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Bovines, Philosophy, and Challenging Destiny

Darla opened her eyes and slowly surveyed the green pasture. To her left slept her younger sister, Marla, and to her right was her friend Karla. Looking over Marla, she realized just how similar the two really were. They shared large brown spots on their left side as well as a birth defect that sentenced them to being non-milk bearers. This caused them to be annexed by the other inhabitants of the field, and left them friendless, the exception being the other non-milk bearers, like Karla. They were forced to live in back recesses of the farm, where the grass wasn’t quite as green, and the water not quite as clear. Darla, however, didn’t mind. It was quieter, and she liked that, for it gave her the opportunity to contemplate her role in the grand scheme of things. She had been told her whole life that she was born for one single purpose. Either to provide milk for the Uppers, or to provide nourishing flesh for the Uppers. Due to her birth defect, all the other denizens of the paddock had informed her that she was doomed to a life of fattening up, followed by a swift, yet untimely, end in the Changing House. This was perceived to be the greatest honor available to a non-milk bearer, so many of her friends looked forward to the day where they, like countless others before them, could be herded towards the Changing House, slowly into the decaying metal corrals, and into the gloomy mystifying darkness of the Changing House. No one really knew what might lie in wait inside of the Changing House. Some of the older milk bearers had said that they actually remembered its construction, but as for what ritualistic events might occur inside, no one was sure. Even with this shrouding mystery that laid over the Changing House like a blanket, many were sure whatever happened inside must be a great and wonderful process. The non-milk bearers saw it as an escape from their segregated lives of misery, as a way to escape to confines of the fence that ran around their field, and as a way to finally see old friends and family that had previously passed through those enigmatic doors. Darla, however saw the changing house differently. She never had believed the glorious stories of the House, and never would. She felt perfectly happy where she was, and to her, there was no point into being Changed. She knew that her time was soon to be at hand, and while Karla looked forward to being one of the next ones to be led away from the group, Darla detested the very thought of it. For weeks she had been planning something that would challenge all the thoughts that had ever been put into her head. She was going to go against the Uppers, the other inhabitants of the lea, as well as her own common sense. She knew her time was slim, and she still had much to do before that day came, so while the others slept, she worked.

Two days passed before she realized that her hard work, done under the secrecy of night, was well worth the endeavor. As dawn broke over the grassy knoll of the horizon, and an Upper began to meander his way around the field, over to the non-milk bearers. He paused at each one, surveying them, looking at their bodies, and determining what would be best to do. He placed a rope around Karla’s neck, then a second around Darla’s, to symbolize that they would be the next ones brought to the Changing House. The thought of finally fulfilling her destiny, made her exclaim with joy. Darla also exclaimed, but with a much different meaning, which was lost to the Upper, but well understood by Karla, who gave her friend a reassuring nudge on the rump. They began to pass by the population who, seeing the non-milk bearers finally fulfill their potential, began to chant reassuringly, in a deep guttural tone. Karla smiled, impressed that they were doing this for her, but Darla simply kept quiet with her head down, thinking constantly about what she was about to do, what she had to do to show the non-milk bearers that there was a better life possible for them.

They continued moving, and were finally at the entrance to the corral. Darla stopped moving. The Upper tried pulling her forward, but she held her ground, resisting any attempts he made. She began to act agitated, in order for him to come closer, possibly trying to calm her down. Her plan worked, and as he began to walk towards him, she lashed out with her foot, and struck him in the groin. He instantly crumpled to the ground, and Darla saw that that this was her chance. She began to kick at a post, around which she had been eating the grass, as to loosen the soil. After four kicks with her powerful legs, the post gave way, creating a narrow opening. She was not sure that it would be large enough to fit her considerable body through, but she had to try, because there were more Uppers heading to the assistance of the fallen one.

She began to push her body through the hole, slamming side to side in order to get more room. The Uppers were coming quickly and they did not look happy about their fallen comrade, so Darla began to move even faster. However, her effort was in vain, for as she was about to heave her back hips through the aperture of the fence, the Uppers arrived, intent on getting her to the Changing House. Karla, however, was not about to let her friend’s plan be broken, just because she was larger than the fissure she wanted to fit through. Karla stood firmly at her friends side, stomping her feet and uttering curses upon anyone, Upper or not, who tried to hurt her friend. Karla’s distraction gave Darla the chance she needed to get through. She burst through the fence with a cry of victory, and began to run, past the enclosed, grass covered prison she called home for her entire life, and towards the trees. She had no clue what might lie in wait for her there, but she knew that it had to be better than her old life. She would never have to deal with the Uppers or anyone else again in her life.

Just then, someone was at her side. Darla expected to see an Upper, but instead, it was Karla who had followed Darla. They Darla wondered why she was there for a moment, but soon realized the truth. Karla approved of Darla’s plan to escape, and was willing to show support for her friend. Marveling at their level of friendship, the two continued on, never again seen by an Upper, or anyone else again.





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