Affected by Foot and Mouth
White droplets patted against damp straw, soaking through and pooling against frozen concrete beneath. Billowing steam span through the air and glimmered in the breaking dawn.
Two dozen cows mooed and lowed as their teeth ground in a grumbling, champing chorus.
Still the milk spilled from the machines, streams gathering together amid the red mud that caked each beast’s hooves.
Four dozen eyes saw the black truck arrive. Four dozen eyes saw the man wash his boots with disinfectant.
White streams became red as the man handed papers to the farmer. The cow shed door closed for the last time.
(c) Tim Austin 2016. Image via Freestocks.org
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