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#134: Chasm

#134: Chasm
Odd Spot - 16/06/2022

The lookout was carved into the side of the hill, a deeper cut from the winding road that snaked its way through the hilly landscape. Grace could see why someone went to the effort. The vista was framed by lush green paddocks and nestled neatly against the horizon was a slither of southern blue ocean. White caps warning of turbulent weather.

Dotted everywhere were black and white cows. She envied their simple life.

Matilda leant against the wooden rail, taking in the beauty.

In a moment of panic, she asked where the baby cows were.

Grace searched, expecting to see a bunch of calves playing together.

They are milking cows; she asked again.

Peter was doing up his fly. They take the calves away after a few days; he said.

For a moment, Matilda accepted that.

If we drink their milk, what do the calves drink?

Peter leant against the railing. They don't. Most of them are killed.

Grace searched, once again, hoping to point to the calves frolicking. No, she wanted to say; you are wrong. See, there they are.

Kill them? Just so we can drink milk in our lattes?

She withdrew slightly and pulled out her phone. She quickly typed and then flipped the phone on its side. Rory leant in to watch the video.

Grace and Peter exchanged a look. Part generational dismay at how native their children are with technology, and part aware they were about to enter a storm of teenage naivety.

Matilda's eyes flashed white at the sight of slaughtermen prodding five-day-old calves up the slaughter chute. Rory screamed when one of the white aproned men picked up a fallen calf and threw it into the chasm.