The fields were also protected by huge wasps in shining red armor.
Crimson wasps were a hybrid of the fierce giant hornet and the brown hornet. They preyed exclusively on harmful insects while leaving humans and livestock alone.
Opposite the fields, on the farthest side of the farm was the barn.
I think there was a reason we never visited the barn until the very end. Unlike plants and insects, animals altered by cantus specifically for the purpose of producing large amounts of meat, milk and wool were probably unpleasant to look at. So it was a relief when we visited the cattle barn and saw only normal looking cows lined up before us.
“What the heck? It’s all normal cows here.”
You had to admire Satoru’s insensitivity.
“That’s not true,” Shun pointed at a corner of the barn. “Aren’t those pouch cows?”
We all turned to look.
“It really has a pouch!” Maria exclaimed.
Between the hind legs of a brown cow was a small white balloon.
“Oh, all the cows over there are pouch cows,” said the guide, a well built man whose name I’ve forgotten. He seemed slightly uncomfortable, like we had touched upon a subject he would rather not discuss.
“How come you don’t take the pouches off?” Satoru asked, oblivious of the guide’s discomfort.
“Well…since the olden times, all dairy farmers have said that cows with pouches have a better immune system and are resistant to diseases. We’re trying to determine if that’s true or not.”
Since we had not seen any altered animals in our field trips until now, I thought it was reasonable that we were intrigued by the pouch cows.
In order to explain better, I have a book called “The Natural History of the New Japan Islands” for reference. It’s stamped “classified”. This is the third class of books, treated with discretion because they have the potential to be harmful to the mind of the reader. Here is an excerpt.