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It's No Use Arguing Tastes with a Cow

Western Kingbird, San Antonio NM, April 15, 2010

"Especially at night, the cows would come wandering in among our tents, like the party who goes about seeking what he may devour, and on getting hold of some such choice morsel as a sock, shirt, or blanket, Mrs. Bossie would chew and chew..."

By what appears, furthermore, to be the compensating justice of Nature, the treasures of the earth are always hidden in the most unattractive, dismal, and dreary spots. At least all the mining places I ever visited are so located, and Bisbee is no exception. To get away from the cramped little village and its unsavoury restaurant, I established my first camp four miles south of it on a commodious and pleasant opening, where we could do our own cooking. But here a new annoyance, and rather a curious one, was met with. The cattle of the region evinced a peculiar predilection for our wearing apparel. Especially at night, the cows would come wandering in among our tents, like the party who goes about seeking what he may devour, and on getting hold of some such choice morsel as a sock, shirt, or blanket, Mrs. Bossie would chew and chew, “gradually,” to quote Mark Twain, “taking it in, all the while opening and closing her eyes in a kind of religious ecstasy, as if she had never tasted anything quite as good as an overcoat before in her life.” It is no use arguing about tastes, not even with a cow.

From Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2) by Carl Lumholtz, Chapter 1

clipped January 23, 2010

Collection(s): American History