The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young (Review)

The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young

About the author

Kite’s Nest Farm is on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment. It is run by Rosamund Young, her brother Richard, and her partner Gareth. Nature is left to itself as much as possible and the animals receive exceptional kindness and consideration.

Blurb

COWS ARE AS VARIED AS PEOPLE.

They can be highly intelligent or slow to understand, vain, considerate, proud, shy or inventive. Although much of a cow’s day is spent eating, they always find time for activities such as babysitting, playing hide and seek, blackberry picking or fighting a tree. Drawn from over forty years of organic farming experience, this is Rosamund Young’s affectionate record of a hitherto secret world.

Review

When I bought this book last year I will be honest it was because there were cows on the front. I love cows and have fond memories spending time with my dad when he needed an extra hand with the cattle (my dad is a herdsman). One of my favourite memories is of a bull called Dillon who would happily let you cuddle him and scratch his nose all day, he was just a giant teddy bear. This book is a first for me, I have read many cat and dog books but this is my first cow book.

This book took me no time at all to read and I could have read it in one sitting but started reading it before bed and eventually I had to give in to sleep and finish it the next day. On reflection though I think it is a perfect book to just dip in and out of when you feel like an interesting story about cows.

I love the many characters described in this book. You have the cow who enjoys playing hide and seek, the cow who takes a dislike to one of the farmer’s hats and likes to steal it. The relationships between the cattle are also endearing and I love how they will just go down to the farm house to tell the farmers that they need something.

The book is not just all about cows it does mention pigs, sheep and chickens. I love chickens and think they are amazing little characters so it was lovely to read some little stories about some hens. My particular favourite was the friendship between a pig and sheep.

The main thing I struggled with with this book was the many, many names of the cows, at the start of the book there is a family tree of the cows and their names but this does not contain all the many characters within the book and I must admit I was starting to forget who was whose child, sibling etc in the great cow family tree so in the end I gave up trying to keep them all related. It would have helped if the book was laid out in family groups but the stories were randomly scattered through the book with no kind of link.

I love the ethos that Kite’s Nest Farm live by and fully agree with it because animals should be happy and free as much as possible. I did find though that during the introduction Young gives she did tend to repeat herself a great deal and I just found that the whole ethos was a bit in your face at times.

I really enjoyed this book and the only things that let it down for me were the many names and the repetition that appeared within the book. Otherwise I loved the stories of the cows and the many different characters and highly recommend this book to animal lovers. I will be passing this book on to my dad next as after I mentioned it to him he is very keen to read it. I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase links

Book Depository

Waterstones

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Friday Poetry

Today is A. A. Milne’s birthday! So I went for a suitably related poem. I hope everyone has a good weekend planned ahead of them.

The King’s Breakfast

 

The King asked

The Queen, and

The Queen asked

The Dairymaid:

“Could we have some butter

The Royal slice of bread?”

The Queen asked

The Dairymaid,

The Dairymaid

Said: “Certainly,

I’ll go and tell

The cow

Now

Before she goes to bed.”

 

 

 

The Dairymaid

She curtsied,

And went and told

The Alderney:

“Don’t forget the butter for

The Royal slice of bread.”

The Alderney

Said sleepily:

“You’d better tell

His majesty

That many people nowadays

Like marmalade

Instead.”

 

 

The Dairymaid

Said “Fancy!”

And went to 

Her Majesty.

She curtsied to the Queen, and

She turned a little red:

“Excuse me,

Your Majesty, 

For taking of 

The liberty,

But marmalade is tasty, if 

It’s very

Thickly

Spread.”

 

 

 

The Queen said:

“Oh!”

And went to 

His Majesty:

“Talking of the butter for

The Royal slice of bread,

Many people

Think that 

Marmalade

Is nicer.

Would you like to try a little

Marmalade

Instead?”

 

 

 

The King said:

“Bother!”

And then he said

“Oh, deary me!”

The King sobbed: “Oh, deary me!”

And went back to bed.

“Nobody,”

He wimpered

“Could call me

A fussy man;

I only want

A little bit

Of butter for 

My bread!”

 

 

The Queen said:

“There, there!”

And went to

The Dairymaid.

The Dairymaid

Said: “There, there!”

And went to the shed.

The cow said:

“There, there!

I didn’t really 

Mean it;

Here’s milk for his porringer

And butter for his bread.”

 

 

 

The Queen took

The butter

And brought it to

His Majesty;

The King said:

“Butter, eh?”

And bounced out of bed.

“Nobody,” he said:

As he kissed her

Tenderly,

“Nobody,” he said,

As he slid down

The banisters,

“Nobody,

My darling,

Could call me

A fussy man-

BUT

I do like a bit of butter to my bread!”

 

A. A. Milne

 

Lady Book Dragon.