Peter Jerram compiled Cock and Bull Stories, a collection of humorous heartland stories with fellow country vet Peter Anderson.Recently retired, Jerram now grows figs and is a Marlborough District Councillor. He has served on the Veterinary Council of New Zealand for three years. In Cock and Bull Stories, these two Marlborough vets tell tales of the animals they have treated and the people who own them. These glimpses into the reality of a rural vet’s life are essential reading for animal lovers or anyone interested in stories from the heartland of New Zealand.
Jerram also co-authored the classic natural training manual for sheep dogs, I Am a Working Dog, along with experienced farmer and sheepdog trainer Michael Oliver, and the late Tony Sheild, farmer, sheepdog breeder and triallist. This practical, step-by-step guide to training sheepdogs the natural way was reissued in a revised edition due to popular demand. In it Jerram, an authority on canine reproduction, provides helpful advice on all aspects of successful breeding. The book also recounts the fascinating history of sheepdogs in New Zealand, and is accompanied by anecdotes and descriptions of life from the sheepdog’s point of view. David Henshaw, renowned for his drawings of rural life, provides detailed instructional drawings as well as his inimitable cartoons.
The Timaru Herald pronounced Cock and Bull Stories a ‘bloody good read’ which had the reviewer ‘laughing out loud’.
The reviewer in the Nelson Mail singled out the distinctive voice in which Cock and Bull is written: ‘Both authors write in a typical kiwi vernacular. Typical of vets, they don’t pussyfoot around niceties; they tell it like it is.’ The Waikato Times said: ‘There is something unpretentiously wholesome about this book . . . Both authors show a remarkable ability to tell a yarn with a touch of poignancy.’
While the Marlborough Express noted that the tales captured the ‘lifestyle and values’ of ‘farming families’, the reviewer in Countrywide found that the book operated on a range of levels: ‘Buy it and be prepared to be amused . . . [by the] highly entertaining and insightful stories . . . These two friends are not afraid to rattle cages such as animal welfare during live shipments, the dominance of vineyards, and the inability of some farmers to pay on time. They do it in such a charming way they will remain immensely popular and respected.’