Book Reviews and Notices
Mountain Cattle. By Mary Kidder Rak. (Boston: Houghton-
Mifflin Company, 1936. Pp. viii, 275.)
In Mountain Cattle Mrs. Rak continues the story she began
two years ago in A Cowman's Wife-the story of life as she and
her husband lived it on a cattle ranch in Rucker Canyon, some
fifty miles north of Douglas, Arizona. The scenes for the two
books are the same; and so are most of the persons, though in
the ever-flowing stream of Mexican and Indian laborers who are
introduced some new ones come upon the scene. And the major
activities on the ranch have not changed appreciably. Yet Moun-
tain Cattle repeats nothing from the earlier book; for, as dis-
cerned through the keen observation of the very human Mrs. Rak,
no two days on the ranch are alike. Her new book, therefore, is
a fresh and down-to-earth picture of ranching in the 1930's.
Readers interested in the Western cattle sections of today will
appreciate warmly Mountain Cattle, for its picture is a true one-
realistic in the extreme but flavored throughout with something
of the zest which the author finds in her "most ordinary" exist-
ence. The methods of living and of handling cattle have changed;
there is no open range; the cattle are hauled to the railroad in
trucks; and drives rarely exceed forty miles. Still, much from the
old Southwest has held over. The inevitable greeting to the
stranger is yet, "Light and stop." And the cowman is of the old
stock. His humor and his cheerfulness in the face of adversity
persist. "The man whose wells are going dry says that he saw
two wasps fighting over the last drop in his water-tank. 'My cows
are doing fine,' declares another. 'They have learned to eat in
threes. Two hold up a rock while the third gets the grass that
grew under it.'"
University of Louisiana.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101099/. Accessed May 22, 2013.