One spring a local farmer put a solitary beef-cow out to pasture in a field along the route that I drove every day. At first I thought how sad it looked, young and alone in the large, tree-less field, but then it noticed a small shed, and it took to standing inside of the shed to enjoy the shade. It hung its large head out of the small window of the shed to watch the world. I thought, ah, well, good for the cow. As time went on, the cow began to look relaxed, perhaps even happy. Soon I was certain, it was happy. The cow saw the smiles of all the drivers who noticed it with its head comically sticking out of the shed window, and it had been reassured that all was well. I named it Cheeseburger because I knew its fate, but I continued to smile my false reassurances to it. Then the day came when that sweet grass-fed beef-cow disappeared from the field, off to slaughter.
As a girl, my grandmother had loved a beef-cow too. She told me that she never recovered from the day she came home to find that her brothers had turned it into meat. She wept to me that she would never have petted it, put a ribbon on its neck, and promised it safety, if she had known what they would do.
Caption: Cheeseburger Was Put Out To Pasture
digitized public image by Annmarie Throckmorton 2019