First Pasture Price: £9.99
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Farming has been in John Connell's family for generations, but he never intended to follow in his father's footsteps. However during one winter he finds himself back on the farm and begins to learn the ways of the farmer and the way of the cows. John Connell starts to record the hypnotic rhythm of the farming day - cleaning the outhouses, milking the herd, tending to sickly lambs, helping the cows give birth. Alongside the routine there are always things that go wrong such as missing animals or illness.
The Cow Book is the story of a calving season. It is also the story of the cow itself, from its domestication and worship as a God by the Ancient Egyptians to the modern practice of mechanized herds, via the figure of the cowboy, the destruction of the American buffalo, the demise of the aboriginal jackaroos and the consequences of BSE. Above all it is the story of Connell's life as a farmer, of his relationship with his birthplace of County Longford, with the community around the family farm, with the animals he tends, and with his father.