Gratitude of A Cow
A GENTLEMAN passing through a field observed a cow showing many
symptoms of uneasiness, stamping with her feet and looking earnestly
at him. At first he feared to approach her, but afterward went toward her,
which seemed to please her much. She then guided him to a ditch where her
calf was lying helpless; and he was just in time to save it from death, to the
no small delight of the cow. Some days after, when passing through the same
field, the cow came up to him as if to thank him for his kindness. As among
the various animals with which the earth abounds none is more necessary to
the existence of man than the cow, so likewise none appears to be more extensively
propagated; in every part of the world it is found, large or small,
according to the quantity and quality of its food. There is no part of Europe
where it grows to so large a size as in England, whose pastures are admirably
suited to its nature. The quantity of milk and butter varies according to the
difference of its pasture; some cows in favorable situations yield twenty
quarts of milk in a day.
To form a just idea of the value of this animal, we ought to consider that
there is scarcely any part of it without its utility to man. The skin is manufactured
into leather; the hair, mixed with lime, is used in plastering walls
and building houses; the bones serve as a substitute for ivory; when calcined,
they are used by the refiners of silver to separate the baser metals; and when
ground and spread over the fields, they form a fertilizing manure. Combs,
knife-handles and many useful articles are made from the horns, which, when
softened in boiling water, become pliable, so as to be formed into lanterns—an
invention usually ascribed to King Alfred. We are furnished with candles
from the tallow, and the feet afford an oil adapted to a variety of purposes.
Glue is made from the cartilages, gristles and parings of the hide boiled in
water; calves’ skins are manufactured into vellum; saddlers and others use a
fine thread prepared from the sinews, which is much stronger than any other
equally fine. The blood, gall, etc., are used in many important manufactures.
THE COW AND HER CALF.