Emigrants and Cattle

“The wagon-train emigrants remained for months cheek by jowl with more cattle than they had ever seen before; rode behind them; walked ahead of them; took their dust; drank milk from their tired cows; ate beef from the lame oxen butchered to get the last ounce of use from their faithful carcasses; slept on stormy nights with them tied restlessly to the wagon wheels while their horns poked bulges in the canvas tops; desperately kept themselves and their children from under stampeding hooves—or sometimes despairingly failed; endured cow hair on their clothes and in their food; drank water sullied by cattle and by buffalo; cooked with their droppings; and everlastingly—day and night—lived with the noise and smell of cattle.”