People from Xam Ta village have their own grazing area in the forest, three kilometres from the village. Villagers visit the cattle once a week, and some do not visit at all if they only have a few cows. When visiting them, I count the total number of cows owned by me and by my neighbours. If there are missing cows, I will report them.
In the summer, there are many mosquitoes and flies. Cows bitten by these insects may be bleeding, allowing yellow flies to lay eggs, which causes the cows’ flesh to decay. During my visits, if I see my cows are sick, I will go back to get an antiseptic solution to treat them. If the neighbours’ cows have the problem, I will tell them so that they can address it.
This morning, I visited the cows and saw two of them with putrid flesh. I have already treated them. If they were kept in captivity, there would not be cases like this. We may consider captivity in the future. However, we do not have enough grass at present, so we let the cows graze. I do not have time to either herd my cows to the fields or cut grass to feed them.
Narrator: Sồng A Mua
Photographer: Sồng A Hịa (Hmong, 27 years old)