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another. Yet before they took this step, a large number, not unfrequently belonging to different proprietors, would congregate together on the bank of a river, none of them touching a blade of grass, but all standing as if they were in deliberation as to what should be done. At length, some of the strongest have plunged into the river and swum across; others have then gone over—and finally, all have followed. In this way they frequently traverse a considerable extent of water, till they reach some green island, with its grazing ground yet untouched, and when the grass on that island has been consumed, they again start, in the same manner, in search of a new pasture. Nor was I less struck by the maternal instinct, and I might almost say, sagacity shown by the cows of that country. But before touching on the subject, let me remind the reader of what I have before stated, that the artificial mode of rearing children, which is generally prevalent throughout Siberia, is extended also to the young ones of domestic animals. Mothers of Russian origin rarely nurture their children themselves; but from the moment of birth, accustom their infants to cow's
milk, for which purpose they employ a thin horn, the end of which they cover with the teat of a cow. Calves are reared in a similar manner. No sooner are they born, than they are taken away from the cow, and fed from the human hand; at first with the mother's milk, and after an interval of a few days, with a mess made of groats or flour, flavoured with milk. This nouriture is continued till the calf gains strength, and can subsist on coarser food. In the case of cattle, this artificial rearing is not without its advantages, one of which is, that a calf so reared, being wholly unknown to its mother, can be sent out on the same pasture-ground, or even placed in the same shed with her, without any risk of its ridding the cow of her milk; and another, that the cow, being separated so early from her offspring, never fails, year by year, to bring forth a calf.
The cows appear to have an instinctive knowledge that they will be deprived of their offspring; for as soon as they feel the hour of birth approaching, they use all imaginable cunning to withdraw themselves from the observation and guardianship of man; and it is astonishing
what dexterous manoeuvres they will resort to with this view.
When the period of calving draws near, the cow is shut up in a stable, where she is supplied with food and drink, and every care is taken to prevent her from escaping. This is the province of the mistress of the house, who is unremitting in her vigilance.
At first the cow enjoys her food as usual, but after a few days' confinement, will no longer eat or drink. She is then, to recruit her appetite, let out to inhale the fresh air, but carefully attended by the mistress, who, taught caution by experience, will not suffer her to pass out of sight. The cow walks at first with a slow step, with her head bent to the ground, as though she were thirsty, and looking for water. But her feigned weakness lasts only till she sees a favourable moment for escape, when she darts off at her full speed, clearing ditches and swimming streams with surprising nimbleness, and making straight for the forest, to hide herself in the thicket from the sight of man. Nor does she fix her asylum in the outskirts of the wood, but continues her flight for several versts, until
supposes herself perfectly safe; and then, in the same sagacious spirit, chooses the most convenient place for calving. When the calf is born, she covers it carefully with fallen leaves; and to divert observation from the spot, proceeds to some distance to pasture.
It is a matter of no small difficulty to bring the fugitive back, when she has once effected
Concealed in some retired spot she tends the calf until it is grown up, and is able to rely on the swiftness of its feet. Then the mother ventures to go with the calf to her old grazing-ground. If she happens to be perceived, and notice is brought of her place of concealment, the owner proceeds with all the inmates of his house, some on horseback, others on foot, to give her a regular hunting; and it often takes days and even weeks to effect her capture.
The cattle are guided by an instinct somewhat similar, and no less wonderful, in their search for food in winter. Should the stock of hay or other fodder fail, their owners feel little concern, and only turn them loose to seek sustenance in the forest in which they wander to a