Requiem in D-minor (for prions, whale and burning bush)
By Ian McHugh
Kevin switched the audio over to the projector. The lecture hall was filled with outdoor noises. Wind hummed softly over the microphone, cattle lowed nearby, a truck accelerated in the distance.
A roan steer staggered around a concreted yard, its mute distress accompanied by clattering hooves and the fleshy slap of its thigh striking the ground when it fell. A new sound was introduced – incongruous, but familiar to Kevin’s audience.
Gradually, the cow’s shaking stilled, until it could stand securely. Its muscles continued to tremble, but not enough to upset its equilibrium while it listened.