The Real Reason Why Highland Cattle Have Long Hair

The Real Reason Why Highland Cattle Have Long Hair

If you have ever been to Scotland and traveled on one of their many narrow roads. Roads where you might have accidentally rubbed the side of your rental car against a stone wall running directly alongside the road. And although you tell the rental company that you are not used to driving on the wrong side of the road—very narrow roads, mind you — and that you were in imminent danger of hitting a passing vehicle motoring the other direction, they still expect you to pay for damages. Then you probably have spotted a cow with long, wavy orangish brown hair and long curvy horns. 

These are Highland cattle, a breed native to Scotland. Upon sighting this wondrous creature, you probably wondered why they have such long wavy hair. Many scientists believe it is due to the northern climate where they roam. This seems obvious. But leading animal scholars, such as myself, are obligated to look beyond the obvious and find the more interesting, truer answers. 

I have done extensive research on the topic and discovered that before the 17th century highland cattle had short hair. Then by chance one of the cows learned to whistle. It enjoyed whistling so much that it taught three other cows how to whistle. They began writing their own whistling songs and toured the highlands performing for the other cows. They called themselves “The Peeples.” 

In order to attract the attention of other cows and hopefully get them to attend shows, they started growing their hair longer. Each of the four had its own hairstyle. They became very popular. Soon all the young cows started growing their hair long also. Eventually, it became commonplace and no one cared any longer. 

The Peeples eventually got sick of each other and “the trail.” They broke up, but the hair remained a part of highland cattle culture. 

Even now if you wear a highland grass suit and lay very still on the ground for multiple days, you are likely to hear one of the cows whistle one of the old Peeples songs. 

-Jude, The Animal Expert Dude


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