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History of Animals   


in order comes the cow. In fact, the mare is said to go a-horsing; and
the term derived from the habits of this one animal serves as a term
of abuse applicable to such females of the human species as are
unbridled in the way of sexual appetite. This is the common phenomenon
as observed in the sow when she is said to go a-boaring. The mare is
said also about this time to get wind-impregnated if not impregnated
by the stallion, and for this reason in Crete they never remove the
stallion from the mares; for when the mare gets into this condition
she runs away from all other horses. The mares under these
circumstances fly invariably either northwards or southwards, and
never towards either east or west. When this complaint is on them they
allow no one to approach, until either they are exhausted with fatigue
or have reached the sea. Under either of these circumstances they
discharge a certain substance 'hippomanes', the title given to a
growth on a new-born foal; this resembles the sow-virus, and is in
great request amongst women who deal in drugs and potions. About
horsing time the mares huddle closer together, are continually
switching their tails, their neigh is abnormal in sound, and from
the sexual organ there flows a liquid resembling genital sperm, but
much thinner than the sperm of the male. It is this substance that
some call hippomanes, instead of the growth found on the foal; they
say it is extremely difficult to get as it oozes out only in small
drops at a time. Mares also, when in heat, discharge urine frequently,
and frisk with one another. Such are the phenomena connected with
the horse.
Cows go a-bulling; and so completely are they under the
influence of the sexual excitement that the herdsmen have no control
over them and cannot catch hold of them in the fields. Mares and
kine alike, when in heat, indicate the fact by the upraising of
their genital organs, and by continually voiding urine. Further,
kine mount the bulls, follow them about; and keep standing beside
them. The younger females both with horses and oxen are the first to
get in heat; and their sexual appetites are all the keener if the
weather warm and their bodily condition be healthy. Mares, when
clipt of their coat, have the sexual feeling checked, and assume a
downcast drooping appearance. The stallion recognizes by the scent the
mares that form his company, even though they have been together
only a few days before breeding time: if they get mixed up with
other mares, the stallion bites and drives away the interlopers. He
feeds apart, accompanied by his own troop of mares. Each stallion
has assigned to him about thirty mares or even somewhat more; when a
strange stallion approaches, he huddles his mares into a close ring,
runs round them, then advances to the encounter of the newcomer; if
one of the mares make a movement, he bites her and drives her back.
The bull in breeding time begins to graze with the cows, and fights
with other bulls (having hitherto grazed with them), which is termed
by graziers 'herd-spurning'. Often in Epirus a bull disappears for
three months together. In a general way one may state that of male
animals either none or few herd with their respective females before
breeding time; but they keep separate after reaching maturity, and the
two sexes feed apart. Sows, when they are moved by sexual desire, or
are, as it is called, a-boaring, will attack even human beings.
With bitches the same sexual condition is termed 'getting into
heat'. The sexual organ rises at this time, and there is a moisture
about the parts. Mares drip with a white liquid at this season.
Female animals are subject to menstrual discharges, but never in
such-abundance as is the female of the human species. With ewes and
she-goats there are signs of menstruation in breeding time, just
before the for submitting to the male; after copulation also the signs
are manifest, and then cease for an interval until the period of
parturition arrives; the process then supervenes, and it is by this
supervention that the shepherd knows that such and such an ewe is
about to bring forth. After parturition comes copious menstruation,
not at first much tinged with blood, but deeply dyed with it by and

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