Feeding

I roll out of bed and throw on the clothes that I have laid out next to my bed. I grab a honeybun tear it open and begin to eat as I head out the back door and step into my rubber boots. The back door squeaks like a mouse caught in a trap as I exit the garage and I am hit by a blend of smells. The fresh new smell of morning air is most prominent but it is highlighted by a faint smell of poop, animals, hair, dirt, the smell of my home, mixed with the fresh new smell of morning. I can see the sun slowly raising in the East a giant flashlight shining down on earth, the beautiful colors of red, orange, and purple are enough to inspire anyone. They mix beautifully with the quickly lightening blue sky. As I stand there and stretch on the back steps I am struck by how beautiful and new the world looks this morning, as though no one has polluted it yet. The grass, glistening with morning dew looks as though it has been covered with glitter. It makes a squeaky sound on my black rubber boots as I descend the steps and walk to the back gate to let the dogs out of their pen. They are immediately romping and playing like Kindergarteners on the playground. The birds make up a beautiful morning choir as I make my way to the barn humming along with them as I go.
When I reach the door I remove the key from the hiding place, it is cold and w slightly damp in my warm palm. I insert it in the door, unlock it, then replace it in its spot. When I enter the barn I flip on the lights and the dim scene comes into view. The lights cause a slightly orange tint and it cast some interesting shadows on the walls. There are machines everywhere, motorcycles, a lawn mower, a truck, a car, bicycles, a go-cart. They all seem like their own person in the orange dim light, with silver teeth and headlight eyes. I make my way to the back of the barn and uncover the feed barrel. The sweet and slightly dusty smell of the feed mixes with the overwhelming smell of dirt and oil. I fill my bucket with feed, and it is heavy in my hand as I make my way to the door.
When I exit the barn I am immediately hit again with how fresh and new this world looks. I glace to the East, the sun has already rose so much in the small amount of time I have been inside and the sky is a beautiful blue now and the bright yellow of the sun hurts my eyes. I glance at the house, there is a light on in the kitchen. Dad must be up getting some coffee for himself, and mom. I make my way around the house to the calf pen. The birds are chirping louder now a slight breeze, chills my cheeks. As I walk in the gate the calves surround me licking at the bucket and my hands hoping to get a little feed early. Their tongues are rough like sandpaper on my hands and jeans. I reach out to scratch my heifer, Marsha’s head, it is soft under my hand. She pulls away and heads for the bright red feed bunk in the middle of the pen with the rest of the calves. As I pour the feed into the long open bunk they swarm around me not caring if they bump into me but never hurting me. I walk around them and look them over making sure everyone is ok. Frozen baby the calf we almost lost to the cold when he was born still doesn’t quite walk right on that one hind leg, but he is eating fine. Marsha looks beautiful with her shiny black hair that I wash every week. Clyde is way too fat and probably shouldn’t be eating so much, but is cute with his short black body and motley face. And of course the no name calf, the one I always feel so sorry for because he will soon become our meat for the winter. He eats happily though and I know he will have a good life at my house until he dies.
I pull my phone from my pocket and glace at the time, 6:30 I probably better get inside. I trudge back to the barn and put up my bucket, and head back to the back door, I take my time, enjoying the beautiful morning with the birds chirping and the dogs playing. As I reach the back door I am sad to go inside because I know when I come back outside the world won’t seem so new and pretty, people will have awakened and polluted it for the day. But I am consoled by the thought of another morning like this tomorrow.





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