‘I’ll see who is in the mood for talking,” says Rosamund Young, strolling across a steep field on the Cotswold escarpment. “Hello, are you busy? You’re very nice, yes you are. Don’t walk off.” Young pauses, empathising with Celandine’s shyness. “She doesn’t like being photographed any more than I do.”
“She won’t know she’s being photographed,” harrumphs Graeme Robertson, the photographer. Or will she?
For Celandine is a pale, horned and handsome crossbreed cow. And Young has written The Secret Life of Cows, a book based on tending generations of cows on her family farm that challenges casual assumptions. If given liberty, cows form intense friendships. They communicate with people, invent games, babysit, forecast the weather and open closed gates. They can even self-medicate, choosing to eat certain plants when poorly. Most profoundly, Young has realised that this herd species is notably individual. Each