From the Life of President David O. McKay


Lessons from Dandy

Adapted from David Lawrence McKay, My Father, David O. McKay (1989), 57–58, 63.

Every year Elder David O. McKay put his cow Bossie in a truck and took her up the canyon to graze on his farm. But one year Bossie disappeared before the family had moved her.

Lawrence: Father, I didn’t tie Bossie up, and now she’s gone! I was in the house for only a minute or two.

Elder McKay: Don’t worry. She’s probably headed up the canyon.

Elder McKay and Lawrence found Bossie at the mouth of the canyon. Someone had tied her to a post.

Elder McKay: Let’s see if she can get up the canyon by herself. I’ll leave this note on her halter:

Note: “Please let me pass; I’m going to grass.”

Bossie made it to the farm in the canyon in good time. From that year on, Elder McKay always let Bossie loose in the spring because he trusted her to go straight to the farm.

Elder McKay’s horse Dandy wasn’t as wise. He could escape any pen or corral by opening the latch or chewing off the lead rope.

Elder McKay: That horse has done it again.

Dandy wandered into the street and was hit by a car. He survived but did not learn his lesson.

Elder McKay: That should teach you not to go running off, Dandy!

One day Dandy escaped again. He and another horse wandered into an old house used to store grain and started eating poisoned oats—bait for gophers.

Elder McKay was very sad to lose his favorite horse. He often told Dandy’s story to show the danger of disobeying rules.

Elder McKay: Young people, you must always know where the limits are. Keep the commandments and you will be safe.