Having done this a number of times, I smiled when I read Dorothy’s dilemma in passing the cow. They have an unnerving way of staring you out, which may be nothing more than the vaguest bovine curiosity. I have usually ended up doing a great meander to avoid them. Or turning back. Or planting another – ideally bigger – human being between me and the cow. Truly.
‘I went through the fields, & sate 1/2 an hour afraid to pass a Cow. The Cow looked at me & I looked at the cow & whenever I stirred the cow gave over eating.’ Thursday 18th March 1802
Source: Dorothy Wordsworth, The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals, ed. and introduction by Pamela Woof (Oxford: Oxford World’s Classics, 2008 (2002)), p. 80
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