The musings of Mr Monkeysized

Stump rope cows by nicholaswalton
February 3, 2011, 16:32
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I learned something this morning that made me feel uneasy while also tickling me pink.

Do you know what a ‘stump rope cow’ is? I do. It’s a Midwestern term for a cow that is tied up specifically for young chaps to, Ahem.

Did you also know that – along the same lines – in early-modern Scandinavia, young men were not allowed to herd cattle, because they, Ahem, the animals in their charge? Oh, and shepherds in Montana were also forbidden from wearing a particularly high type of boot, because it facilitated acts of Ahem with their sheep. Stone age folk also drew pictures of, Ahem, ungodly activities between humans and animals.

Isn’t the real world amazing?

I found these things out in an excellent podcast from New Books in History, looking at a book by Joyce Salisbury that examines views of animals in the Middle Ages.

The author made the excellent point that a vital part of understanding history is to look at the anomalies – for instance why did bestiality go suddenly from being alright in the eyes of the law to a capital crime?


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