Wednesday, July 11

Dead Cow

What if there really was a hint of April in the air? Except now the days are reducing when before they were expanding, each side of themselves; reducing over six months in the occupying oscillation that leads up to our certain death. Showers of that ferocity are forgivable in April – ‘Oh, they’re just catching up after the sunny March’ – but in the month of July one cannot extend a hand of reconciliation to such weather, especially when the British temperament waits so expectantly for sunshine. On a Monday morning, when I felt as if the weekend weather had rinsed me of tiredness, I was confronted with quite a sight: there on the fields outside of town, where the valley begins to dip to make way for the river, a flood had opened out. It was as big as the one in April; brown water over a large area. As the train moved along the crest of the valley I was able to inspect the scene over the pages of my book. Cows mottled the grass, chewing, regurgitating and chewing, and in the middle of the vast pool was a dead cow. It was on its side, of course, in that death pose, and its black and white was no less damaged for laying in a pool of mud. Gulls stood on its body; the black feathers of crows; all hanging around for someone to break the skin once it had softened up. The other cows trotted about, looking away, chewing the cud; lower jaw moving in circles. The sky was colourless; sobering up after a downpour whilst preparing for another. The fictitious white of a cloud blended into the sky until it became that there were neither clouds nor sky. The flood rippled. The field started to hide behind the moving scenery and the cow and the cows went out of view. Only then did I acknowledge that I had fantasized about the dead cow. Why should I fantasise about a drowned cow when it was not April but July?

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