EASTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Many Eastford residents consider themselves country folks, so town officials decided they could cope with the bull that came out of the closet.

A cast-iron bull on a weather vane was hidden in a closet for more than 15 years because one official thought it looked too much like, well, a bull, an anatomically correct bull.

First Selectman James Whitehouse found the weather vane last spring and had it mounted on the town office building.

''This is country, not the middle of the city,'' Whitehouse said.

Officials say Robert P. Willis, chairman of the committee in charge of building a new town hall in 1969, chided the contractor for not including a free weather vane.

''In due time, a package arrived and was found to contain the indicator. But a member of the board of selectmen took one look and said, 'Oh, that's just too, too much 3/8''' Edwin W. Cooper, 90, wrote recently in a local newspaper.

The unidentified selectman, who no longer lives in Connecticut, thought the weather vane would offend some people, said Cooper, who retired this summer as the selectmen's clerk.

''He thought it was too explicit,'' Cooper said. ''Up close, it's very apparent it's a bull.''

So the bull went into the closet.

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HOLYOKE, Mass. (AP) - Your grandmother always knew chicken soup could cure a lot of ills, and now Holyoke Hospital is set to take Grandma's place.

Low-sodium, low-fat frozen chicken noodle and vegetable beef soups were a natural outgrowth of the hospital's 2-year-old frozen meal program for patients on restricted diets, said Patrick Ascolese, food services manager.

''When we started we figured we would be satisfied if we were able to sell 400 meals a month,'' Ascolese said. ''Now we are selling 400 meals a week and we have some customers that drive more than 100 miles one-way just to buy them.''

Many commercial canned or dried soups contain hundreds of milligrams of sodium. Holyoke Hospital's frozen ''Just What the Doctor Ordered'' soup contains just 22 milligrams, Ascolese said.

''The typical restricted diet for a patient with high blood pressure or heart trouble limits sodium intake to 1,000 milligrams a day, so if they have a bowl of commercial soup for lunch, they have pretty much used up the sodium allotment for the day.''

Hospitals in Miami and San Francisco also have soups on their take-out menus.

Holyoke began test-marketing its soup Monday. Soups are packaged in 7-ounce microwaveable containers that sell for 65 cents apiece.

The take-out food program was initially aimed at recently released patients on restricted diets, but customers also have included the elderly and younger people trying to lose weight or avoid preservatives, Ascolese said.