1 The hens perched themselves on the window-sills, the pigeons fluttered up to the rafters, the sheep and cows lay down behind the pigs and began to chew the cud.
2 This single farm of ours would support a dozen horses, twenty cows, hundreds of sheep--and all of them living in a comfort and a dignity that are now almost beyond our imagining.
3 The cows lowed it, the dogs whined it, the sheep bleated it, the horses whinnied it, the ducks quacked it.
4 The men had milked the cows in the early morning and then had gone out rabbiting, without bothering to feed the animals.
5 One of the cows broke in the door of the store-shed with her horn and all the animals began to help themselves from the bins.
6 But at this moment the three cows, who had seemed uneasy for some time past, set up a loud lowing.
7 After a little thought, the pigs sent for buckets and milked the cows fairly successfully, their trotters being well adapted to this task.
8 Bulls which had always been tractable suddenly turned savage, sheep broke down hedges and devoured the clover, cows kicked the pail over, hunters refused their fences and shot their riders on to the other side.
9 The cows declared unanimously that Snowball crept into their stalls and milked them in their sleep.
10 Then there was silence; and a cow coughed; and that led her to say how odd it was, as a child, she had never feared cows, only horses.
11 A hen strayed in; a file of cows passed the door; then a sheep dog; then the cowman, Bond, who stopped.
12 Uninvited, unexpected, droppers-in, lured off the high road by the very same instinct that caused the sheep and the cows to desire propinquity, they had come.
13 The cows were motionless; the brick wall, no longer sheltering, beat back grains of heat.
14 Yet the stage was empty; only the cows moved in the meadows; only the tick of the gramophone needle was heard.
15 The cows, making a step forward, then standing still, were saying the same thing to perfection.