by Barry Yourgrau
On a bet a man climbs inside a cow. Once there he decides to stay. The cow’s interior is warm and soft, although very dark. But the man’s eyes get by with the driblets of light that do manage to seep in. Food is no problem: there’s milk and more milk. ‘Fresher than diary fresh,’ the man wisecracks to himself, chuckling, as he pulls off his socks. No need for clothes, after all, so why bother keeping them on? He bundles them up and stuffs them down the appropriate cavity, thinking slyly of how they’ll end up.
Then he lies back and dozes. The movements of the cow, now that’s she quieted down, are lulling. The man’s friends are still out there, beside themselves: every once in a while they band their hoarse voices into a collective shriek of protest – protest from the world of sanity and reality. But their cries grow hoarser and feebler, and then disappear altogether into the milky stomach mucus with which the man loads up his ears. Slowly, with contented grace of a baby, he falls into a deep sleep.
Outside the sun creeps away and the moon climbs up over the pasture. The cow wanders slowly, still cautious in her gait, chewing cud. Finally she sinks with heavy care onto the grass, well away from the rest of the herd. Her large, sensitive eyes brim with concern as she tries to fathom her new fate and responsibility.