From the Pages of the Rural New-Yorker …

Reader Contribution by Sam Moore
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Sam Moore

From the pages of the Rural New-Yorker

A Snake Story, June 23, 1883
The best Jersey cow of a writer in the N.Y. Times, a very quiet, petted animal, and a remarkably steady and even milker, came home a short time ago for three afternoons consecutively with less than the usual quantity of milk. This caused inquiry and a watch was kept upon the cow. The cause was discovered by an accident. The cow was lying down in somewhat deep grass near a row of pear trees, when examining the pear blossoms and casually looking over to where the cow was lying, a large black-snake was seen quietly sucking the cow, which seemed quite oblivious of the liberty taken with her. The snake was killed, and was 49 inches long and 7-1/2 inches round at the largest part. It was perfectly gorged with milk.

How Cheap Can We Live? Oct. 31, 1857
Pretty cheap, if we please. Witness a Mr. Thoreau, of Massachusetts, who having borrowed an axe, went down to the shores of Walden Pond, where he built a hut of hewn logs, which he occupied for two years, supporting himself on fruits of the earth, raised by his own hands. During eight months of this period he kept an account of his expenses, which amounted to $60, including $29 paid for materials for his house. (About $1,370 and $660 in today’s terms, respectively. – Ed.)

Sure and Safe Remedies for Fits, May 2, 1850
For a Fit of Passion – Walk out in the open air; you may speak your mind to the winds without hurting anyone, or proclaiming yourself to be a simpleton.

For a Fit of Idleness – Count the tickings of a clock. Do this for one hour, and you will be glad to pull off your coat and go to work.

For a Fit of Extravagance and Folly – Go to the workhouse, or speak with the ragged and wretched inmates of a jail, and you will be convinced that “Who makes his bed of brier and thorn, Must be content to lie forlorn.”

For a Fit of Ambition – Go into the church-yard and read the grave stones; they will tell you the end of ambition. The grave will soon be your bedchamber, earth your pillow, corruption your father, and the worm your mother and sister.

And, on that cheerful note, I’ll end this look at the wit and wisdom of the Rural New-Yorker, first published on Jan. 3, 1850.

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