You can’t chase the cattle unless you eat more pancakes than me

My informant is an orthopedic surgeon, who was born in Hawaii, lived in Texas, Long Beach California, and Virginia Beach. He is also in the Army Reserves. My informant now works in New Orleans, Louisiana. This is the same informant as the orthopedic surgeon and snipe hunt entries. My informant heard this story from his grandfather was from Germany.

Informant: My grandfather said there was a rule that I couldn’t chase the cattle on horseback unless I ate as many pancakes as he did. I was like 7 or something like that. I remember I had rain boots that were too big for me.

Rebecca: So what happened then?

I: He was going to go out and chase the cattle. I couldn’t go out with him. It was 4:30 or 5:30 in the morning, whenever farmers got up. He was saying that if I wanted to go with him I had to eat everything that he ate. And of course I did, not getting the hint, I ate as many pancakes as he did.

Rebecca: How many pancakes did you eat?

I: I ate around ten, I felt like I was going to throw up

Rebecca: did you get to go wit him them?

I: Yes I did, and so I got to chase the cattle with him.

Rebecca: Why do you tell this story?

I: I realized my grandfather didn’t want me to go with him and was trying to get rid of me. I think my grandfather really didn’t want to go horseback riding with him. But I was so stubborn that I ate as much as he did. That was the last time I ever got to ride horseback with my grandfather. They stopped using horses to bring cattle around. They started using machines, pick up trucks and things like that.

Rebecca: why didn’t he like you?

I: Because he was a grumpy old German farmer.

My informant’s grandfather told him this story when he was younger, but did not know that this was not an actual rule until he was much older, reflecting on the story. My informant tells this story because it reminds him of his childhood and his time spent with his grandfather before he died. I like this story because it shows how ideas or stories have the potential to turn into folklore if they are believed and passed down. This story was passed down between my informant and his siblings when they would visit their grandfather, so it was something that stayed within the family. However, my informant did say that he uses this excuse or similar requirements with his own children if he wants or doesn’t want them to do something. Being stubborn runs in the family, so if his child is challenged, they will most likely try to follow through. This story shows how this idea has been translated down generations from my informant’s German grandfather to now my informant’s own children.