I am awakened by the bellowing of bovines.
They gather at the barbed wire fence to gaze upon me, large eyes dark ponds of innocence, expressing wonder at this white-robed creature who now beckons them with outstretched hands and baby talk.
“Look how sweet you are. Yes you are little moo-cows. Come say hello…”
Each spots an ear tag, some with names: Meg, Sue, Lily. These are the lucky ones, small in stature, shades of soft brown fur, destined for breeding; designer cows to be shown in bovine beauty pageants. The others, sturdy, black Angus, are tagged with only numbers, and destined for T-bones. I imagine taking a Magic Marker and changing all the numbers to names, as if that would alter their fate.
The taste of yesterday’s tri-tip still lingers. I step back from the fence, fearing #302 can sense my duplicity.