It was never about the things he wanted to do.
It was never about where he wanted to go, what pasture he preferred, which direction he wished to head.
Conformity. Yeah, he knew all about it. How it was the only way to herd.
Still he found small ways to rebel: He’d lie down when others were grazing, chew his cud while the Head Honcho was patrolling, turn his backside to the wind when it went against every custom to do so.
“You will get yourself kicked,” his mother, who has long given up on instructing him but still couldn’t help herself from trying, lowed in his ear.
“Or eaten,” his sister, grown and soon to mother her own, added.
Their mother’s eyes were sharp horns of disgust at the sacrilege. One did not talk about becoming prey where one was already primed to be the hunted.
He shrugged and refused to turn his nose into the wind, though he could not control the small twitch of his ears, flattening to try and discern danger.
The cows, one young, one old, left to graze at the edge of the parched field.
He remained with his head petulantly bowed, feigning disinterest in any thing ahead. He’d been born to the herd. Without it, he’d be dead.
But it did not mean he had to be one with the herd.