“Did the grass grow back, Dad?”
It must have.
“Aren’t you sure? You said it happened long, long ago.”
Oh, I’m sure it did. Richer, thicker and greener than ever before. It was beautiful.
“Then the whole herd must have become very strong?”
Come, I’ll tell you another story tonight.
“But I want to know about the herd.”
All right. The grass started growing back. At first, there were a few blades. Tiny, tender blades. King Bull forbade everyone from grazing on them.
“What did the herd eat?”
Cake! No, seriously, they ruminated — chewed the cud — so much on the pain of the fat cattle after the fire that they forgot their own hunger.
“Is that true, Dad? Can cattle chew the cud without eating?”
You’d be surprised, they do it with great pleasure. And then, King Bull made them busy with other things.
He said grass was not good food. When it grew tall, hunters hid in it. Sometimes, weeds that made cattle sick grew along with it. The fat cattle anyway grazed more than their fair share, only to manure their secret fruit trees. And so, King Bull said, what they needed was new food, smart food.
So close! He said ‘daisies’.
“Daisies are flowers.”
They are beautiful. King Bull said they would root out the wild grass and make the riverfront beautiful. He had a beautiful word for it too.
Daisitise. He said they would daisitise the land. But before that he wanted each member of his herd to get a pot, to grow the daisies in.
“Why not on the ground?”
I’m coming to it. King Bull said if they all had their own pots nobody would cheat them out of their fair share of daisies. The fruits of their manure would be theirs to keep or to eat, with no fear of hunters or weeds.
“But where would cattle get pots from? Can they even make them? And where would they find daisy seeds?”
A king can’t worry about everything. If he did, he would never get any work done.
Then nothing. The king went for a swim in the river like he always did after a feat.
I want the lights out in five minutes.