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The Shieling: Its Traditions and Songs
By Mrs. Mary Mackellar

The rearing of their cows, and caring for their welfare, was It matter of great importance to the Highlanders of the past. Milk, in its different forms, was the food on which they chiefly depended for their existence. Tea had not yet unstrung the nerves of our great-grandmothers, nor given dyspepsia. to our healthy and longlived forefathers. Their only beverages to refresh or strengthen besides the "canaraich" of beef and venison- were from the cow; and their store of butter and cheese largely represented their winter provision. It was therefore of great consequence to them to have their cattle so fed that their yield of milk would not only be increased but enriched. Deer forests or large sheep farms did not then shut them out from the glens of their native hills. The people formed the wealth of the chief, and the stronger and more numerous they were, the greater was his importance as one of the decisive forces of his native land.

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