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Turnips make for a strange diet. The cows hardly know them as food, so I’ve begun to mash them up and slice the roots into chips. It’s a “serving suggestion”, and the beasts will soon learn.

It’s grand work chopping turnips and I love it. I get up early just to do it. Strike a neep with a shovel and relish that crisp, barky split as it hangs around you; what a noise. And it smells good, and the flesh is clean and creamy enough that I’ll forgive you for picking it up and eating slabs of it yourself – one for you, one for me and the cattle can wait.

The cold weather has taken all the pepper out of that flavour; they used to be spicy, but now they’re plain and sweet and I could cut those turnips all day; chopping and splitting and dicing the food in the frost.

Cows come to bustle around me as I strike and sweat and lean upon the shovel shank. A raven sees it all and has no comment.


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