Anne Randolph lived on a farm near Philadelphia. Her father and her two brothers were off fighting in the Revolutionary War under George Washington. Anne and her mother stayed home to take care of the farm.
Anne had a pet calf, given to her by her father. As the British soldiers marched through Philadelphia, they took wheat, corn, horses, and cattle. One day, they came to Anne’s farm and took Anne’s pet calf. Anne begged them to let her keep the calf, but they did not listen.
Anne saddled her pony and rode full speed to Philadelphia to see Lord Cornwallis, the general of the British army. She was only twelve years old, but she was very brave. The soldier guarding the general’s home asked her what she wanted. “I wish to see Lord Cornwallis,” she replied. Seeing her firm, brave face, the guard thought she must have an important message. He allowed her to go in.
Lord Cornwallis was eating dinner when Anne rushed into his rooms. The general asked Anne why she had come. “I want my cow, sir. Your soldiers have taken her away. Please sir, let me have her back.”
Lord Cornwallis asked Anne her name and where she lived. “Do you have a father?”
“Yes, sir, but he is in the army,” Anne replied. “The American army.”
“So he’s a rebel then?” asked the general. “And you’re a rebel yourself?”
Anne replied boldly, “Yes, we are all rebels.”
“And your cow? Is your cow a rebel?” asked the general.
“I think she is,” replied Anne. “She’s the nicest cow you’ll ever meet.”
Lord Cornwallis threw back his head and laughed. And then he became serious. “Don’t you know we’re here to fight the rebels?” he asked Anne.
Anne might have been afraid, but she wasn’t. “Yes, but you’re not here to fight little American girls. Please give me my cow back. I raised her myself. I would never steal your cow.”
The general shook his head, a slight smile on his lip. “Alright, you will find your cow returned to your barn by tomorrow morning. And take these,” he said, unfastening his silver knee-buckles. “If any soldiers bother you again, show them these.”
The general kept his word. Anne found her little cow in the barn the next morning safe and sound.
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