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James Herriot quotes (showing 1-30 of 56)

“Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.”
James Herriot, James Herriot's Cat Stories
“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“A farmer once told me one of the greatest luxuries of his life was to wake up early only to go back to sleep again.”
James Herriot
“I seem to have spent a good part of my life - probably too much – in just standing and staring.”
James Herriot
“And the peace which I always found in the silence and emptiness of the moors filled me utterly”
James Herriot
tags: peace
“I think it was the beginning of Mrs. Bond's unquestioning faith in me when she saw me quickly enveloping the cat till all you could see of him was a small black and white head protruding from an immovable cocoon of cloth. He and i were now facing each other, more or less eyeball to eyeball, and George couldn't do a thing about it. As i say, I rather pride myself on this little expertise, and even today my veterinary colleagues have been known to remark, "Old Herriot may be limited in many respects, but by God he can wrap a cat.”
James Herriot, James Herriot's Cat Stories
“That quotation about not having time to stand and stare has never applied to me. I seem to have spent a good part of my life - probably too much - in just standing and staring and I was at it again this morning.”
James Herriot, It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet
“This old man had once told me that he left school when he was twelve, whereas I had spent most of the twenty-four years in my life in study. Yet when I looked back on the last hour or so I could come to only one conclusion. I'd had more of books, but he had more of learning.”
James Herriot, All Things Wise and Wonderful
“Over the years I knew her she always looked at me like that - as though I was a quite pleasant but amusing object - and it always did the same thing to me. It's difficult to put into words but perhaps I can best describe it by saying that if I had been a little dog I'd have gone leaping and gambolling around the room wagging my tail furiously.”
James Herriot, Let Sleeping Vets Lie
“My mind went back to that picture in the obstetrics book. A cow standing in the middle of a gleaming floor while a sleek veterinary surgeon in a spotless parturition overall inserted his arm to a polite distance. He was relaxed and smiling, the farmer and his helpers were smiling, even the cow was smiling. There was no dirt or blood or sweat anywhere.
That man in the picture had just finished an excellent lunch and had moved next door to do a bit of calving just for the sheer pleasure of it, as a kind of dessert. He hadn't crawled shivering from his bed at two o'clock in the morning and bumped over twelve miles of frozen snow, staring sleepily ahead till the lonely farm showed in the headlights. He hadn't climbed half a mile of white fell-side to the doorless barn where his patient lay.”
James Herriot, If Only They Could Talk
“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans. You’ve nothing to worry about there.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful: Three James Herriot Classics
“And there was that letter from the Bramleys—that really made me feel good. You don’t find people like the Bramleys now; radio, television and the motorcar have carried the outside world into the most isolated places so that the simple people you used to meet on the lonely farms are rapidly becoming like people anywhere else. There are still a few left, of course—old folk who cling to the ways of their fathers and when I come across any of them I like to make some excuse to sit down and talk with them and listen to the old Yorkshire words and expressions which have almost disappeared.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“I don't think he ever gave a thought to other people's opinions, which was just as well because they were often unkind”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“Everybody was asleep. Everybody except me, James Herriot, creeping sore and exhausted towards another spell of hard labour. Why the hell had I ever decided to become a country vet? I must have been crazy to pick a job where you worked seven days a week and through the night as well. Sometimes I felt as though the practice was a malignant, living entity; testing me, trying me out; putting the pressure on more and more to see just when at what point I would drop down dead.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“...and just then the thin boy yawned. I had labelled him as an ineffectual sort of lad but he certainly could yawn; it was a stretching, groaning, voluptuous paroxysm which drowned my words and it went on and on till he finally lay back, bleary and exhausted by the effort.”
James Herriot, Let Sleeping Vets Lie
“I went back to my conversation with Siegfried that morning; we had just about decided that the man with a lot of animals couldn't be expected to feel affection for individuals among them. But those buildings back there were full of John Skipton's animals - he must have hundreds. Yet what made him trail down that hillside every day in all weathers? Why had he filled the last years of those two old horses with peace and beauty? Why had he given them a final ease and comfort which he had withheld from himself? It could only be love.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“At times it seemed unfair that I should be paid for my work; for driving out in the early morning with the fields glittering under the first pale sunshine and the wisps of mist still hanging on the high tops.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“When all t'world goes one road, I go t'other.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“The dog did not move as the needle was inserted, and, as the barbiturate began to flow into the vein, the anxious expression left his face and the muscles began to relax. By the time the injection was finished, the breathing had stopped.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“Then the bull shook himself, turned his head and looked at us. There was an awed whisper from one of the young men: “By gaw, it’s working!” I enjoyed myself after that. I can’t think of anything in my working life that has given me more pleasure than standing in that pen directing the life-saving jet and watching the bull savouring it.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“It was to a moribund horse, and Mr. Sidlow, describing the treatment to date, announced that he had been pushing raw onions up the horse’s rectum; he couldn’t understand why it was so uneasy on its legs. Siegfried had pointed out that if he were to insert a raw onion in Mr. Sidlow’s rectum, he, Mr. Sidlow, would undoubtedly be uneasy on his legs.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“She’s out, Jim! The bugger’s out!” Well this was great. Anybody who has driven a car with a hysterical cat hurtling around the interior will appreciate my situation.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful: Three James Herriot Classics
“But Siegfried held up a restraining hand. “Just one moment,” he slurred. “The windscreen is very dirty. I’ll give it a rub for you.” The ladies watched him silently as he weaved round to the back of the car and began to rummage in the boot. The love light had died from their eyes. I don’t know why he took the trouble; possibly it was because, through the whisky mists, he felt he must re-establish himself as a competent and helpful member of the party. But the effort fell flat; the effect was entirely spoiled. He was polishing the glass with a dead hen.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“... a bullock, backing in alarm from the halter, crashed its craggy behind into my midriff. The wind shot out of me in a sharp hiccup, then the animal decided to turn round in the narrow passage, squashing me like a fly against the railings. I was pop-eyed as it scrambled round; I wondered whether the creaking was coming from my ribs or the wood behind me.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“No animal is a better judge of comfort than a cat”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful: Three James Herriot Classics
“Usually they looked past me hopefully and some even went and peered into the car to see if the man they really wanted was hiding in there. And it was uphill work examining an animal when its owner was chafing in the background, wishing with all his heart that I was somebody else. But I had to admit they were fair. I got no effusive welcomes and when I started to tell them what I thought about the case they listened with open scepticism, but I found that if I got my jacket off and really worked at the job they began to thaw a little.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“own. I am sure that is what the family remembered best about me because of the way the mother’s letter began. “Dear Vet with the bandaged finger …”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, and All Things Wise and Wonderful: Three James Herriot Classics
“I can't bear it, Mr. Herriot. He was like a Christian was that pig, just like a Christian.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“without warning, the thermometer disappeared from my fingers. Some sudden suction had drawn it inside the cow. I ran my fingers round just inside the rectum—nothing; I pushed my hand inside without success; with a feeling of rising panic I rolled up my sleeve and groped about in vain.”
James Herriot, All Creatures Great and Small
“if”
James Herriot, Every Living Thing

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