A Snippet About Haddock & Cows

“The haddock… amongst marine animals, is supposed, throughout maritime Europe, to be a privileged fish : even in austere Scotland every child can point out the impression of St Peter’s thumb, by which, from age to age, it is distinguished from fishes having, otherwise, an external resemblance. All domesticated cattle, having the benefit of man’s guardianship and care, are believed, throughout England and Germany, to go down upon their knees at one particular moment on Christmas Eve, when the fields are covered in darkness, when no eye looks down but that of God, and when the exact anniversary hour revolves of the angelic song, once rolling over the fields and flocks of Palestine.”

Hargrave Jennings, Curious Things Of The Outside World, Last Fire (1861)

One thought on “A Snippet About Haddock & Cows

  1. T Hardy wrote a poem on the animals kneeling down on Christmas Eve:

    The Oxen

    Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
    “Now they are all on their knees,”
    An elder said as we sat in a flock
    By the embers in hearthside ease.

    We pictured the meek mild creatures where
    They dwelt in their strawy pen.
    Nor did it occur to one of us there
    To doubt they were kneeling then.

    So fair a fancy few believe
    In these years! Yet, I feel,
    If someone said on Christmas Eve
    “Come; see the oxen kneel

    “In the lonely barton by yonder comb
    Our childhood used to know,”
    I should go with him in the gloom,
    Hoping it might be so.

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