Lanterns: Matilda Speaks Out On the Death Penalty


Matilda Speaks Out On the Death Penalty

David's Cranium Stardate March 30, 2018 (partially borrowed from Star Trek)

I am on my way home from my friend's farm. It's a sunny day, a light breeze is blowing, and it is 48 degrees. I am driving along a gravel-paved one and a half car wide winding road with the windows down so my dogs can let their ears flap in the wind. My mission today is to write an interesting article and my mind is blank. Suddenly, off to the right, I see my story—  cows and the Death Penalty.

There were a small group of cows lying innocently near a shed not far from their food. They were sunning themselves in the black muck and enjoying the warm weather. I pulled over to photograph them and see if by chance one would be available for a short interview.

I called over to them, "Dear Ladies, would one of you be as kind as to spend a few moments chatting with me about the Death Penalty?"

They looked at each other and started to laugh, and then their expressions turned very serious.

"Matilda," you take this one,” said one of the cows lying in a crumpled heap with her head resting on her leg.

Matilda, a huge black cow with a pretty white face, marred only by the red and green tags stapled to her ears was in the process of cleaning herself, looked toward me, and said, "Yeah, I'll deal with this human."

Walking over very slowly toward me in a manner of a lady entering a fine dinner party, she stopped for a moment and looked at my dogs.

"You are going to keep them in the car aren't you?" she asked.

"Yes, Ma'am, you don't need to worry about them," I replied.

She continued over to the barbed wire fence and asked what I would like to know.

I asked her what she thought of the death penalty.

"For whom?" she questioned.

"Well," I started, "Why do you think people will run to protect a murderer no matter how guilty they are? In our legal system, a person is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and even when someone is found guilty there seems to be a reluctance to give them the death penalty."

I continued, "Even when a party had been found meeting the amazingly high bar set of being guilty, people will flock in groups to protest holding up signs and conducting press conferences. They believe that the death penalty is inhumane and wrong. They say it costs too much. They say the person had an unfair trial. I'd like to know your thoughts on this issue."

I could see her eyes light up and from the corner of my eyes, I saw the other cows lift their ear-tagged heavy heads and turn them to us.

"Moo...young man, let me tell you a little something about what we think about the death penalty and what is inhumane," she said, sternly, yet politely.

"You humans think you are all that. You think you are kind, considerate, and don't want to hurt anyone not only emotionally, or even physically. You have taken the value of life and watered it down to nothing more than a speck of dust in the air. You kill each other and protect the killers so they suffer no consequence. These actions give example to others to kill. You do all this to claim you are humane."

The other cows started to walk over. She lowered her massive white head toward me and stared directly into my eyes as she continued, "But really are you so humane? You withhold a penalty from ending the life of one whose actions were so brutal to the point they may have tortured another in ending a life. Yet, you have no issue raising us from babies with the sole intention to shoot us in the head, hang us upside down, and cut our throats so we slowly see our lives fade away.  You brag about the tastiness of our body. You order your steaks so raw they are mooing or still bloody. There is no end to your massive killings of innocent non-humans, lamb, chicken, fish, whatever you decide is to die, so be it."

"You tag us, you burn our skin with marks, and you show us to others in fairs keeping us tied up to a fence. You bid on us as if we were nothing but what you called slaves. Are we not slaves to you?"

"We are animals? Who decided we are the animals? Of course, you did. Who are really the animals? Who kills without reason, for profit, or personal gain?

I listened intently to what she had to say. I asked if I could interject a statement. She took a deep breath and said it was fine. I told her that I was in the process of becoming a vegetarian and recently decided not to eat meat. I said there are billions of humans that respect the life of one that is not human.

She paused and stopped talking, thought for a moment, and smiled.

"Good for you. You are truly humane", she said.

She apologized for going off on a rant, but if anyone needs the death penalty, it would be the human killers. Looking over to the car, she asked my dogs’ names.

I told her it was no problem and introduced my dogs to her. I asked if they would pose for some photographs of which would be seen by many people.

They obliged and after some photos were taken, I bid them adieu saying I would be back another day.

Matilda loudly shouted to me as I started to drive away, "Hang em high."

Written by David Lasaine

Imaginative, reflective, try to be humorous and attempt to be deep in my writing to invoke feeling.

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