I looked at it for a while. It wasn’t moving much. I stared at it longer. It still did not move much. I know I didn’t have much psychic powers, at least not to the extent of getting things to move by looking at them. I continued staring at it. Still nothing.
It was an ox, the kind that pulls carts on streets. It was lying on the ground with a couple of people standing by it. Hardly any movement. Happened to be the first time I’d be seeing a dead ox. Not sure what was so momentous about that. But then when you have lived 30 years and seen a lot of oxen on the streets and not seen even one dead it makes you wonder why. You see dead crows, dogs and cats on the street, but not dead oxen.
So I stared. The people were talking and in a deep conference. I wondered how they’d get its body up and away. Would they bring out a cart drawn by bullocks to draw away another bullock? That would be ironic! Or will they call a butcher to chop it up and transport the meat away? The very thought made me want to puke and I promptly shunted it away. Wasn’t too sure I wanted to see that, but there was still a bit of curiosity.
The other ox which was part of the cart stood there nearby. I stared at it too. It wasn’t looking anywhere in particular, just randomly chewing something. And then we made eye contact. I continued staring at it knowing that it wasn’t going to come after me. Still half a step backwards was subconsciously taken. It looked at me, stopped chewing whatever it was chewing and after a moment or two went back to chewing whatever it was chewing and looked away. Surely there were more interesting things in the world than me.
I looked back at the ox lying on the ground. It was still lying there as before. The people around it were still standing discussing something. An elderly man around 60 I guessed with another around 30-40. The house was in the background, with a woman going about her tasks as if nothing had happened and a child playing nearby. Considering that it was December and mid-day I wondered what became of his school. And then remembered that it was a Sunday.
The ox was still lying still. I wondered if they’d be worried about getting another ox to get their livelihood going all over again. Wondered if the new ox would get along with the other ox which still stood there chewing whatever it was chewing. But looking at it chewing, I knew it probably did not care as long as it got something to chew.
Someone got up from beyond the ox. Didn’t know there was someone hiding behind the ox. And then a knife was produced from somewhere. I knew this could get interesting. He bent down and started cutting away at its legs. Cutting down what, that I couldn’t see, being on the other side of the ox. And then he got up and the old man bent down to slap the ox on its back. With a laboured effort the ox got itself up, shook off any dust and walked up to the cart groggily.
All I could do was smile to myself and walk away.