An Intruder by Unknown
The Leslies had taken a house on Dartmoor for the summer holidays, and
when they arrived and found it was a small farm their delight knew no
Cook was very glad that they would be able to have plenty of milk,
cream, and butter, eggs and poultry, for there were no shops in that
desolate region, and she could not provide breakfasts and dinners out of
Janet, the eldest girl, clapped her hands when she saw the chickens
running about the field in front of the house, the sheep and cows a
little farther off, and beyond, on the moors, the dearest little black
ponies, with shaggy coats and long manes and tails. From the window she
saw a girl crossing the field towards a gate where two big lambs were
bleating their loudest and trying to wriggle through the bars. She
rushed downstairs and across the field and found that Kate, the farmer's
daughter, was carrying the tame lambs their supper.
'Why do you feed them and not the others?' Janet asked?
'The other lambs have their own mothers to feed them,' Kate told her;
'but these two are orphans, so we have to bring them up by hand.'
'Oh, what dears they are!' Janet cried, as they began to jump and
frolic about her and about Kate, in eager expectation of their supper.
Then Kate filled a bottle with warm milk and tied the finger of a kid
glove over it, through which the lambs sucked eagerly in turn, each
trying to get a bigger share than his brother, and needing some quite
severe pats to keep them in order. A little corn was given them as a
second course, and, when nothing more was to be had, they gambolled away
and joined the games of the wilder members of the flock.
'Now I must call the calves,' Kate said. 'Will you carry the bottle,
because I shall want both my hands free?'
Janet could not quite understand this until, after a call by Kate, six
calves came galloping up from a distant part of the field. She held out
her fingers, and the nearest calves took them in their mouths, and so
she ran towards the farmyard, a calf clinging to each hand and the
others following close behind. Here she had two pails of milk, and with
one hand in each let the calves find her fingers and so lap up the milk.
'What greedy things!' Janet cried. 'How they shove and push! You are
clever to let each get his proper share.'
'They are just like children, and want some training and scolding to
make them behave properly,' Kate said. 'That big one is a most masterful
creature, and sometimes he upsets the pail and nearly upsets me too.'
The next morning Janet had proof of this. She was in the kitchen,
watching Cook make some pastry, when in through the door a great
creature bounded, knocking over one chair, and thrusting his head into a
large bowl of milk which was standing on another. The milk poured over
in a white flood on the floor. Cook screamed, and brandished her
'It's a great, fierce bull!' she cried. 'Oh, Miss Janet, run for your
life while I chase him out of the kitchen!'
'Nonsense, Cook,' Janet said, catching hold of the frightened woman's
arm; 'it is only the masterful calf, and I think it is very clever of
him to find his own breakfast!'
"'It is only the masterful calf.'"