They took my child.
He was—no, he is—my firstborn. Many, many light cycles, I felt the baby grow in my belly. A bond formed, even before ever seeing him. I knew I would meet him soon when my teats were so full of milk, it dragged me down.
A spasm of pain warned me of the beginning. I didn’t know it was the beginning of the end.
By then, I’ve lived in the lonely box for a while. I did not understand why they had separated me from my friends. I cried loudly because of another spasm of pain. Their faces came into view. They uttered sounds I do not understand. They left again.
The pain spasms came quicker and hurt more. I still stood, and realised my tail was lifted. They came and went, watching, always watching. I cried out again. I stumbled down to lie on my side. Something touched me. It was them, with their strange skin made out of so many different layers. In some places it looked bare—even hairless—and in other it seemed so very loose. And they could change it! Such strange creatures, who could swap their skins.
A pressure in my backside made me scream more. They had stuck their short legs—the ones they don’t walk on—in me again. I remembered them doing it before. Not long after that first time, I had felt life growing inside of me.
Another pain spasm—the worst so far—forced me to clench my belly hard. Something moved in my backside. A different sort of pressure replaced the one caused by their non-walking legs. More pain spasms, and more belly clenches, and then, a big lump slid quickly through my backside. I felt empty. Drained. So tired, I could hardly lift my head. But I still did. I looked behind me, and there he was.
My pride. My glory. My baby. I moved to lick him, confirming his sex.
They kept making those strange noises. I barely noticed. My whole world lied there in front of me. I licked and licked him, cleaning him. Their weird, non-walking legs, tried to help me, but I pushed them away with my head. This was my task. This was—is, it still is—my right as a mother.
My boy is beautiful. White with black spots, just like me. Long eyelashes, eyes to drown in, a perfect soft, pink nose. I do not know how long I cleaned him when he twitched. He tried to stand. Good boy. He positioned his legs underneath him, and pushed up. He fell back down. He tried again. He pushed up, and stayed upright, legs shaking, nostrils flaring. He took a gentle step, wobbled, and fell down again. I nudged him with my nose, told him to try again. He did, and he had it.. He walked! That memory will remain with me forever.
He searched for my teat, and drank. This was such a wonderful feeling. I licked him tenderly while he had his first drink. Such a gorgeous boy. I wanted this moment to last forever, but he stopped drinking, satisfied. I readied myself to settle down with him, when their non-walking legs wrapped around my boy and carried him away. I screamed and followed, but more of them managed to stop me. I jumped and bucked and kicked one of them and freed myself, but too late. He was gone. I heard his thin screams and it still breaks my heart.
For the next light cycles, I kept crying out for him. He returned my calls. They released me back to my friends, further away from my boy.
They often line up my friends and me, and then something sucks our teats. I can feel it is not my boy. It is painful. It also relieves me, because I am still making milk—too much milk; it hurts my teats.
But there is no boy of mine who drinks my milk.
I named him Bobby.
I will love him, always.
To kick off Flash Fiction Friday, here’s a heavy one for you. I won’t lie, I cried a little while I wrote this, and a bit more when I edited it. If you want to know what happened to Bobby, I have a previous Flash Fiction about him. Warning: it’s also heavy, perhaps even more so. Click here to read it.
To clarify, this story is about a mother. She is not human, she is a cow, born and raised to be pregnant all the time in order to give milk. The milk many humans drink. The milk which doesn’t belong to humans, but is meant for calves.
I promise the Flash Fiction Fridays won’t always be as dark as this one. I also promise they will rarely mention veganism (like I do here below). In fact, most will be very much on the lighter side, probably often with a fantastical theme. If this is your first time here, I’d like to invite you to check out my other Flash Fiction, so you get an idea of the diversity.
If this one spoke to you, and awoke something in you, share it, please.
If you want the suffering of millions of mothers like this anonymous mom to stop, consider going vegan. Good news, Veganuary is in full swing, which is the perfect time to give it a try. (Many countries have their own website for Veganuary, I linked to the Australian one)