The Rain Came To Late
The rain has come, a little rain, not enough. Some grass will grow, if it gets a chance. If the starving cattle don’t just eat every tiny blade before it has a chance to lengthen. They are so hungry. The rain came too late for some.
One cow laid down on a bare patch of dirt as the rain started. Long grass once grew here, now the cows have eaten it, almost down to the roots. She lays rain streaming down her muddied sides. Rain brings grass, but not soon enough.
The rain ends already tiny specks of green appear amongst the mud and old dead stalks, lying flat on the ground. The grass grown fast, but not fast enough for this cow. The farmer does his rounds and sees her lying there, he leaves a little hay beside her, but it is too late. She just turns her head away.
The farmer comes back the next morning and takes her away. The rest of the cows then come. They sniff around, poking at the ground where their fellow beast had lain. They see the hay and make short work of it. The slower beasts don’t get there in time.
New grass is springing up, fast, but ever so slow. It takes a lot of grass to satisfy an already starved cow. There is not enough. The cows strip leaves from any trees they can find. They eat the hard tasteless stalks of grass that is long dead. They eat the weeds in the paddock, though normally they would steer clear of them. But they must eat.
Australia is a land of extremes, drought then flood then drought again. The animal must be hardy to survive. Even our modern knowledge cannot stop the drought. It lingers, eating up life.
Ravens, they circle, calling in others of their kind. Beautiful, black birds calling sorrowfully in the sky. They know what is happening. Beautiful birds they are, yet dreadful too.