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The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young - review

09.10.2017
Příroda
Ever wondered if cows bore a grudge? This may be the book for youThis meditative little book isn't new: it came out first in 2003, when it was published by a small farming press. But then a beady-eyed editor at Faber noticed Alan Bennett had praised it in his diary ("it alters the way one looks at the world", he wrote in an entry on 24 August 2006), with the result that it has now been republished. Its author, Rosamund Young, who lives and works at Kite's Nest, an organic farm on the edge of the Cotswold escarpment, must be thrilled - or maybe not. Having read her book, which is very sensible but also somewhat dreamy and a bit obsessive, she strikes me as the kind of woman who would rather be standing in a muddy field in her wellies than listening to some eager townie praise her for her wisdom.Young's parents began farming in 1953, when she was 12 days old and her brother (with whom she and her husband still run Kite's Nest) was nearly three; she continues their tradition of treating animals as individuals with varied personalities, rather than as identical members of herds. The Secret Life of Cows, then, is essentially a collection of anecdotes about the many beasts she has hand-reared down the years: bovines, mostly, though there are a few stories about sheep and chickens, too. In a way, it's like a book for children. Every animal has a name - Araminta, Black Hat, Dorothy - not to mention parents, brothers and sisters. Most have adventures, albeit not massively exciting ones; Young refers casually to their "conversations", as if cows chat just like humans. After a while, though, you get used to all this, and as a consequence the world does indeed tilt. Or bits of it, at least. This book will change forever the way you see a field of ayrshires or friesians. Continue reading...
Zdroj: The Guardian

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