Clancy the Courageous Cow

by Lachie Hume (Omnibus Scholastic Australia Malvern South Australia 2006)

peace with ourselves-peace with each other

recommended but unavailable - maybe a copy in your local library


Being different to other Galloways was not easy for Clancy. He was treated differently, too, by them. They could not imagine what it would be like to be different either. Clancy tried to remedy the situation but to no avail until one night he met Helga. Secret meetings between them allowed Clancy to grow into a very powerful contender for a competition with the Herefords, a competition the Galloways before had never been able to win. This clever and entertaining story is for all ages to enjoy and share together contains many peace-building elements:

  • happy endings

  • everyone winning

  • nonviolent resolution

  • imaginative and creative

  • challenges existing stereotyping

  • faith and hope

  • peace with the environment

  • finding personal peace

  •     … element that supports the idea that peace is possible

Clancy proved to his fellow Galloways that being different was not such a bad thing. Instead of being pitied Clancy became a hero and the Galloways no longer feared their rivals. But Clancy knew the situation could not continue. Clancy declared:

“Black, white or red, we are all cows.”

This story honours the peace maker Clancy who insisted upon a win-win outcome for all the cows whether they were Galloways or Herefords or a new cross breed. He knew all the cows could live harmoniously together and share the paddock as there was plenty of grass for them all.

Critical questions to explore with children 

  • Why was Clancy different from the other Galloways?
  • Did his parents treat him differently? 
  • Why did the other Galloways pity Clancy?
  • How were grazing rights determined each year?
  • How did Clancy become a powerful contender for the wrestling competition?
  • Why did Helga understand Clancy's problem?
  • Does the story have a happy win-win ending?

Creative questions to explore with children

  • Why did the Herefords have continual control over the rights to the paddock?
  • Why did the Galloway's white belts really disadvantage them?
  • Why do you think the Galloways wanted to chase the Herefords out of the paddock?
  • Why do you think the Galloways and the Herefords began to get along well after they all decided to listen to Clancy?
  • Do you think Clancy would have wanted to continue wrestling?
  • How else could the story have ended with win-win?

© Teaching and Learning for Peace Foundation January 2007

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