The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939 Page: 197
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The First Cattle in Texas and the Southwest
of any other man perhaps, found "diminution in the sense of
smell the greatest change attending domestication of buffaloes."
Running wild, they would scent a man or any other enemy two
miles, sometimes four miles, away on the windward side. They
hardly relied on their eyes for warning. Put in a pasture and
fed, they so lost their sense of smell that they came to depend
upon sight and sound. The wild Spanish cattle were as keen-
scented as the buffalo.
And this sense of smell, along with such distinct characteristics
as stamina, fierceness, stag-like muscles, the instinct for self-
preservation, they stamped into or accentuated in the stock that
emerged as Longhorns. Branded and unbranded alike, through
long years they went on merging with other cattle into a stock
wild and hardy. They were the chief progenitors of the Long-
horns. As long as the Longhorns remained dominant on the
ranges of southern Texas, until the 1880's, many alert zorrillas,0
In the popular mind buffaloes by the multiplied millions are
indelibly associated with the Great Plains, but the plentiful herds
that once ranged between Buffalo on Lake Erie and Buffalo Mills
on the southern line of Pennsylvania have long been forgotten.
The buffaloes of the Great Plains made history, romance, drama,
adventure, supplied food, shelter, arms, raiment to the Plains
Indians and even motivated their religion. The Longhorns made
even more history, romance, drama, adventure, determined the
ways of the white men who followed them. They yet hold a
firm place in the memories of millions of human beings on two
hemispheres who have never seen a wild animal amid native sur-
roundings. The Moorish cattle, wild and black, that the Spaniards
planted from the West Indies to the Pacific coast of upper
California have, like the buffaloes of New York and Pennsylvania,
been forgotten in the remembrance of a vaster breed. But a hun-
as the border country terms the color, preserved their identity
dred years ago they were far more numerous than has been gen-
erally supposed; they too had character and projected them-
selves into history.
J. FRANK DOBIE.
The University of Texas.
soZorrilla means polecat, and because of their color-black, with a "lime
back," white speckles often flecking sides and belly-cattle showing
markings of the original breed were so called.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939, periodical, 1939; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/m1/219/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.