Three sisters buried a cow in their graveyard. The cow had grown ill and miserable, heightening the family’s misfortune as the last of their animals prepared to depart.
The first sister stroked the cow’s neck every night, in hopes that the muscles would feel loose and the cow would look up to life instead of down to death.
The second sister travelled far every dawn, to the clearest and greenest of meadows, collecting the best grass in the land. If the cow ate well, she prayed, it would remember life on earth as a pleasant one, and would make an effort to stay.
The third sister remained in the kitchen all day, cleaning pots and sharpening knives.
“All cows are meat,” she would hum to herself as the water boiled, “one down, two to go.”