After rather a long wait (it’s a long way from Hebden Bridge to Keld), our Ghost Cows and their calves (and not forgetting the dog) arrived last week.
They are now safely stored away, appropriately enough in a nearby empty cowhouse awaiting the big night.
This picture reminded us of a description of a local dog that we recorded in one of our audio sessions with four local women.
“When we had these little cow’usses they did get out to drink twice a day but the rest of the day they were tied up with a chain ..in the booses. Calves, they were all kept together , they were loose, you might have 4 or 5 in a calf box. Same building, they were bedded out …you used to milk the cows, to feed it back to the calves ..they didn’t seem to think to let the calves suckle!” “No, they were too wild. The calf didn’t like it out of the bucket so you put your hand in and in its mouth to get it to drink. You tried to lead them if you wanted to show them at Muker Show. You put a halter on them. They weren’t wild like today. You took a dog to round them up…you don’t go with a dog today in among any cows. Then you used your dog. We used to have a dog that used to swing on cow’s tails!”