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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Uncommon History. Columbus' Cow.


The history of the Netherlands is the history of a maritime people thriving on a watery lowland river delta at the edge of northwestern Europe. The Netherlands is also the home of the Dutch Friesian cow, herds of which Dutch dairy farmers tended  on the verdant, tulip poxed plains. Both farmers and sailors lived completely oblivious to the significance of the peculiar, follicular, accoutrements of their bovine companions. For centuries they lived in bucolic ignorance with the key to the entire world right under their noses.
All this was to change in 1473 when an adventurous young man named Columbus began his apprenticeship as business agent for the important Centurione, Di Negro and Spinola Families of Genoa.
In May 1476, he took part in an armed convoy sent by Genoa to carry a valuable cargo to northern Europe. He docked in Bristol, England; Galway, Ireland and  Rotterdam in 1477, where he noticed these cows being loaded onto a barge on his evening stroll. The penny dropped and the rest, they say, is history.

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6 comments:

  1. I wonder how good they'd be as steaks...

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  2. If he had really studied these cows carefully, he would have known he hit another continent instead of India. Interesting. Just stopped by from BPOTW.

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  3. That's a valid point. I'm guessing he made up the India story to throw people off. If he'd said there was the new world out there people would have laughed unless he told them about the cows of course

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