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Title: Stories About The Sheep, Cow, Ox, Horse, Ass and Deer

Date of first publication: 1851

Author: Anonymous

Date first posted: March 3, 2014

Date last updated: March 3, 2014

Faded Page eBook #20140302

This ebook was produced by: David Edwards, Dianne Nolan & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net


No animal which the Creator has bestowed on man is more useful to him than the common Sheep.

The wool of the sheep, even while it lives, supplies us with warm clothing; its flesh, which is called mutton, is most excellent food; its skin is made into leather, which is used for covers of books, and aprons for shoemakers and blacksmiths, and for various other useful purposes; the entrails, properly prepared and twisted, serve for strings of various kinds of musical instruments; and, in fact, there is scarcely any part of this well known animal but that may be useful to mankind. The wool of the sheep affords, in some countries, a very great source of industry and wealth.

The sheep of England have very fine large fleeces; but the Merino Sheep of Spain produce wool of a much finer quality, and of more value. They have, of late years, been brought to this country and raised to a great extent, and with great benefit to the wool growers. The Sheep in its present state is one of the most quiet, patient, harmless, and timid animals in the world; but on those extensive mountains where they pasture without control, and where they are seldom awed by the voice of the shepherd and the barking of his dogs, the ram or wether will boldly encounter a single dog; and, when the danger is threatening, the whole flock will form in a complete body, the young in the centre, the females in the next ranks, and the males on the outskirts of the phalanx; thus presenting on all sides an armed front. The Sheep is very sagacious in the selection of its food.

Sheep have been known, at the approach of a storm, to flee to a neighbouring cottage and take refuge with their shepherd.

At the time of shearing the wool from the sheep, which takes place in the spring of the year when the warm weather approaches, the females are put in a yard or pen separate from the lambs, and are let out one by one as they are sheared. Then the female bleats to call her lamb, and the lamb returns the bleat and skips to its mother. It is a most pleasing sight!

Men at all times, and in almost all countries, have taken much care of Sheep. Sheep and shepherds are often mentioned in the Bible. In ancient times the sheep seems to have been the chief object of human attention. The wisest and best men led out their flock to fresh pastures in the morning, and at night gathered them into the fold to protect them from their enemies.

Sheep feed on grass and hay, but they will eat potatoes, beans, and other things.


Among the various animals with which the world abounds, the Cow is one of the most useful to mankind, and is equally capable of enduring the extreme rigours of cold as well as the most scorching climates.

The Horse is, in general, the property of the rich; the Sheep thrive well but in a flock, and constantly require the utmost care; but the Cow, in an especial manner, is the poor man's blessing, and furnishes the principal means of his support. She supplies us with large quantities of milk from the use of which we derive great nourishment. Some Cows yield only about six quarts of milk in one day; while others give from ten to fifteen, and sometimes even twenty quarts. It is excellent food for children. From the milk are made butter and cheese; and, with flour and other things a great many good articles of food are also made. The flesh of the Cow, when fattened, affords that most nutritious food called beef; the skin, when tanned, is good leather, which serves for boots, shoes, and many other useful purposes; of the horns, combs, boxes, and handles of knives are made; the large bones are used to form many articles; the blood is much used in refining sugar; glue is made of the gristles and finer pieces of cuttings and parings of the hides; of the fat called tallow, our candles are made; and, in short, the milk, flesh, tallow, blood, marrow, liver, gall, skin, hair, horns, hoofs, and bones, have all their uses in the arts, commerce, and medicine.

Some Cows live twenty years or more, but they begin to decline after they are ten or twelve years old.


The Ox is of great service to mankind, and is the only horned animal in this country that will apply his strength for the use of man.

By the labour of the Ox mankind were first enabled to till the ground; and, though he is of a slow, sluggish nature, yet he is very strong, gentle, and of great use to the farmer, being mild and tractable when his nature is properly subdued.

What a noble sight it is to see the patient and kind Oxen draw a cart or a plough to aid the farmer in tilling the ground, or in gathering the fruits of his toil and labour.

In the eastern countries Oxen are employed in treading corn, which process answers the same purpose as thrashing. The flesh of the Ox, like that of the Cow, when fattened, is excellent beef, and like her, almost all parts of the Ox are of great value for various purposes.

The Ox as well as the cow feeds on grass and hay, and will eat corn, potatoes, and some other things.

Men and boys should be kind to the Ox, and never let him suffer for the want of food, or abuse him with harsh treatment.

Boys who indulge in abusing animals are apt to become cruel and inhuman men.


The Horse is the most noble and one of the most useful of the domestic animals; and, in the History of Nature deserves a place next to man.

Of all the quadruped animals, the Horse seems the most beautiful; the noble largeness of his form, the glossy smoothness of his skin, the graceful ease of his motions, have taught us to regard him as the first, and as the most perfectly formed.

Although the Horse is endowed with vast strength and power, he seldom exerts either to the injury of his owner or master. He is submissive to the command of man, and not only yields to the hand that guides him, but he attends quickly to the wishes of his rider or driver, and, obeying the impressions he receives, presses on, or stops, at his rider's or driver's pleasure.

The Horse does not easily forget any place where he has once been; and, he will find his way home from a great distance, even by a road on which he has never gone before.

The skin of the Horse, when made into leather is good for shoes and boots, and for many other purposes. The flesh of the Horse is not good for food, his mane and tail are made into very good coverings for chair bottoms and sofas, and into fishing-lines.

Horses feed on grass hay, oats, or corn.

In some countries Horses are found in a wild state, where they range without control, in herds of several hundreds, and sometimes thousands; one of them acting as a sentinel to give notice of the approach of an enemy. This he does by a kind of snorting noise, upon which they all set off at full speed, making the very ground tremble.

Horses draw the wagon, plough, sleigh, carriage, &c., and carry people on their backs. When employed in labour, the Horse is covered with harness; and, even during the time of rest, he is seldom free from bonds. If ever permitted to range at liberty, he still bears the marks of servitude, and often of pain and labour; and, in addition to this, there are many cruel people who use their Horses ill, by forcing them to carry too heavy burdens, or by driving them too fast, or by letting them stand tied to a post or a fence for a long time without food! I hope none of my young friends will ever treat this noble animal in so inhuman a manner!


The Ass is found in almost every country; and, though less beautiful than the Horse, is, when properly kept, a handsome animal.

The Ass much stronger in proportion, and much more hardy than the Horse. His gentleness and patience are without example; and, he is temperate with regard to food, and eats with content the coarsest and most, neglected herbage; if he gives the preference to any thing it is to the plantain, for which he will neglect every other herb in the pasture. In the choice of water he is very nice, drinking only from the clearest brooks or streams. He is so much afraid of wetting his feet, that, even when loaded, he will turn aside to avoid the dirty parts of the road.

When the Ass is young, he is sprightly, and even handsome; but he soon loses these qualities, either by age or bad treatment, and becomes slow, stupid, and headstrong. When too much loaded, he shows the injustice of his master, by hanging down his head and lowering his ears.

When the Ass is kindly treated by his master, he shows a strong attachment to him; but in most countries this humble animal is doomed to drag out a life of suffering and pain.

Why should an animal, so good and patient, be treated with contempt, and be rewarded by cruelty and stripes? Men should not despise even in the brute creation, those who serve them well and at little expense.

In Africa, there are herds of wild Asses which roam about in the deserts, and the lions kill a great many of them.


The Deer is a beautiful animal, and runs with surprising swiftness. The elegance of his form and his bold branching horns add much to the grandeur of his appearance. The young deer is called a fawn which is very beautiful and playful, and is easily tamed.

The colour of the Deer is sometimes red, but, in general, it is brown or yellow. His eye is very beautiful, soft, and sparkling. His hearing is quick: and his sense of smelling acute. When listening, he raises his head, erects his ears, and seems attentive to every noise, which he can hear at a great distance; and, on the least appearance of danger he darts off as rapid as the wind. The deer, next to the lamb, seems to be the picture of innocence.

The flesh of the Deer, which is called venison, is very excellent and of great value, and the skin is dressed and made into gloves, mittens, and other articles of clothing.

In the western forests they exist in large numbers, and are hunted and killed in the winter season to a great extent.

They subsist on the tender boughs of trees and shrubs, and on other herbage.

[The end of Stories About The Sheep, Cow, Ox, Horse, Ass and Deer by Anonymous]