The first memory I had of my calfhood was observing the breasts of my mother being sucked by metallic machines that whooshed all the milk out of her breast. I could see the reflection of my big round eyes on the dirty surface of the machine and I hated it. I hated that whooshing machine that ate all the milk that belonged to me. I never understood why I can’t directly suck the milk out of her breasts and why I have to drink it from a small plastic bottle that smelled like burnt skin.

Since then I felt a gap in my heart. A feeling of loss. A feeling like being betrayed without knowing the reason. It wasn’t the worst feeling I had. I saw worse. My calfhood wasted in a very big warehouse where all of us spent days and nights. We slept there, ate there, and did number one and two there. We did everything there. I never saw sunlight till today. The only light I saw was the rays that came through the cracks of the ceiling where the rain and snow could sneak in as well.

The bigger cows were chained but the calves were free to run around when there were no breast sucking machines around. One day I met Uncle Jojo. Uncle Jojo claimed that he is the eldest member of this warehouse since it was just an open area called “Shamble”. He said the cows he grew up with all abducted.  He had only three legs and he told me that he lost it in a battle with the humans. I was excited to know more. I wanted to know what is happening outside of the walls. Who are these humans that come and go every day and took some of the cows with them? Uncle Jojo told me that the outside world was beautiful. He explained that the sun looked like a giant bucket of yellow grass. He told me about the things called trees and he said that the trees together form forests. He said they’re green. He told me about fresh colorful flowers grew in the vast fields of wet grass. He described that when you chew them they are crunchy and fresh and they smell like the sweetest mother milk you can ever taste.

“But Uncle Jojo. How can we go out?”

“You need to grow up fast and the humans will take you out”

I was so excited to meet Uncle Jojo and at night, I explained to my mother how I want to grow to a cow as fast as possible to be able to get out and see the outside world.

“I want to go with them,” I told my mother.

“Don’t dare to say that. I hope it’s never your turn” she sighed.

“But why mom? Why don’t you want me to be outside?”

“Sleep little Bundo. Sleep, my dear. The outside world is cruel. There is nothing kind about it”

“But I want to see the sunlight. Uncle Jojo told me it’s so beautiful”

“Uncle Jojo is crazy”

“He’s not crazy” I protested, “he’s smart and he knows what happened outside. Have you ever been outside?” I yelled at her.

I remember how the tears boiled in her big glossy eyes, how her cheeks trembled and how she sighed. I never forgive myself to hate her that much that night. That night I didn’t sleep with her. I went to a corner and slept alone as I felt she is selfish and unfair. I wanted to explore. I wanted to run. I wanted to breathe the fresh air of the forest as Uncle Jojo explained. This place was dark, was humid and was smelly.

I woke up with the sound of the truck. The cows were chewing on their morning dried grass. I ran to see the truck. I was thinking maybe humans would take me with them. I ran around them, I smiled, I said hi but they didn’t even look at me. They were saying something to each other that I didn’t understand. Then I saw my mom. They were dragging her to the truck. She was refusing and as she was a big cow, she needed four big humans to drag her to the truck. I felt bad. Not for her but for myself. They were taking her outside and it was unfair. How come she just told me the night before that the outside world is bad but now she was going for having fun?

“Don’t look Bundo. Go to Uncle Jojo. Stay with him.”

“I hate you… I hate you so much”

I ran away. I hated her with all my heart. I hated her voice. She was a selfish mother.

“I love you Bundo. Never forget that”

I heard her voice faded away when they closed the truck door. The truck left and they took her away. I waited for them to come back. I counted the hours. They didn’t bring her back. I couldn’t sleep. I was jealous. I was imagining her chewing on fresh flowers. I wanted to yell at her immediately after I saw her. But she didn’t come back. Not that night but not the day after, and after, and after. Well, I needed to know what did happen to her. She left me alone that selfish cow. So I went to Uncle Jojo. No one except him knew better about the outside world. He looked sick. His skin was covered in scars.

“What happened to you, Uncle Jojo?”

“I had a fight with humans”

“Why do you fight with them a lot?”

“Because I’m a fighting old cow”

“So, you went out?”

“Yes,” he coughed blood. I scared.

“Did you chew on fresh flowers?”

He laughed. Maybe cried. I don’t know. But he said, “Bundo. There are no fresh flowers left outside. Humans destroyed everything”

“What do you mean?” I was shocked.

“They killed the forest, they covered the sun with gray dusty clouds, and they poured trash into waters. They killed everything, Bundo”

“But you told me the outside world is amazing…. That… That it’s beautiful”

“Once it was. Now it just a slaughterhouse.”

“Do you… do you know where is my mom?” I was worried. Finally, I felt there is something wrong.

“There is a crack on the wall on the North Eastern side. When I was a calf I would skip through it to explore outside. Go and see yourself. And run away if you can”

He fainted and I ran. I felt my mom was in danger. I felt she’s not ok. I felt she knew what was going on outside. I sneaked through the hole and there I saw outside. The sky was darkening. It was the color of Jojo’s blood. I tiptoed through the concrete area that was lit by tall lights buzzing like gigantic bees. The area was covered with tall walls so I ran through the first half opened door I saw. I heard humans. I hid behind a stack of wooden boxes and a box fell down. The humans turned back and saw me. I was scared. I was shaking. I had to run so I did. The ground was slimy. There was blood everywhere. I saw skinned cows on the hooks. I saw a human cutting the meat. I saw my mother’s head on the top of the stacks of other head. I was slipping and running. I didn’t know what to feel. A human slashed me hard on the back. I screamed. They brought another cow. I knew this one. She was one of those that ran out of milk. One of the fat ones. They used some sticks on her head and it flashed brightly. She screamed and cried.

“Please. It hurts”

They buzzed her again and she fell down on her knees. They lifted her up on a table and chained her down. One of the humans chained me from my neck too. He was laughing. Two of them skinned her while she was alive and still blinking, kicking and shrieking. She wasn’t able to say anything but I saw the tears boiled in her eyes just like my mother. My heart shrank and I threw up and faint. That was my childhood memory. Since that day, I had the fear in my heart every time the humans came in. My breast was being sucked daily with a machine and my calf was looking at it in doubt. I didn’t tell her about the cruelty of the outside world. I didn’t tell her what humans do to us. I didn’t even know myself. Even today that they took me on the open back truck through a forest of concrete buildings and noisy streets that had no fresh flowers to chew on. I didn’t know my future nor my calf’s. I didn’t know what these humans want. But I always wondered, for what sin or reason, we had to be punished and slaughtered.

 

Image Source: https://www.deviantart.com/skeletonfishpunk/art/Shamble-124295234

I am a proud educator, writer, and a non-stop learner. I am in love with innovation and improvement and I go against the stream to reach the highest potential possible and no one can stop me.

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