Taryn handed her son an apple before he bit his sister again. Or a cow. Then the mother turned to Athena. "So who wrote the diary? And what does it have to do with these cows?"
Athena scanned the back few pages and front few pages of the diary. "No mention of cows. But the diary guy's name is Francisco Ojeda."
"Could he be ... government?" Valeria wondered aloud.
"Did you listen to his name?" Her husband shook his head.
"Well, he could have been ... before."
"Well, if he was government before, then maybe he knew that Mario guy. But where are they now? And what does that have to do with a boxcar full of cows?" David didn't particularly like mysteries. He wanted to be back in his apple orchard, where everything made sense.
Athena's mother pointed out the obvious: "If they were government before, they're dead now."
"So what do we do with the cows? They have to eat and drink and stuff," Taryn pointed out while looking at the neighbors.
"Let the cows decide," said Yamileth. "When we leave, they'll just follow whoever they follow, and that'll decide it for now." She secretly hoped, of course, that they didn't follow her to her apple orchard, but she didn't know much about cows or what they liked. Correction -- she didn't know what the sort of cows she saw in picture books liked; she knew even less about these weird, skinny guys. Or gals, as the case may be.
"I want to know more about Francisco's diary, and his connection to this Mario," Carlo said.
Athena, who had already begun reading the diary, looked up. "Well, he did work for the government when he began his diary."