Old farmer’s wife Katharina: Luise!? Luise! Tell me, did you fall asleep while milking?
Maid Luise: Yes…err, I`m so sorry, Katharina.
Old farmer’s wife Katharina: That will just not do. You’ve been told time and time again the cows have to be milked completely. Don’t you just fall asleep in between! If a cow is not milked properly, it will give us less and less milk. And that would be dreadful.
Maid Luise (sleepily): Well, it’s really not the end of the world.
Old farmer’s wife Katharina: Well Luise, some milk maid you are?! Of course it`s the end of the world! Cows give us milk after all, and we make butter from the cream, and the butter can be sold. That in turn means income. But tell me, did you at least clean up properly before milking?
Maid Luise: Of course! I washed my hands, many times in fact. And look, I have tied up my hair neatly.
Old farmer’s wife Katharina: And what else?
Maid Luise (eagerly): I washed the milk bucket and other utensils twice in hot water, cleaned the udder and dried it with a towel.
Old farmer’s wife Katharina: If you would have washed the utensils thrice it would have been even better. But...hmm...alright, very well. Now get it done fast. After that we can start with butter-making. The weather is just perfect; we will get it done in no time. Far and wide no sign of a storm, that means the butter wont`t turn sour. Oh yes, the men will want to clean the shed immediately after that. So, buck up!
Maid Luise (milking sounds): Yeah, yeah I am already at it.
Old farmer’s wife Katharina: Once you are done, go tell the lads that they can start. The muck has piled up so high, the cows might hit the roof. But alright, that means a good bit of dung for us.
Foto: Bielefelder BauernhausMuseum