Friday, June 17, 2005


My Lord, she continued, Tin Head is just startled to pieces when he don't see that steer. He thinks somebody, some neighbor don't like him, plenty of them, come and stole it. He looks around for tire marks or footprints, but there's nothing except old cow tracks. He puts his hands up to his eyes and stares away. Nothing in the north, the south, the east, but way over there in the west on the side of the mountain he sees something moving stiff and slow, stumbling along. It looks raw and it's got something bunchy and wet hanging down over its hindquarters. Yah, it was the steer, never making no sound. And just then it stops and looks back. And all that distance Tin Head can see the raw meat of the head and the shoulder muscles and the empty mouth without no tongue open wide and its red eyes glaring at him, pure teetotal hate like arrows coming at him, and he knows he is done for and all of his kids and their kids is done for, and his wife is done for and that every one of her blue dishes has got to break, and the dog that licked the blood is done for, and the house where they lived has to blow away or burn up and every fly or mouse in it.

There was a silence and she added, That's it. And it all went against him, too.

That's it? said Rollo. That's all there is to it?

- Annie Proulx, "The Half-Skinned Steer". Close Range: Wyoming Stories (1999).


Friday Films said...

I heart Palinodica.

palinode said...

Heck, so do I. That's why I cobbled it together from other literatures and ran a bolt of pure internet through it.

It's alive!