I am an Agister. Hint: Old English. Has to do with Cattle

According to the List of Old English professions, I am an agister:  a person who affords pasture to the livestock of others for a price. (e.g. cattle, pigs, sheep, ponies, horses) Can also refer to forest pasturage or herbage.

Glad to know I belong to an ancient tradition. My fields are full of cattle who graze and doze and swish flies all summer, then go home to their nice warm barn when the weather turns.  I keep a fierce but invisible bull to scare off fence breaking birders and would be hunters.  The visible herd all placid cows tending their young.

Nothing out there is slated to become a burger, at least not yet.  My cattle are from a cow calf operation.  The cows arrive with their babies and raise them all summer.  By the fall, the calves are hulking teenagers ready for sale. The farmers who buy them will raise the heifers to calf-producing adulthood.  The young steers, sleek and plump, can look forward to burgerdom next fall.  The cows in my pasture already carry the calf they will bring back next spring.

If I were in Ye Olde England, I, the cowherder, would have use for a cow leech (early veteranarian) and an ankle beater (young person to help drive the cattle to market). I might sell to a cowkeeper who needed a cow to keep behind her city house so she could sell the milk from her window each morning.  More than one cow might require a dey wife (female dairy worker).

Katie, a character in my historical novel, The Tomorrow Country, had probably never met a cow up close, she lived in such a poor, overcrowded part of East End London.  Other Home children rescued from such conditions and sent to farms in Canada, had to conquer  quaking terror of large farm animals they had never seen before.

 

 

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