In addition to the common breeds, Oliphant mentions having seen, near the city of Volsk,in this province, " an immense herd of sheep, which seemed, from their conformation in certain quarters, to have been created expressly for the purpose of being melted into tallow, as their wool—of a very inferior description—was of little value. What added to the grotesqueness of their appearance, was their perfect innocence of anything like tails ! Nature seemed to have compromised this absence with a fleecy 'bustle,' which sat upon them in the most ridiculous and undignified manner. However, to these bustles does Volsk owe its prosperity ; large herds of sheep, graced by this peculiarity, being driven up annually from the steppes of the Caspian to the towns on the Volga. The consignee of the flock we were then contempl ating was said to be the richest merchant on the river—the countless millions of roubles which he was reputed to possess throwing Rothschild far into the shade!"
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Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855