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I think cows have a different view of snowstorms..

Big Billy growled at me today. Well, not exactly growled: there is a specific belching bellow that he uses when uncomfortable. Discomfort covers many areas of sensation: physical like itching mites and hair growth and loss that continually besets these unique animals- Highland Cattle. I wonder though if their emotions are also felt primarily as sensation – not exactly inarticulate (because Billy has made himself very plain this morning, grinding his backside against the feed trough that he evidently thinks I should be filling) – but not as defined as we like to assume. Pleasure is a shiver, frustration an itch, anger a belly ache, love is sweet release of milk from a swollen udder.
Perhaps not – if this was the case, emotion would play no part in herd-speak -a shared sense that knits these animals as a family, related or no. Welfare is selfish but collective, supervised by dominant Billy in this case, but within which animals will be vying for position: first place at the trough, feeder or the dry place in the lee of the wind. Being a part of this is a comfortable widening – a generosity of companionship: there is no more peaceful place than within a herd of cows with their heads down to grass.
They needed it today. The day started clear with a scattering of snow and stars. Pillow cloud built from the west, encroaching on the sky in a line like sand dragged by a rope held at each end by labouring giants. Creag Dubh to the north is obscured and the Breakachy ridge across the river but here on the green Apron in the middle of the hills the snow has not yet wetted me. I make it inside for breakfast, the fire already lit, and while I make porridge the hills disappear as if a bag is emptied over them. By the time I am seated with my bowl, the day is clearing, the sun is out and suddenly I see the summits shining white!
The cattle have collected under the trees: there will be more storms- no wonder Billy growls.

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