Cattle, cattle, for weeks on end nothing but cattle. The cowboy has come to love the cattle like children, they'd be lost without him, has come to hate the cattle like a nagging wife, their constant moaning, day and sleepless night.
He wonders how he came to be here, a bovine family, tired, sore, yearning for a bath and a woman?
"How does anyone come to be here?", he ponders out loud. The cows moan in reply.
"Exactly, by listening to my conscience, by leaving all I know and love rather than cause pain to a loved one."
"The cattle have no conscience, they live happily enough, why can't I be more like them?"
He sits silently, knows there is something wrong with this logic. He recalls what awaits the cattle at the end of their drive, sudden death. He knows he will die, knows he won't go gently and thoughtlessly.
"So the price I pay for being a man is feeling a bad conscience, knowing honour, accepting my mistakes and how they affect others?" The cattle nod in affirmation.
"And these lonesome, hard days are better than being one of the cattle?"
"Yah, get along, get along, keep on rolling now."