The Shieling: Its Traditions and
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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