraid I ran all the way home.

"I also remember we had a cow that would eat clothes. My grandmother took

in a lot of washings and one day after she had hung out Mrs.

Richardson's clothes she (the cow) ate up most all of the clothes.

Grandma whipped her and had to pay the white lady for the clothes but

that cow kept on eating clothes. A lady told us to sprinkle red pepper

on the clothes and that would break her up. Sho nuff we did it and she

kicked her heels over her head; but we never had any more trouble with

that cow.

"Maybe, you don't know it but cows are funny about the water they drink

especially cows raised at a dairy. If water is placed in a tub for a cow

and you stick your hand in the water they will not drink it. I have done

it and I know it to be true. The cow don't have to see you but the

scent from your hand is in the water".


"If a bird leaves her nest and flies away and you take her eggs out of

the nest and put them back the bird can tell it the minute she returns

to her nest; and she will not have the nest on the eggs again. I tried

this once to see if it was true. I moved the eggs from a birds' nest and

placed them back and then I hid behind a tree to watch sho nuff the bird

came back to her nest she looked at the nest and the eggs a long time

and flew away. Every day I would watch; but she never returned to that


"Once a little red bird got hurt and I caught it and nursed it back to

health and this bird began to act just like a pet. When I saw the bird

was well enough to leave I tied a red string around it's leg so that I

would know it if I saw it again. After that for three years my little

bird used to fly back and sit on the steps until I would feed him and

then he would fly away. My bird came back until it was caught by a cat.

I was so sorry when my bird died I cried and buried it in the back



"I have walked through the woods and almost stepped on different kinds

of snakes. I wouldn't be afraid cause I would know that unless the snake

is in a quirl, that is, in a pose to bite you, he wouldn't bite you. If

you smell a water mellon scent in the woods you know right then that a

black snake is around. If the scent is like a honey suckle a highland

moccasin is around somewhere. A rattlesnake smells like a billy goat.

Always remember a snake can't bite until it gets posed neither can a

snake bite you in the water. Some snakes lay eggs and hatch their young.

A mother snake always protects her baby snakes by swallowing them if

danger comes around." Grandma told me once that they were cleaning out a

large hole for a baptizing pool; and saw a mother snake swallow about

ten baby snakes. After they killed the mother snake they pulled out the

10 babies.


We had a rooster that was raised from a biddie and for 5 years this

rooster practically lived in the house and would not sleep any place but

on the foot of the bed.

"Chickens get used to certain people feeding them and you can't get them

used to others, that is, it was true concerning my cousin. He had a lot

of chickens and he used to feed them every day. My cousin took sick and

died and after that his chickens would not eat anything given them by

any one else. One by one the chickens died. My Aunt said his spirit came

back for the chickens".


"This is a true story concerning bees that belonged to my aunt Caroline

Hooper. Aunt Caroline died and left 10 hives of bees. We noticed they

kept going away and would not return. One day a lady named Mrs. Jordan

asked if anyone had told the bees that Caroline was dead; and we told

her no, "Well" she said, "go out to the hive and say to the bees

Caroline is dead and that they will have a new owner." My uncle told the

bees that they belonged to him now that Caroline was dead. After that

none others left the hive."

Mildred Heard continued giving short facts concerning different

animals.--"If you run a rabbit out of his bed and shoot at him I don't

care if you run him five or more miles he will come right back to the

same place." "Buzzards are born as white as snow but turn darker as they

grow older. Another fact concerning buzzards is that they will eat any

carcass except that of a mad dog, he will walk around the body of a dead

mad dog and then fly away."

"I remember once we had a cat that was the pet of every one in our house

so when she gave birth to kittens she went in the chifforobe and when we

let her out we didn't know she had left kittens in there. Naturally they

died and we buried them in the back yard. Everyday this mother cat would

go to their grave and whine, finally she left home."

The following stories relate to


As previously mentioned Mildred Heard has two small daughters and the

story of birthmarks begins with her own experience concerning them. "My

oldest Child Tina is marked by crying. I don't care how much you whip or

beg her to stop crying she will not stop until she gets ready. During

the time I was pregnant my aunt died and I went to the funeral and

before I knew it I found myself crying and unable to stop.

"My youngest child Georgia is marked by a monkey. This mark is the

result of a visit to Grants Park during the time I was pregnant. As I

stood with the white baby I was nursing at the time a monkey fell and

when he got up he started scratching his back. It all looked so funny I

began to laugh. When Gloria was born her bead resembled a monkeys in

shape and on the lower part of her back she had red marks and was very

hairy. I was afraid she would never change but as she grew older the

marks and the hair disappeared." note--I glanced at the child and it is

quite true that the shape of her head slightly resembles that of a


The next stories were related by Mrs. Heard. Mildred's grandmother. "I

know a white 'oman that lives in Thomasville now that marked her child

by a horse. This 'oman got tickled at a horse with his tongue hanging

out. When her baby was born he had feet and hands jest lak a horse and

she nebber would let any one see this child's feet.

"Another 'oman, Alberta Turner, got scared of a turtle while she wuz

fishing and right now her child got feet that spreads out just like a

turtles and he walks with his feet straight out that way.

"Aunt Eattie Coffee who lives in Macedonia, Ga., had a baby born with 4

teeth that looked jest like pearls. The doctor told her that the baby

would shed those teeth and if she lost 'em the baby would die.

"He told her to be sure and watch the baby and to give him the teeth

when they came out. Sho nuff them teeth came out but they never knowed

where they went and that baby she died".

Mike Thompson Mildred Roberts facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail