We stopped to chat to the corner cows today and found their predictive skills presenting a challenge to interpretation. Before we cast the deciding vote in this debate, we thought it might be a good plan to see if Google knew anything about cows. He wasn’t over enthusiastic. One day we really must ask him a proper question. He did turn up a few of the ‘Scientists have found out’ type of articles so beloved of urban myth-makers.
You know the sort of thing, “Scientists have found out that many people have difficulty standing on one leg. This proves that the world is tilting over to one side. The Government Secret Service is trying to hush this up as it is of huge military significance.” – Hang on – don’t panic. I shouldn’t have mentioned it. It isn’t that serious, the Government is aware of the situation and both parties are working towards a peaceful solution. It’ll be all right, honest
Anyway, as that was all we had, I thought I would pass it on to you: When cows are hot they stand up, as that makes more of the surface area of their bodies available for cooling; when they are cold they lie down, if they feel like it. On the other hand you might feel more comfortable with the idea that if the cows think it’s going to rain, they lie down to keep a dry space to lie in – an interesting concept.
So where does that leave us? Is it going to rain or not?
Well, you know how it is, you live, up here, in a scenic part of England and most of the family live, down there’ in the dust and grime digging away at the coal-face with nothing but their iPhones between them and starvation.
Every now and then we manage to talk a batch of them into coming, up the long weary motorway, to see us. When you have children – with all the ancillary equipment they require, it takes organisation and focus. So we do really appreciate it when we have a bunch of them around for a few days.
In the field behind the barn, our farmer keeps a small, half a dozen or so, herd of cattle. On some days, he comes round with a bag full of something-in-the-way-of-a-treat for them, a sort of spoonful of malt and cod liver oil each. He goes to the feed trough and shouts and bangs the trough and the animals come running, each eager for their share of the bounty.
When he turned up today the family were busy redistributing the contents of various cars to make the day’s outing a little less cramped. Did I mention that our roof has been removed – it was put up in 1856 so it need a little attention – so, we had added the family chariots to the builders and roofers and their assorted vehicles already in the farm yard, then the postman turned up in his little red van. In and out of all this ran our youngest grandson, closely followed by an even younger granddaughter.