From Wikipedia: A lamb does not bleat when it’s killed, making it a suitable object of sacrifice because this signifies its willingness to succumb to its fate.
Animal behaviorists affirm that injured sheep don’t vocalize, but their physiology under such conditions indicates no willingness.
Mama did not bleat when I was taken. Her silence was neither involuntary nor instinctive. Her silence was commanded. I cannot imagine her unnaturally muted torment. I am afraid to try.
I was not silent. But because my bleating was presumed meaningless it was deduced that I, too, accepted my fate willingly.
For a thousand hours, I bleated in protest of my obliterated world. I bleated in protest of my obliterated self. I did not exist without Mama.
I was no one.
Imagine looking in the mirror and seeing… nothing.
I wondered what I was, not who. With every strange face that hovered over me, I waited for my definition. Was I a receptacle? A mechanism? What was my function? What feat must I perform?
No answer was forthcoming.
I cried louder, hoping with new hope she could hear and that at some magic moment the features of a strange face would morph into those of Mama.
No. At least, not yet.
If I accept this foul liquid, will Mama reappear?
If I accept your embrace, will Mama reappear?
Scanning, scanning, scanning. I was ever-vigilant.
Minute after minute. Hour after hour. Face after face, not Mama.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Eventually, protest was eclipsed by despair.
I became lethargic, a leaden heap. My heartbeat slowed. Sleep was intermittent, shallow. I had no sense of day or night. I wanted to disappear. I refused the bottle. I turned away from the strangers. I stopped growing. My bleating grew weak and dispassionate, until it stopped altogether.
I accepted my fate, and became the lamb.