Chewing the Cud

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Chewing the Cud is the autobiography of Dick King-Smith, a British farmer and writer. It was published by Penguin Books in 2001 in a Viking edition with illustrations by Harry Horse, as a hardcover with the ISBN 067089964X.

Chewing the Cud covers Dick King-Smith's youth, his time as a farmhand, soldier, unsuccessful farmer, salesperson (briefly), then author and minor television personality. Much of it is about the animals who are part of his life: farm animals (particularly the cows and pigs), pets, and the local wildlife. Dick King-Smith also writes about the origin of several of his children's books and characters.

Dick King-Smith wrote:

"A large number of my books rely heavily on anthropomorphism [...] giving certain human characteristics to what is not human, namely an animal. Much use has always been made of it in children's literature. [...] I don't dress my animal characters up in human clothes, but I do make use of the anthropomorphic tradition to give them certain human characterisitics that they might not possess in real life [...] Above all else, I can give them the power to speak, to use the English language to convey their thoughts, their reactions, their sense of humour, their relationships.
"It's a very thin tightrope to walk, is anthropomorphism. I just hope that I, mostly, don't fall off it."[1]


  1. King-Smith, Dick. Chewing the Cud. London: Penguin Books, 2001. p.182-183.