Cook was very glad that they would be able to have plenty of milk, cream, and butter, eggs and poultry, for there were no shops in that desolate region, and she could not provide breakfasts and dinners out of nothing.
Janet, the eldest girl, clapped her hands when she saw the chickens running about the field in front of the house, the sheep and cows a little farther off, and beyond, on the moors, the dearest little black ponies, with shaggy coats and long manes and tails. From the window she saw a girl crossing the field towards a gate where two big lambs were bleating their loudest and trying to wriggle through the bars. She rushed downstairs and across the field and found that Kate, the farmer's daughter, was carrying the tame lambs their supper.
'Why do you feed them and not the others?' Janet asked?
'The other lambs have their own mothers to feed them,' Kate told her; 'but these two are orphans, so we have to bring them up by hand.'
'Oh, what dears they are!' Janet cried, as they[Pg 270] began to jump and frolic about her and about Kate, in eager expectation of their supper.
Then Kate filled a bottle with warm milk and tied the finger of a kid glove over it, through which the lambs sucked eagerly in turn, each trying to get a bigger share than his brother, and needing some quite severe pats to keep them in order. A little corn was given them as a second course, and, when nothing more was to be had, they gambolled away and joined the games of the wilder members of the flock.
'Now I must call the calves,' Kate said. 'Will you carry the bottle, because I shall want both my hands free?'
Janet could not quite understand this until, after a call by Kate, six calves came galloping up from a distant part of the field. She held out her fingers, and the nearest calves took them in their mouths, and so she ran towards the farmyard, a calf clinging to each hand and the others following close behind. Here she had two pails of milk, and with one hand in each let the calves find her fingers and so lap up the milk.
'What greedy things!' Janet cried. 'How they shove and push! You are clever to let each get his proper share.'
'They are just like children, and want some training and scolding to make them behave properly,' Kate said. 'That big one is a most masterful creature, and sometimes he upsets the pail and nearly upsets me too.'
The next morning Janet had proof of this. She was in the kitchen, watching Cook make some pastry, when in through the door a great creature bounded, knocking over one chair, and thrusting his head into a large bowl of milk which was standing on another. The milk poured over in a white flood on the floor. Cook screamed, and brandished her rolling-pin.
'It's a great, fierce bull!' she cried. 'Oh, Miss Janet, run for your life while I chase him out of the kitchen!'
'Nonsense, Cook,' Janet said, catching hold of the frightened woman's arm; 'it is only the masterful calf, and I think it is very clever of him to find his own breakfast!'