Dave looked out at the horizon where the sun was just beginning to rise. The rooster crowed as he yawned and set off for the field to take care of his chores.
Dave was a stocky man, well-built for his job as a farm hand. Some might say his demeanor was a bit less than suitable, however, but no one had complained to him yet. He walked into the chicken coop and started gathering eggs. Some of the hens protested, startled by his noisy entry, but Dave pushed them aside and took what he had come for. He spread some feed in the pen and closed up to take care of the rest of the animals.
On his way to the barn, Dave thought he heard someone around the far side. He leaned out around the corner to take a look but didnt see anyone. Probably one of the kids, he thought and walked inside.
Dave immediately noticed the cows were extra loud this morning. He glanced at the empty troughs and noticed they had probably missed a meal.
Stinks for you, he muttered, hoping he wasnt the one responsible. It was supposed to be sunny today, so he could them out to graze after milking. The cows were especially grouchy as he attempted this, which only made him sore. Hold still or Ill jack you one, he warned. In response, the cow aimed a kick at his head, only missing by inches. Damn it! he cursed, and gave her an extra hard squeeze. The cow bellowed in outrage and tried to kick him again, but he dodged out of the way with the pail in hand. Before he could gloat, he heard the bell ringing up by the house. Breakfast was ready.
Hmm, Dave wondered, stroking his chin in mock contemplation. I could let you all out now, or I could go eat.
The cows did not respond.
Ah, you dont look that famished anyway. Be back
well, sooner or later.
He walked out of the barn and shut the door. He was surprised to see Tiffany, the farm owners younger daughter standing outside.
Hey, he said awkwardly. Was that you I heard earli-
I heard the way youre treating the animals, she said quietly.
I know youve been mistreating them for a long time.
Dave scratched his head. He couldnt remember even speaking with Tiffany before, and now she was talking like shed known him for ages. Look kid, theyre just animals.
They dont like you.
Thats too bad for them, Dave shrugged. Your dad owns them, and he pays me to take care of them. Anyway, Im going to get breakfast, you can stay here if you want.
He hurried off to the house. That kid creeped him out, hed have to try and avoid her in the future.
Dave sat down with the family and the other workers to a good breakfast, served by the farmers wife and two daughters. He eyed Tiffany closely as she handed him his coffee, but she didnt return his gaze. She mustve just needed to vent, he figured.
Howre the animals, Dave? the farmer asked casually.
I think someone forgot to feed the cows late yesterday, he replied, taking a sip of his coffee.
Who was working with them yesterday?
Wasnt it you, Dave? a field worker, Terrence wondered.
Nope, Dave lied. Mustve been Steve. Ill have a word with him. He downed his coffee in one draught and set the cup down. I better get back out there and let the cows out. Good breakfast, maam.
He hurried outside and shoved his hands in his pockets. Wasnt a big deal, he supposed. Theyd graze all day and be fine by evening. His head itched and he scratched it.
As he opened the door to the barn, a strange queasiness came over him. Oof
drank the coffee too fast
he sat down on a bale of hay, waiting for the gas to pass, but it didnt. Instead he started to feel worse. Urg
what in the
Tiffany must have slipped him something. Ooh, that little brat, whatd she put, a laxative in his coffee? Her father wouldnt be happy to hear about that, whether he was talking bad to the animals or not. His hands and feet started to itch and he looked down, gasping in shock.
His fingernails had turned thick and black. What the hell?! Dave shouted, leaping to his feet, only to stumble and sit back down again. All over his body, he could feel things that shouldnt be. His chest was barreling outward, his upper arms and thighs were growing, and his spine felt like it was about to break.
Dave rolled up his sleeve as quickly as he could, and saw that the muscle in his arm was growing rapidly, and changing from his tight, good tone to a fat, meaty kind of muscle. His sleeves both ripped, as did the front of his shirt as his chest continued to expand.
Whats happening? What the hell is going on?! Dave shouted desperately. He turned to look out the door, but it suddenly slammed shut and latched. HEY! he yelled. He stood to go to the door, but found himself unable to walk.
Daves shoes both tore at the top, and he tripped, falling out of them. He looked at his feet and saw they were both split hooves. He looked at his hands and watched as his thumbs shrank and migrated north. Oh god, he whispered before climbing back upright again and grabbing hold of the stall doors to support his growing frame. It felt like he was standing on his tiptoes, but he no longer had heels. The only way he could still stand were the massive quadriceps he was now packing.
HEY! he yelled again, banging his hardened hands on the door. Whos out there!? Let me out!
He heard a giggle and looked up at a window near the ceiling, where Tiffany sat on the sill, watching and laughing.
You did this! Dave accused, feeling his sinus cavity crush together and begin to expand. He grabbed at his face as his jaw pushed outward.
Dont worry, Tiffany called down. Im just showing you that these animals have feelings too.
Dave was too distracted to answer by his face morphing into that of a cattles. He touched the stubby horns on his head and realized they had been there far longer than he first thought. His nose grew until it filled half his vision, but then his face stretched farther so his eyes moved to either side of his head.
By now he had grown so much that his overalls were tearing all over. He tried to unbutton the clasps, but his hands were barely hands anymore. Soon they had shredded entirely and he stood in his torn shirt and ragged underwear. Now Dave could see his swelling belly and a growing pinkness to it.
No! Dave shouted desperately. No, not that! Please, Tiffany!
Youre too angry all the time, Tiffany replied. Bulls are angry too, so I didnt think youd like that.
The changes around his body continued as his udder slowly gained shape, but it easily maintained his focus throughout its growth. His spine continued expanding until it grew right out of his rear as his pink belly swelled up like a balloon. His tongue grew larger and filled his still-growing muzzle as tiny red bumps on his belly blew outward into thick teats. He felt changes too fantastic and terrible to describe beneath his underwear as the udder filled up nicely and hung off him like a soggy pink sponge.
Somehow, amidst all this, Dave fell silent. Tiffany stopped her giggling as Dave watched thin fur course its way up and down his cow body, creating a little tuft on the tip of his tail. Do you like it? Tiffany asked.
Dave meant to shrug and say I dont know, but instead it came out Ngahh eunnooow and he nearly lost his balance. He wasnt sure what hed been yelling about earlier. He felt different inside
not just in the way his organs had been terrorized into new places and forms, but in his head too. Everything felt clear and open, like a great weight had been lifted. He realized he probably couldnt think as well as he could moments ago as a human, but what was there to think about? So he was a cow now. Better get used to it.
It was around then that the farmer opened the door. Who locked this door
Dave, you in there?
He and Dave exchanged looks as Dave hung onto the stall with weakening arms. Despite having all the features of a cow, he still looked quite human, especially with his few rags left hanging on him.
Tiffany! he shouted.
He was the one that didnt feed the cows yesterday, Daddy! Tiffany accused.
Well thats no reason to do *this*!
He was horrible to the animals! Tiffany protested. You know he was!
the farmer scratched his chin as Dave continued looking back at him compliantly. I suppose thats true.
He walked over to Dave and said What do you think? Do you think you deserved this?
Dave meant to say Probably, but it just came out as a big garbled moo. The farmer chuckled.
All right, let me help you out here. Easy, girl
he reached his arms under Daves and lifted him off the stall. Standing on all fours didnt feel right at first, but once he felt his forelegs touch the ground and stepped up and down a few times, it started to feel more natural.
Give it a moment, youre still filling out, he said.
Dave felt his shoulders grind into new, more hip-like structures and his back straightened out. His chest finally came to a stop at its new massive size and his face lost its last few traces of humanity. His fur gained thickness and finally he felt it was over. He was a cow.
The farmer looked around and found something on a nail on the wall. Here, lucky we have a spare
he walked over to Dave, who allowed the farmer to tie the cowbell around his neck.
How do you like that?
Its good. Moo!
The farmer looked over at the rest of the barn as Dave shook the rags from his back, ringing the bell. All right, who wants some grass? he asked.
I do! Dave thought and led the rest outside as the farmer opened the door.
You keep this up, Tiffany, and Im going to have to put in new stalls, the farmer laughed.