The splinters from the makeshift yoke rubs into the back of his neck, and he’s pretty sure it will stain. He can already smell blood and leather coming from the sweat on his body, and he thinks it’s the smell that actually makes the air around him heavier than it is.
He shoulders the yoke around for several distances, painfully aware of every stare and whispered word that were sent his way. He feels his life wouldn’t be as embarrassing if he’d been born an ox, but that kind of luxurious life is one he isn’t allowed to have.
So when someone comes over, takes the yoke from him and breaks it over a bended knee, he’s not quite sure what he should feel. The stranger speaks kind and peaceful words and gives him words of hope, and even if his words are lies, at least they taste sweet.
He just has to judge whether the bitter aftertaste is worth a few moments of joy, and whether those brief moments are worth refashioning a yoke made out of iron instead of wood.