A Scottish Highland Cow Is Not a Yak!
When I used to live in the rugged mountains of Colorado, I had a Scottish Highland Cow for a neighbor.
I lived in the middle-of-nowhere in a town with one traffic light. Of course, my house was way out of “town,” up in a thick evergreen forest that got burned to the ground one year – but that’s a different story.
Down the red dirt road, past half-abandoned trailers and log homes that blended in with the forest, lived the Scottish Highland Cow. I didn’t always know that he was a Scottish Highland Cow. I used to call him a Yak. But a neighbor kindly informed me that it was indeed not a yak (no matter how fun that is to say) but a cow.
He was an orange mangy beast with knobbly horns on his head and a look of utter boredom on his face. His shaggy hair was left uncombed. He stood still under the evergreens, and I don’t remember ever seeing him move. I suppose he looked like a cow somewhere under his enormous coat of orange hair, but I always thought of him as a yak – you know, the kind of yak that the Yeti keeps in the Himalayas. But this was the Rocky Mountains, and I don’t believe the Yeti knows how to travel by sea.
Some things I've learned about Highland Cattle:
They are indeed from Scotland, originating in the Highlands and western islands.
Highlanders have existed for hundreds of years.
They are the oldest registered breed of cattle.
Highland cattle have been exported to many places around the world.
They were bred from black and reddish cows.
They can be colored black as well as orange.
They are hardy, long-living, and... nutritious.
A Highland cattle herd is called a “fold.”
Both female and male Highlanders have horns.
Highland cows enjoy harsh conditions.
They are smarter than other cows.
Why a Highland Cow Is Not a Yak:
- Yaks are used to play polo; Cows are not.
- Yaks are used to aid in uphill skiing; Cows are not.
- “Yak” is fun to say; “Cow” is not.
- Yak secretion is used in Nepalese medicine; Cow secretion (as far as I know) is not.
- Yaks are not orange; Cows are sometimes.
A Scottish Highland Cow...
...Is Not a Yak
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