Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Cow’s Tail.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Cow’s Tail.
“Always behind, like a cow’s tail.” “Tanquam coda vituli.” (Petronius.)   1
   The cow knows not the worth of her tail till she loses it, and is troubled with flies, which her tail brushed off.   2
“What we have we prize not to the worth
Whiles we enjoy it; but being lack’d and lost,
Why, then we rack the value.”
Shakespeare: Much Ado about Nothing, iv. 1.



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