The young man wiped his brow as he milked the fat cow in front of him. It didn’t look like hard work, but everything on a farm was hard work. At least milking the cows was preferable to shoveling dung. Cows didn’t smell great themselves, but some parts were even worse.
Eventually, all of the cows were milked. That didn’t mean he was done, though. There were still other things to do. There was always more work to do on the farm. Or perhaps more correctly, the same work. Everything was the same week in and week out, and it would be that way forever. At least… it seemed that way.
The family got a bull. It had seemed docile at first, but it turned ornery. It wouldn’t obey, and constantly tried to escape. They had to keep it restrained. At least it hadn’t yet hurt anyone. However, it was disruptive to everything. They couldn’t afford to get rid of it and get another one, however. The young man took it upon himself to tame the bull. He managed to get a lasso around it, but was just dragged behind it like a sled. It was same the next day, and the next. Yet, the young man still managed to finish all of his other chores, and the bull at least wasn’t causing any more trouble than it had been. His parents just let him continue.
After a few weeks, he kept his feet. However, he would still get dragged along. There wasn’t much that could be done. Then, slowly and almost imperceptibly, he moved less, until he didn’t move at all.
At the end of the year, the bull didn’t seem to be unruly at all. Certainly, it might pace around nervously, but its wildness was gone. If there ever was a time it acted up, all it took was the young man calling its name, or sending it a look, and it would be as docile as a kitten.
One day the young man was out plowing the field. The bull was pulling the plow. Certainly, an ox might have served that purpose as well, but most of the time the bull wasn’t producing anything for the farm, and that was unacceptable. There was no reason to get another animal to fulfill a similar role. He reached the end of a row, and prepared to turn. Off in the distance, he saw smoke. He looked at the bull, and told it to stay. Then, he ran off to the house, to warn his parents.
The next village over had caught fire. It wasn’t the closest one to them, but that didn’t mean they could just ignore something like that. The young man, his family, and some from the nearby village gathered together and headed over to help. After all, even if they didn’t live there, they traded there and had friends there. That was even ignoring the fact that the fire could spread through the fields to their own.
However, they never made it to the other village. About halfway, they saw a battle. They had heard about the war, but mostly through rumor. However, here it was happening right in front of them. Demons were attacking. Knights were fighting them off. Nobody approached any closer. They all just watched in stunned awe. The demons were so powerful… yet the knights fought them off.
That impression remained in the young man’s mind. After the demons were gone, the villagers went to help the survivors from the other village. Fortunately, many had escaped, and not all of their homes were burned. The young man had a friend in the village. His friend was a live… but the young man couldn’t help but feel that wasn’t good enough. Other people’s friends and family weren’t.
The young man returned to the farm. He went to the bull standing out in the field, and told him to be good for his parents. Then he went to his parents, and told them that he was leaving. He was going to join the fight. His parents didn’t know what to say. Certainly, they needed him on the farm, but they could see that the country needed him too. However, the deciding factor was the young man himself. They knew he was going to go. He had made up his mind, so he would succeed.