lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

C is for Cows

This is a handsome ‘Heeland Coo’ (Highland Cow for those who don’t speak Scottish!) by Arran Moffat on Flikr.

Heeland Coo by

People tend to view cows as placid, stupid creatures without much personality.

In fact they are capable of the same level of intelligence as a dog. In one study they were challenged in tests to find a way of opening a door to get to food – the electroencephalographs connected to them showed that they were elated by their success, some even jumped in the air in triumph.

Cows have good memories (essential for intelligence) and will carry a grudge against a cow or person they don’t like for years. But they also have personal friends among the herd, that they like to be with.

When a cow’s calf is taken away she will cry for days – this is a sound I dread, living in the country, it is heartbreaking.

They have panoramic vision – which means even if they are looking away from you, unless you are standing right behind them, they can see you.

When they lie down, cows seem to align their bodies north/south – which has to be helpful if you are ever lost!

When they lie down and sleep, they dream, but when they stand up and sleep, they don’t.

And – cows in different areas of the country moo in different accents!

 

.Highland ‘Coo’

.

Dear Highland ‘coo’

with soft brown eyes,

chewing the cud

under blue skies,

breathing warm

and sweet grass sighs,

swishing your tail

at pesky flies,

your moos are Scottish

as ‘och ayes’!

.

Poem © Liz Brownlee

Photo © Arran Moffat

Information from OneKind.

I should point out that cows in the UK are kept in fields. In the US, many are treated very differently. You can read about that here:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/interviews/pollan.html

If you would like to blog-hop to the next A-Z Challenge blog, please click here.

If you’d like to read about or buy my book, Animal Magic, full of animal poems and fascinating facts, click here.

39 Comments

  1. Made me smile.

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  2. I loved this post! I think cows are beautiful, especially their eyes. You told me a lot that I didn’t know. I never knew they were so smart or had such good memories. The part about them crying for their babies made me sad. I can’t wait to read the rest of your A to Z animals.

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  3. I love this!

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  4. We are still on B day here in the U.S., but this furry face is beautiful! Love your poems!

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  5. I had no idea cows held grudges. I’m looking forward to keeping up with your posts!

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    • Thanks, Lisa, it’s quite funny isn’t it? But also incredible, shows that they have feelings that can be hurt.

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  6. We went on a tour of the Highlands when we were in Scotland in ’79, and stopped at a farm where every cow had its own radio, a tiled stall, and other amenities. The driver/tourguide told us the cows produced more milk. Don’t know if they spoke with a brogue, though; they wouldn’t let us out of the bus to find out.

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  7. Love how you’re presenting your poetry with the animal facts and images. Enjoying them all and look forward to visiting again 🙂 Thank you for commenting at my poetry blog and apologies for delay responding, I wrote at time and must have forgotten to send! Best wishes 🙂

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    • Hello, Stu, thank you! It’s terribly easy to get in a muddle, I try and keep up but sometimes posts do get missed, so understand completely!

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  8. I learned something new. Great poem! Thank you, Liz! 😄

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  9. I am actually feeling guilty about eating beef. Not guilty enough but still feel bad when I read your blog post here. Mind you this picture made me smile also. Love your poem

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    • Thank you Birgit. Most of these poems will be less thought out than usual, one day isn’t really enough! But there are some poems I have worked on moret to come…

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      • I wonder why you can’t comment? Can you let me know what I can fix to make it easier?

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  10. Coo! That coo must have a blurred view of life through all that hair.

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    • This is very true. But it will keep his eyes warm in the Heeland snow!

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  11. Aye, the mighty moo-coo. Noble beasts.

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  12. Ann

    There is quite a herd of highland cattle in the New Forest in Hampshire. They are useful for keeping down the brush. Can vouch for the mothers crying for their calves when they are taken away, Liz, as there is a farmyard behind the house and you don’t need telling what has happened. Love the poem.

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    • Thanks, Ann. It seems so cruel, doesn’t it. They only have them for a very short time. The price they pay for our milk. I drink oat milk now.

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  13. What a lovely blog! Here in Gloucestershire we have lots of cattle in the fields. On one of our local hills and nature reserves, they use Black-Belted Galloways to keep the grass at the right length for wild flowers – they are rather sweet too (and very fluffy!)

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    • Oooh, thank you, I shall have to look those up, Jules!

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  14. isekhmet (a.k.a. Christine)

    Yay for cows! Apparently there is a lot that I don’t know about our bovine friends.

    I like your poem and the idea of Scottish moos is delightful!

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    • It is rather a wonderful thought. It’s not just cows that are regional, some birds have different songs, too.

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  15. My grandpa’s dad owned a farm in Northern WI and he always tells me stories about how he would have to take the cows to school with him and on the way he would drop them off across the street from his school at a field with lots of grass for them to eat. The cows would graze all morning and early afternoon and then walk themselves back to their farm before he got out of school!

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  16. So that’s how you pronounce it! I love those furry guys.

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  17. What a great topic for the A to Z challenge. Simple, but effective. 🙂 I just added your blog to my RSS reader, and I’m curious which animals you’ve chosen for D-Z.

    I really like cows (even though I would have chosen C for Cats 😀 ), they’ve so beautiful eyes. When I was small, we visited a farm nearby. They had a brown-white cow that had the same name as I. All brown-white cows we ever saw were consequently mine. When my sister became older, she also wanted her own cows, so all black-white were hers. In the end, all family members had their own cows. The one in your picture is my Dad’s cow.
    A2Z challenge. http://www.whenthecatisaway.com Participant number 1431

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    • Oooh, how interesting! I love cats, too, I have a grey tabby cat called Milla, she is gorgeous. But my blog and poems are usually wildlife! D-z… well, now, that is a secret!

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  18. Aligns north/south. Does that mean the head points North?

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    • I don’t think so, Ana. I was thinking about this and wondered if it is so that they generally face into the wind and rain – making a smaller surface to blow against and get cold. Perhaps, anyway.

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  19. Moo-vellous!

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    • Lol! Just been looking at your blog, http://atozofrome.blogspot.co.uk/ – I thought it was an A-Z o Frome at first, hehe! It’s lovely.

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      • I did joke about it being about Frome on TB, you might have been remembering that, Liz.

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      • I fear not… I haven’t been reading that many posts, too tired – it was the address, when I read it! Frome jumped out – of course, it is a familiar place to me.

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  20. Cows have always been one of my favorite animals. However, being from a city area I rarely have to opportunity to be around them. Love the photo of the Highland Cow – he is amazing!

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  21. Ula

    I have to say that I really like your theme.
    As a vegan, I am especially pleased you are providing so much information about these beautiful creatures’ intelligence. Maybe it’ll make someone reconsider their next meal. Maybe it won’t, but who knows.
    I love cows. They are very smart. I wish their lot in life was better. I dream of owning an animal sanctuary one day where different animals can come (i.e. be rescued) and live out the rest of their lives in peace.
    I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your A to Z posts.

    Like

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