Among the books in the RIMC library was Plain Words: A Guide to the Use of English, by Sir Ernest Gowers, published by His Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO), London, in 1948. (This book reached the RIMC Library soon after its publication.) The book (together with other sequel volumes) was written at the invitation of the (UK) Treasury. It is concerned particularly with the use of English by officials.
The book has an essay on the cow, written by a small boy. I reproduce that below for everyone's edification. The author writes:
"Why do so many writers prefer pudder to simplicity? It seems to be a morbid condition contracted in early manhood. Children show no signs of it. Here, for example, is the response of a child of ten to an invitation to write an essay on a bird and a beast. … The writer had something to say and said it as clearly as he could and so has unconsciously achieved style.”
The bird that I am going to write about is the Owl. The Owl cannot see at all by day and at night is as blind as a bat.
I do not know much about the Owl, so I will go on to the beast which I am going to choose. It is the Cow. The Cow is a mammal. It has six sides – right, left, an upper and below. At the back it has a tail on which hangs a brush. With this it sends the flies away so that they do not fall into the milk. The head is for the purpose of growing horns and so that the mouth can be somewhere. The horns are to butt with, and the mouth is to moo with. Under the cow hangs the milk. It is arranged for milking. When people milk, the milk comes and there is never an end to the supply. How the cow does it I have not yet realised, but it makes more and more. The cow has a fine sense of smell; one can smell it far away. This is the reason for the fresh air in the country.
The man cow is called an ox. It is not a mammal. The cow does not eat much, but what it eats it eats twice, so that it gets enough. When it is hungry it moos, and when it says nothing it is because its inside is all full up with grass.