Having exhausted the excitement out of the toy he held, Jimmy wandered off in search of something new to amuse himself with. Being three years old, it wasn't hard for the toddler to find something new and shiny to bring a smile to his face.
The boy was too young to understand why he and his parents were visiting a farm. He was too young to understand why his parents had left the car at the side of the road, or what the significance of all that smoke coming from its engine meant. Jimmy only knew that he was someplace new, and oh wow there's a cat!
Chasing after his new fuzzy friend, Jimmy left his parents behind without them noticing a thing. They were far too busy doing grown-up things with the stranger and his phone.
The cat was always just out of reach. Jimmy ran as fast as his little legs could take him, but even when the cat stopped to lick himself or just to swish his tail around, he was still too far away for the boy to get his hands on. "Kitty kitty!" the toddler called out, desperate to feel the cat's fur. "Come here!"
Jimmy dashed out of the house after the cat, his little sneakers hitting the grass running. He looked right at home wearing his denim suspenders with the backdrop of the farm behind him, his shirt even having a cartoon pig on it. Of course though, he was again too young to take any notice of the fact, and besides, he was far too busy trying to catch the elusive feline.
The cat strolled along, its tail jerking slightly now that the tiny two-legged thing had harassed it for such a long time. It headed for the open barn, a cozy spot already in mind where it could curl up in the hay-filled loft, high out of the way of any people or other animals.
Just when Jimmy was ready to give the kitty the biggest hug it had ever seen, it crouched low and leaped up to the very top of a tall wood wall. Astounded by the leap, the boy leaned comically back to stare agape straight upwards. It was only then that he saw something way better than a cat.
"Cow!" he blurted out loud, finger pointing for the beast's wide nose. Of course Jimmy knew what a cow was. He had seen it enough times on his toy with the pull cord and the spinning arrow. "Cow says moo!" he proudly exclaimed to the bovine, telling it was it was supposed to do.
It sure was big. Jimmy never imagined a cow to be so much taller than him. He reached up, his little hands patting the pink and slightly hairy nose that bent down to sniff him. "Cow!" he repeated, squealing with delight and thrilled to be finally meeting a real one. "Moo! Moo! Moooo!"
The cow grew bored long before Jimmy, the bovine turning her head away from the strange little intruder in the barn and back to her hay. Though he was three years old, the boy picked up on what she was doing right away. Wanting to keep the big animal's focus on himself, Jimmy took a couple stuffed handfuls of the hay and held it up for the cow to take from him.
Despite the little boy holding it, the cow had no problem with munching on the hay. Her heavy bovine lips parted and her tongue came reaching out for her food. Almost like a snake, the thick pink muscle coiled once around one of Jimmy's handfuls and dragged it up into her mouth. The toddler giggled as he watched what he had offered be chewed up just over his head.
A rain of grain bits fell over the boy's head, getting stuck in his already messy hair. Jimmy curled up and giggled some more, almost dancing in his dusty little shower. When it ended, when the lump of chewed pulp was swallowed down the cow's throat, the boy was all too glad to hold up another load for his new friend to take.
The cow seemed more eager this time around. Her tongue curled right around Jimmy's hands along with the hay he offered. The slimy appendage sucked the food right out of his grip, but not before both of Jimmy's hands went right into the cow's mouth. The toddler slipped them out from the cow's closed lips, his face still shining with a wide smile as he watched the giant animal eat.
He didn't look down this time. He watched the whole time as the cow chewed and then swallowed, even seeing the bulge dropping down under the cow's chin. "All gone!" he cheered, that being his usual cry after he finished a meal of his own.
Jimmy didn't notice what the cow was doing, but she took a quiet look back and forth between her regular pile of feed and the little toddler with the hair all full of hay bits. Deep down in her primitive animal brain, a choice was made.
The cow bent her head down and opened her mouth again, her tongue reaching out just as before. Jimmy held up his hands to show his empty palms as a way to say that he had no hay left. The gesture was perfect for the cow to snake her tongue around his wrists and draw them deep up into her drooling maw.
The toddler giggled, his hands tickled by the big wet tongue. Even as the cow's hairy lips slid down his arms, he didn't realize the trouble he was in. He thought the cow was just licking him clean, the same way his dog would back at home when he had food on his face.
The cow's nostrils flared and a great sniff rustled Jimmy's hair. The boy bounced in place, his arms lodged deep into the cow's closed jaws. He looked up just as the animal's lips parted wide and her head leaned down further.
Jimmy could see all the way up into the cave of the hungry animal's mouth. Wet strands dropped from the roof of the cow's mouth, covering everything from the rows of blunt teeth to all that pink flesh. His hands were at the very back of her tongue, right where the hole of her throat opened. There was enough light shining into the barn for Jimmy to even see down that internal path, the tunnel of undulating dark pink leading into the open space down in the cow's neck.
There was no fear in the boy. Even when his head entered the cow's mouth and his chin rested on her tongue, he didn't know he was in any sort of peril. He simply stared forward, his eyes wide. He was amazed at just how big the cow was, to have her mouth all the way around him like this.
A rumble came up from the depths of the cow, the sound and vibration growing quickly and turning into a full belch. Jimmy's hair blew around and he closed his eyes against it. He tried to pull away, but the cow's mouth was closed tight, her teeth gently holding just below his neck, his arms trapped all the way inside of her jaws.
He coughed when it was over, the air blasted up from the animal's stomach hot and dense, its smell overwhelming. "Ewww~" Jimmy whined, his feet stomping the ground.
The cow's tongue slid forward again, this time wrapping around the boy's chest instead of just his arms. Jimmy was lifted up, his sneakers leaving the ground. From there, he gave little resistance as the cow pulled him completely into her great maw.
Jimmy was trapped, his arms and upper half reaching down the cow's throat. "Hey!" he yelled. "Don't eat me!" His cry was still innocent, the boy not really understanding the full seriousness of what was happening. From what he had seen on all of his cartoons, a person who gets gulped up by a dragon or a giant or something just bounces around in the belly for a while before they get coughed up, all covered in slime.
The cow lifted her head and chewed for a moment, her dull teeth barely grazing the boy she held in her jaws. It seemed almost like a formality. After a couple seconds, the bovine calm and unfazed the whole while, leaned her head back and let the struggling mass in her throat slide fully down through her neck.
The bulge that Jimmy made as he went down the cow's throat was sizable, but it stood no match for the overwhelming scale of the cow herself. The toddler was lost completely into the animal, barely a bulge showing once he traveled down through her rib cage and deposited into her first stomach.
The cow stood still as she had before the toddler arrived, her tail giving a passive swish. She looked for a moment at her hay, but decided that she was full enough for right now. Turning away from it, her jaw and tongue worked to clean her teeth of the remnants of the grains she last chewed, and she swallowed them down to clear her mouth.
A faint thumping could be seen and heard in the cow's side, her round, hanging belly holding a little more weight than usual. If anyone had been around for it, they might have just missed it all unless they were looking in just the right place. Under all the meat and thick hide of the cow, the swallowed boy's struggles were stifled and compacted.
A tow-truck finally came. Jimmy's parents were glad to at last be moving again, each of them climbing into the truck's cab after talking with the driver. Both mom and dad were ready to mentally shut down, their heads hitting the headrests, their eyes closing, and dual groans leaking from their mouths.
Jimmy couldn't have been further from their stressed minds.
The moving under the cow's thick skin, as faint as it already was, didn't last forever. Gurgles took over the inside of the barn, the cow standing in roughly the same place with no sense of urgency. A hard rush of air came up her throat again, the cow deciding it was time again to chew some more hay.
As mouthfuls were chewed into wet pulp and casually swallowed, fresh air went down with with it. The struggles under the animal's skin started again, their weak back and forth jiggle only powerful enough to shake the cow's belly a little bit.
Air and hay went down, and old air came up in alternating bursts. High above in the barn's rafter's the cat stretched lazily.
It was many hours later when twilight had set in that the farmer strolled into the barn. The old man stopped at each stall down the line, pouring clean water into troughs and giving his animals loving pats.
A strange sound caught his ear. He was used to all kinds of noises coming from his cows, but this one in particular was especially off-putting. He turned just in time to see one of his girls heaving a big, wet wad up her throat. The farmer knew right away she was regurgitating something that didn't agree with her.
He walked over, fearing he would need to take the cow to the vet. That was when the cow spit up what he had heaved up from her stomach. It was a denim pair of overalls, sized for a small kid.
"Oh no... not again..." the old man whispered, his eyes locked on what remained of the acid-digested blue fabric.
The cat chose that moment to jump down from where it slept the day away. The farmer glared at the feline, a curse coming from his lips. "You can't keep doing that," he growled, though the cat licked itself completely unconcerned. "Do you even understand how close it was last time? All the police here looking for the last kid?"
The cat stared, and the farmer could have swore it smiled.
Shaking his head, the old man grabbed a shovel and scooped up the tattered, soaking wet overalls. It was only then that he saw the stripped-clean bits of bone hidden within the fabric.
Cringing away from the sight, the man walked out of the barn with the full shovel. He would bury the evidence deep in the farm's supply of disposal manure, and it would never be found.
It took days for the cow's special meal to pass all the way through her long and complex system. The farmer waited each day for it, at last collecting the remains once they had been dropped to the ground. Bones and cotton fabric, their colors now dulled, stood out from the rest of the brown mess. And on the very top of the pile, as it it were the crowning piece of the waste mound, a boy's skull stared into nothingness with its empty eyes.