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.

Just Posted

Free firework safety courses coming to the West Shore right before Halloween

No permit? You could be fined anywhere between $100 and $10,000

Vendors open doors to new futures at Black Press Extreme Education & Career Fair

More tham two dozen employers, educators signed on for Victoria event

Persons Day to be marked with literary readings in Sidney

Peninsula authors to read from their new books relating to women and courageous journeys, Oct. 18

Fairfield-Gonzales residents aim to establish senior care phone line

The Fairfield-Gonzales Village would allow seniors living alone to have a direct line to resources

Antimatter 2019: The best in experimental media art comes to Victoria

22nd annual festival of film, performance art and more biggest ever – 120 artists, 30 countries

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

Most Read