Thursday, July 16, 2015
Bessie (Blogophilia 21.8)
A lone cow stood placidly at the fence as the end of the day came. Smacking cud competed with the bullfrogs for the dominate sound. Bitter timothy hay mixed with sweet alfalfa, the mass shifted from front to back in her mouth. Every few minutes a bit of it would pass down her gullet and then back. In a repetitive motion that was controlled only by instinct she would dip her head to the ground for replacement. This was the way of her world.
It was much quieter in the pasture tonight. The old Farmer had a get-together last night. Twangy sounds came from the farmhouse, high pitched voices that made her nervous. The men seemed to like them though, hooting and hollering. Sweet smells came from the shed where they laid up the dead pigs. One of them must be getting burnt for some reason.
The men then laid up this huge ruckus. They brought out the fire spitting sticks and were taking turns pointing them at various things set up on an old oak stump. One would go boom and a shiny thing would fly like it was being pulled by a rope. One of them put a watermelon on and it spattered its fruit all over. That was so wasteful, she thought. Maybe she should go clean that up. But she wasn’t going anywhere near those noise makers.
As it got darker, they started making flame and putting it to some long thingamabobs. Some of them would snap and pop like the long sticks and everyone would scream and laugh. There were others that would jump in the sky. They would arc over the pasture and boom, to great approval. The horses galloped and reared at each noise. A bay mare about ran over her trying to get away, screaming something about they should be forever banned. The cow didn’t mind though. She had figured if she just stayed where she was, they wouldn’t hurt her.
Some of the boomy things looked like flowers against the moon. Were they tasty? As much as she could lift her head, she couldn’t reach them. They would rise and flower, rotate, twinkle and lose shape, dropping slowly back toward the ground. A light gray one would follow a dark one. A yellow one suddenly turned pink. This went on long after the sun went down. Finally, quiet came and everyone filed back to the house. Fun was over.
Bedding down, a dream came. She was in the pasture where the long, low building where the cows go in but never come out. It had been a while since she had been turned out here and a strange feeling began to come over her. The bull said everyone went there. But even he didn’t know what happened after you went in, but it apparently was the end. Was it time to go in there?
No, it wasn’t her time. She knew it.
The Farmer approached with the looped rope. Turning away from him, she trotted toward the fence, mooing loudly. The bull would be proud to see the brown and white flash, not worrying about the barbed wire or anything else. As she was running her tail rose, a soft pie came out.
The Farmer’s boot landed square in the muck. Then the strangest thing happened. A large boom was followed by liquefaction of the ground behind her. What was in her feed last night? The Farmer sailed high in the air, followed by a pink dish and a blue spoon. sailing over the moon. The ground sank, taking the low slaughterhouse with it. Evening’s empire had returned into sand. The dream had reached its destination.
The round eyes blinked, pools of mud set in concrete. Yellow sun was visible through the trees past the far fence. Nothing had happened. Nothing had changed. With a bit of a struggle, her feet were regained and she lolled back to the fence. The sound of smacking cud competed with the hay baler as the new day began.
Two Dylan lyrics used: 1)They're forever banned (from "Blowing in the Wind") and Evening's empire returned into sand (from Mr. Tambourine Man).
Pic guesses: Over the moon (in blog), Moonstruck, Midsummer night's dream, Lunar dance, Howling, Stand by me.