I am the minotaur’s unfortunate cousin, born with the head of a cow. I lack all beastly fury, possessing something much worse- self awareness.
I too am on an island but I hate it here. At least you get lost in the labyrinth. Here I’m sorrounded by a sea of dry grass, golden under the setting sun but dull under ever other light. It is cold and the sea weather invades every hut and run down stonework I can see.
I wear a black cloak, adorned with two golden stars. It resembles a priests habit and must make for a strange sight with my yellow hide and horns pointed at the sky.
There are only a few trees breaking past dry rocks, barely reaching past my shoulders. I have been sent here with the two stupidest woodpeckers they could find in the southern hemisphere. They have the arms and voices of women. They are not guards, not prisonkeepers. They are the cruel punishment. They follow me constantly. They bicker. They plot. They scheme when every wave over the horizon foams vageuly in the shape of a ship.
I cannot escape them. I am neither beast nor man and neither beast or man could bear them. Again and again they recruit me into their schemes. They throw hay in front of me and advice me to eat heartly. Why? I would know how to eat as both beast or man. Where I alone I might have some dignity. Instead I have two woodpeckers chipping away at my soul.
I trudge in circles following my footsteps praying for some adventurer, some shipwrecked crew to come here and slay the beast. Ah but why would such liberators come here to a rocky outcrop. I cannot go mad, charge or be a beast with these avians constantly announcing themselves. They are convinced they are blessing, King makers, maidens to wait on Queens. They look at me as though my bovine eyes should see blessings. I can never see straight anyway.
So I do my best to slither, as best a cow or half of one can. I stare at the sea when I can muster the courage and curse it. I melt with it’s waves. When the sun sets I wonder why I did not watch the horizons. When the sun sets the entire world is the colour of the dry grass, my hide, the rocks, the swaying trees all of us are cloaked in the light of another day gone by. I look to the sea and think “maybe one day…”.