Cows enjoy pasture time on Pete Wilford’s farm, west of Sooke. (Contributed)

SOOKE HISTORY: A bird and a beast

Elida Peters, Contributer

Hopefully readers will be as amused as I was coming across this little tidbit by a 10-year-old child, published in an earlier version of our local weekly, on Feb. 20 1962, when it was called the Grapevine.

Here it is: “The bird that I am going to write about is the Owl. The Owl cannot see at all by day and at night is as blind as a bat. I do not know much about the Owl so I will go on to the beast which I am going to choose. It is the Cow. The Cow is a mammal. It has six sides – right, left, an upper and below. At the back, it has a tail on which hangs a brush. With this it sends the flies away so that they do not fall into the milk.

“The head is for the purpose of growing horns and so that the mouth can be somewhere. The horns are to butt with, and the mouth is to moo with. Under the cow hangs the milk. It is arranged for milking. When people milk, the milk comes and there is never an end to the supply. How the cow does it I have not yet realized, but it makes more and more. The cow has a fine sense of smell; one can smell it far away. That is the reason for the fresh air in the country.

“The man cow is called an ox. It is not a mammal. The cow does not eat much, but what it eats it eats twice, so that it gets enough. When it is hungry it moos, and when it says nothing it is because its inside is all full up with grass.”

(From an essay by a child of 10, quoted in Plain Words, by Sir Ernest Gower.) We’ve placed a photo of Pete Wilford’s cows on Woodside Farm alongside to illustrate the veracity of the ten-year-old’s description. We couldn’t find a photo with horns, though, as Pete’s cows are polled (hornless).

•••

Elida Peers is the historian of Sooke Region Museum.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Saanich woman says sexual assault was dismissed by police because of her ‘body language’

Patrol officers investigate sexual assault files, make decisions on what goes to Crown counsel

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight in Victoria

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

Sooke RCMP seek video after tires slashed on five vehicles

10 tires damaged in overnight incident in Sooke

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

Langford approves permit for 124-unit mass timber building

Tallwood 1 to be completed by late 2021

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

Playing his tune

Musician Daniel Morel breaks out a tune with his harmonica in front… Continue reading

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

Most Read