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James Herriot All Creatures Great And Small Pdf Online

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By James Herriot. I lay face down on the cobbled floor in a pool of nameless muck, my arm deep inside the straining cow, my feet scrabbling for a toe hold between the stones.

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All Creatures Great and Small

By James Herriot. I lay face down on the cobbled floor in a pool of nameless muck, my arm deep inside the straining cow, my feet scrabbling for a toe hold between the stones.

I was stripped to the waist and the snow mingled with the dirt and the dried blood on my body. I could see nothing outside the circle of flickering light thrown by the smoky oil lamp which the farmer held over me. There was no mention anywhere of the gradual exhaustion, the feeling of futility and the little far-off voice of panic. My mind went back to that picture in the obstetrics book.

A cow standing in the middle of a gleaming floor while a sleek veterinary surgeon in a spotless parturition overall inserted his arm to a polite distance.

He was relaxed and smiling, the farmer and his helpers were smiling, even the cow was smiling. There was no dirt or blood or sweat anywhere. That man in the picture had just finished an excellent lunch and had moved next door to do a bit of calving just for the sheer pleasure of it, as a kind of dessert. I tried to wriggle my way an extra inch inside the cow. All the time my arm was being squeezed between the calf and the bony pelvis.

With every straining effort from the cow the pressure became almost unbearable, then she would relax and I would push the rope another inch. I wondered how long I would be able to keep this up. I groaned, set my teeth and reached forward again. Another little flurry of snow blew in and I could almost hear the flakes sizzling on my sweating back. There was sweat on my forehead too, and it trickled into my eyes as I pushed.

There is always a time at a bad calving when you begin to wonder if you will ever win the battle. I had reached this stage. Little speeches began to flit through my brain. Perhaps it would be better to slaughter this cow. In a roomy cow it would be simple enough to bring the head round but in this case it is just about impossible. Of course, I could have delivered the calf by embryotomy—by passing a wire over the neck and sawing off the head. So many of these occasions ended with the floor strewn with heads, legs, heaps of intestines.

There were thick text books devoted to the countless ways you could cut up a calf. But none of it was any good here, because this calf was alive. But this one had a spark of life in it and if it came out it would have to be in one piece. I went over to my bucket of water, cold now and bloody, and silently soaped my arms. Then I lay down again, feeling the cobbles harder than ever against my chest.

I worked my toes between the stones, shook the sweat from my eyes and for the hundredth time thrust an arm that felt like spaghetti into the cow; alongside the little dry legs of the calf, like sandpaper tearing against my flesh, then to the bend in the neck and so to the ear and then, agonisingly, along the side of the face towards the lower jaw which had become my major goal in life.

It was incredible that I had been doing this for nearly two hours; fighting as my strength ebbed to push a little noose round that jaw. I had tried everything else—repelling a leg, gentle traction with a blunt hook in the eye socket, but I was back to the noose.

It had been a miserable session all through. The farmer, Mr. Dinsdale, was a long, sad, silent man of few words who always seemed to be expecting the worst to happen. He had a long, sad, silent son with him and the two of them had watched my efforts with deepening gloom. But worst of all had been Uncle. When I had first entered the hillside barn I had been surprised to see a little bright-eyed old man in a pork pie hat settling down comfortably on a bale of straw.

He was filling his pipe and clearly looking forward to the entertainment. Now then, young man, he cried in the nasal twang of the West Riding. I farm over in Listondale. The old man looked me over, piercingly. My vet is Mr. Wonderful man, Mr. Broomfield, especially at calving. I managed a wan smile.

Any other time I would have been delighted to hear how good my colleague was, but somehow not now, not now. In fact, the words set a mournful little bell tolling inside me. Broomfield, I said, taking off my jacket and, more reluctantly, peeling my shirt over my head. Uncle was aghast. They think the world of him in Listondale, I can tell you. He lapsed into a shocked silence and applied a match to his pipe. Then he shot a glance at my goose-pimpled torso. Strips like a boxer does Mr.

Never seen such muscles on a man. A wave of weakness coursed sluggishly over me. I felt suddenly leaden-footed and inadequate. As I began to lay out my ropes and instruments on a clean towel the old man spoke again. Seven months! Uncle smiled indulgently, tamped down his tobacco and blew out a cloud of rank, blue smoke.

Give me experience every time. Broomfield always puts some special lubricating oils on his arms first, Uncle said, pulling contentedly on his pipe. He says you get infection of the womb if you just use soap and water. I made my first exploration. It was the burdened moment all vets go through when they first put their hand into a cow. Within seconds I would know whether I would be putting on my jacket in fifteen minutes or whether I had hours of hard labour ahead of me.

I was going to be unlucky this time; it was a nasty presentation. Head back and no room at all; more like being inside an undeveloped heifer than a second calver. And she was bone dry—the waters must have come away from her hours ago.

She had been running out on the high fields and had started to calve a week before her time; that was why they had had to bring her into this half-ruined barn. Anyway, it would be a long time before I saw my bed again. Well now, what have you found, young man? Head back, eh? I had heard this sort of nonsense before.

Like now, for instance; Uncle was obviously an accepted sage and the Dinsdales listened with deference to everything he said.

Another way with a job like this, continued Uncle, is to get a few strong chaps with ropes and pull the thing out, head back and all. I gasped as I felt my way around. The Dinsdales narrowed their eyes. And now, two hours later, defeat was just round the corner. I was just about whacked. I had rolled and grovelled on the filthy cobbles while the Dinsdales watched me in morose silence and Uncle kept up a non-stop stream of comment. His long trek up the hillside had been repaid a hundredfold.

His vitality was undiminished; he had enjoyed every minute. As I lay there, eyes closed, face stiff with dirt, mouth hanging open, Uncle took his pipe in his hand and leaned forward on his straw bale. Rage flooded through me like a draught of strong spirit. Gingerly, muttering a prayer, I pulled on the thin rope with my left hand and felt the slipknot tighten. I had hold of that lower jaw. At last I could start doing something. Now hold this rope, Mr.

Dinsdale, and just keep a gentle tension on it. I felt the small body moving away from me. Now a steady pull, Mr. Dinsdale, without jerking. The head was coming round. I could feel the neck straightening against my arm, then the ear touched my elbow. I let go the shoulder and grabbed the little muzzle. Keeping the teeth away from the vaginal wall with my hand, I guided the head till it was resting where it should be, on the fore limbs.

Quickly I extended the noose till it reached behind the ears. Now pull on the head as she strains.

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With an OverDrive account, you can save your favorite libraries for at-a-glance information about availability. Find out more about OverDrive accounts. James Herriot. Open Road Media. In the rolling dales of Yorkshire, a simple, rural region of northern England, a young veterinarian from Sunderland joins a new practice. A stranger in a strange land, he must quickly learn the odd dialect and humorous ways of the locals, master outdated equipment, and do his best to mend, treat, and heal pets and livestock alike. This witty and heartwarming collection, based on the author's own experiences, became an international success, spawning sequels and winning over animal lovers everywhere.

All creatures great and small.

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Herriot became one of the most universally loved authors of our time. In this first.

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