In Praise of Fiction

photo by Elizabeth Weller, used with permission

While skirting the headlines of the local paper last week, I was delighted at a little gem tucked away at the bottom the front page. The article chronicled a London theater group’s attempts to determine if being exposed to Shakespeare would increase milk production in a herd of dairy cows. The Changeling Theatre Company performed scenes from The Merry Wives of Windsor for Friesian cows at a Kent dairy farm.

We selected scenes from the play we felt to be lyrical and relaxing, said Rob Forknall, artistic director for the group.

Milk production was found to increase by four percent.

It is believed that exposure to the Bard’s work relaxed the cows, therefore boosting milk production.

I’ve never read Shakespeare to bovines, but I can vouch for the relaxation effect of a good piece of literature. Stories soothe the wild beast. And, um, the more placid, cud-chewing, lactating one (apparently).

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  1. says

    I loved this and I agree wholeheartedly with you!

    Story is wondrous — that’s all there is to it. Reading is a great place for kids to begin to learn discernment, to figure out how other people feel and approach life…and it’s just plain fun.

    Wonderful post, Laura.

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