The sun set, and with it came a sinking feeling. I looked around at the field where I had spent the day grazing. I looked at Frankie, who had kept close to me throughout the day. I looked at the evening sky and felt a longing I had never before felt. I looked toward the road I had traveled earlier that day, and I walked toward it. By the time I reached the fence, I had the momentum and force to press through it effortlessly, toppling the wooden post.
Frankie watched in disbelief, his head swiveling from me to the fence and back again. He took a tentative step beyond the fence line, thought better of it, and turned back into his pasture. As I rounded the bend in the road, I looked back at him one last time, his face a portrait of disappointment.
I retraced my steps from earlier that day, taking my time. A car came up behind me, slowed, and followed me from a respectful distance. At the bottom of the long hill, I turned right and then left toward my home. I stood in the yard and peered in the kitchen window waiting for someone to notice me. The people who had followed me knocked on the door and my family emerged, talking all at once and laughing. I was home.
A few days later, we repeated the journey up the road to Frankie Valli’s pasture. My people told me that I had to stay this time, that I would come to appreciate Frankie, that they would visit me. Being philosophical and ruminative by nature, I decided to take this in stride. I settled into life with Frankie.
When the chilly autumn wind swirled the leaves into the sky, the calf that had been growing inside me since the winter began to stir. In early November, my baby boy was born. Life is good.