Each morning, until they sold their cow, Pet, to the Norquests, Herb’s job was to go out into the pasture and drive Pet in for milking or to go to the Norquest’s and retrieve Pet. Herb always did this barefooted. On frosty mornings his feet got so cold that they hurt, so he would stop periodically and warm them up with one of the foot heaters that always followed the cattle. When he was running late, he did not have time to wash his feet, and he would take the aroma of fresh cow manure to school with him. Needless to say, his classmates did not like the aroma and were very vocal about it.
Pet was named Pet, not because she was a pet, but so the family could have Pet Milk (a popular brand of canned milk). Pet had a heifer calf which Herb named Magnesia so they could have Milk of Magnesia (a common over-the-counter remedy for stomach problems).
Herb learned to get up in time so if there was a delay in getting Pet home, he would still have time to wash his feet.
Herb went barefoot winter and summer unless his mother forced him to wear shoes. As a result, his feet became tough. Periodically some of the neighborhood children would throw rocks at him. Not so much to hurt him, but to show that they were in control. When running down a gravel road, Herb practiced picking rocks up with his toes and pitching them. He got quite good it at while trotting, but never mastered the technique while running at full speed.
When rock throwers showed up, he would trot towards them and rapidly and accurately pelt them with rocks. They ran. As long as they stayed on the gravel road, when they would slow down Herb would pelt them with rocks. When they got off the gravel road, Herb would run out of ammunition.