If you are of a certain age your farming world has been influenced in some respect by the classic of vet and farming life.
James Herriot’s thrilling work All Creatures Great and Small details his life and adventures in post war rural Yorkshire. Starting from his first call out to a difficult calving in the dead of winter the reader is delved head first into the life of a practicing large animal vet.
The books cast of characters are dominated by Siegfried Farnon the owner and head of the veterinary practice where the young Herriot has come to cut his teeth. The eccentric and charming vet hires Herriot after a trial period and what follows are the adventures of Herriots early years.
Each chapter tells a different story from the vets working life and through them we meet the farmers that inhabit the rural Yorkshire area. From soft spoken men to hard grafters the stories detail how farming has shaped and indeed changed the men. In particular one story stands out over a poor farmer purchasing his first cow only to have the animal come down with an illness. Herriot tries to treat the animal but gives her up as a lost cause only for the beast to pull through. A lesson that sometimes the less done the better.
Inspired by Herriot’s real life vet work and having sold more than 80 million copies worldwide the book has inspired a new generation of farmers and vets and no farming household should be without an edition.
Reading the book brings back a simpler time in farming but also makes one rediscover the joy in the one of the oldest of professions that of the farmer.
Indeed so successful was the book that it spawned sequals and a hit tv series which ran for over a decade.
You can find the book any bookshop nationwide. Enjoy it.