I was about six or seven, visiting my grandfather’s farm in Vermont. He had dairy cows, who were milked every day by Mr. Doyle. I loved animals and seeing the cows.
One day I went to the barn all by myself to watch the cows come into the barn at milking time. Mr. Doyle offered to teach me to milk. He sat me on a stool and bent down behind me. His arms reached around me from my back. I thought I would see his hands reach for the cow’s teats. But no, I felt them reaching for my chest, touching my nipples.
I didn’t understand what was happening; I felt really weird. Mr. Doyle was supposed to be a nice man. I put my hands tentatively on the cow’s teats and then saw his strong, farmer’s hands reach over mine to teach me how to squeeze the teat. I never went back to the barn alone again.
I knew something was wrong about what he had done, but I didn’t know how to explain it. I doubted my own feelings of discomfort. I never told anyone about what had happened. Something kept telling me I shouldn’t say anything about Mr. Doyle. I should keep it a secret. I did, until now…This was about 80 years ago.