(Definitely got sidetracked.)
Calves shake on skinny legs. Their ribs swing in airy birdcages, like bells without tongues. Storms of dust rise around the worn ankles of the fence. In the barn, cattle stand with their necks caught up in cages. Their large bodies tremble, and a sheen of sweat lights up their flanks. Machines click into action and begin to hiss. The cattle keen. They uncurl their tongues and tiny white hummingbirds fly from their lips. Thin beaks pull the birds into flight, and the barn fills with drumming wings. Birds rise on a cloud of dust and fly to the barnyard in a straight line. Calves prick their ears and flutter their nostrils. They take up a wail. Ribs rattle, and hips heave as they sweat in an effort to still the shaking birdcages. Their wide eyes are intent even as they realize that the thrumming wings are carrying the birds away from the barnyard.