‘What is that Daddy?’
He looks. In his fugue he had not see it.
‘A cow,’ he says in surprise as much to himself as to her. ‘A dead cow my love.’
The carcass is splayed obscenely between a pair of stakes. He panics for a moment thinking that he has sleepwalked into a trap. Then he smells it. It is rotten. It is not meant to entice. They should carry on, he knows, but the hunger that drives at them pads over by itself and draws them with it.
The leavings of flies writhe amongst it. The father, in his disgust, finds that his mouth is watering.
‘What does it mean?’ His daughter asks innocently.
He thinks he knows the answer. It is a taunt. That is all it can be. In a world of starvation and despair it is a gross symbol of excess. We have; you have not.
Some people have too much the father almost finds himself replying. He wants to add that some things never change but his daughter, born to this, wouldn’t understand.
‘It means we have to keep on walking,’ he says and grasps her hand.