Olivia, your prim, slightly bemused mother is calling, standing behind her Brownie box camera. “Don’t stick your fingers through the fence. The cows might bite.” At the sound of her voice, you turn, girl interrupted, and stare her down. The weight of a newborn’s fearless wisdom fills your somber mahogany eye-orbs. Your earliest foray into the restless, reckless walk on the wild side. The cows lean forward; an udder-ly disinterested trio of knotted neck muscles pulling gigantic bovine heads toward the Timothy and clover trampled at their cloven feet. You knew they wouldn’t hurt you, this trio of gargantuan vegans, and simply craved their jovial enormity, like a set of new uncles. Tiny hands reach out, up and in. Three rubbery nostrils flare, three sets of chompers chomping, an occasional snort. Irresistible. Like stove flame. Like puppy dog tails. Like cocaine, sex, and the crazed tabulations of intertwining untruths you will someday barely keep track of.

“PIPPIN…” The human spoiler calls again. Impatience, with a slight edge of fear. A mother’s cautionary song. Your soft naked body, sized in a doll’s miniature proportions, a chubby cherubim, all invisible wings and jelly belly, moves not a single inch, not back or away,  not from danger, not towards reason or authority. You will dig in, and try again. Gratification lingers just beyond those stubby, probing  fingertips. Towards your new cow-friends. Fuck parents, like the sixties radical Abbie Hoffman will say ten years later; make revolution by killing them, but not literally, just in rebellion, denial, refusal. Like all stubburn babies, you want what you want when you want it, and simply refuse to modify attraction, curiosity, displaying an unpronounceable, inplacable yen and craving that years later will slowly morph into what others not your loving mother will happily adjudicate as plain old American addiction. From bovine to booze, the same refusal to pull her fearless little paw from danger; from the wire, from the fire, not in the name of logic or even love.