Touched by Dawn DeBraal


Dawn DeBraal

Jeb Mason hopped onto the tractor, driving out into his grazing field. He'd seen the cow from a distance, at the crest of a knoll. Cow #647 identified by the tag of her one remaining ear had been laid wide open like she was on an operating table. No blood in or around the carcass. It appeared the other ear was removed with surgical precision. All that remained was the best part of her, the meat and hide left to rot in the sun. Jeb had heard about these cow mutilations. They started happening after the Roswell incident. He was about fifty miles from where they claimed to have hauled away an unidentified flying object from a ranch in Roswell, NM. Everything strange that happened was attributed to that fateful night back in June of '47. That had been six years ago. Jeb's first thought was to bury her but decided he would report this to the Sheriff first, to make a case against the aliens who were suspected, of doing these horrific things. The government tried to cover it up, which made things worse. Jeb had heard stories of alien abductions or sightings. Things seemed to have calmed down to the point where you were about to forget the story, and they come and excise the ear and genitalia from your cow. The Sheriff took his time in getting there. He held a handkerchief over his face when he came upon #647.

"How'd you know it's a heifer?" he asked Jeb. Jeb sighed, pointing to the number on the one remaining ear.

"Records, on #647." He produced a sheet from a folder that had the entire history of this cow. Date of Birth, when she was wormed, who her parents were. The Sheriff was impressed.

"Do you think this could be kids from the veterinarian school?" Jeb could not believe such a stupid question would be coming from the Sheriff's mouth.

"Sheriff, haven't you read any of the stories in the newspapers?" Sheriff Thompson was still taking pictures and walking around the carcass.

"We could get someone here, from the Air Force base. I put in a call earlier. Can you leave her above ground another day?" The buzzards were circling above them. Jeb pulled the canvas back over the heifer.

"I can give it one more day, after that, I gotta get in her the ground. It's spooking the other cows. I want to talk to someone who has had this happen to them, is there some way I can get in touch with another victim?" Sheriff Thompson said he'd look for another farmer willing to talk.

Jeb received a phone call early the next morning from a farmer nearby, Sam Tucker. Jeb and Sam decided to meet in the middle. Jeb drove to Elida. Darcy wanted to shop, so he left her off at the five and dime continuing to the restaurant. He ordered a cup of coffee as he waited for Sam Tucker to arrive. Sam arrived on time to share his story.

"About a year ago. I had two heifers found in the field. There wasn't a footprint, a tire print, not a sign in the dirt. They were about 20 yards apart and had been cut open. Whoever did this, knew what they were looking for." Sam reported.

"Blood, did you find any blood?" Jeb asked.

"Nope. Nor did I ever get anything for damages. The Air Force base laughed at me, and the Sheriff put it down to mischief of kids. Do you think it has something to do with that alien crash from a few years back?" Jeb was thoughtful before he answered.

"If I say yes, I come off as a kook. I will be walking my property with a rifle for the next few weeks. It ain't going to happen to me again, that's for sure." When they finished, they shook hands exchanging addresses promising to keep in touch if they'd heard any more of these incidents. Jeb picked up Darcy, and they started back home when a black car pushed them off the road. A man in a suit got out of the vehicle and approached Jeb.

"What the hell is wrong with you, Mr.?" Jeb shouted.

"Mr. Mason, you need to keep your eyes on the road, and your mouth shut. We don't want to hear anything from your mouth talking about Roswell or cattle cutting. If we do, we will make sure that you to keep your mouth shut permanently. Do I make myself clear?" Darcy started to cry.

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About the Author

Dawn DeBraal lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband Red, two rat terriers and a cat. Recently retired, she has discovered the love of telling a good story can be written. Her works have been published in several online magazines and anthologies. She especially loves short stories, poems, and songwriting

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