David Rands has kindly shared with readers of the Victorian Web his site about the life and works of W. B. Rands, the prolific writer of children's literature and originator of The Boy's Own Paper. Readers may wish to consult this site for more information about this little-known figure who had an immense influence upon Victorian children. [GPL]

This, if you please, is the Obstinate Cow, —
It all befell I will tell you how;
And that, if you please, is the Resolute Boy, —
He tugs at her tail, and he shouts, "Ahoy!"

It stands to reason, if you but think,
That the milk of an Obstinate Cow to drink
Must make a fellow grow obstinate —
There they are by the Manor-house gate

He breakfasted, year after year,
On the milk of the cow that you see here;
Her name is Dapple, his name is Jim;
He pulls the cow, and the cow pulls him.

On the gate of the Manor-house may be read
That trespassers will be prosecuted;
The boy is right and the cow is wrong,
But the cow, as it happens, is much more strong.

It does look awkward, and, if we attend,
We soon shall see how it all will end:
Th Squire had a boy who was weak of bone,
And very much wanting in will of his own.

Admiring the pluck of resolute Jim,
The Squire comes out, and he says to him,
"How came you so plucky?" and Jim says "How?
I lived on the milk of this Obstinate Cow!"

"Oh, oh!" said the Squire, exceedingly pleased,
Your father shall sell me this obstinate beast,
And you shall be cowherd." So said, so done, -
The boy and his father enjoyed the fun.

The Squire's little boy, who was weak of bone,
And very much wanting in will of his own,
Was fed on the milk of the Obstinate Cow,
And, oh, what a change! You should see him now!

His mind is not worth a threepenny-bit,
ÔTis dull as a ditch and as void of wit,
Yet he makes it up, and from day to day,
"Do change your mind!" the people say;
But his will is so strong that the people find
They cannot induce him to change his mind.


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Last modified 21 August 2005