The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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Like Sheep

A flock of sheep have been let into the pasture adjacent to our cottage. They spend most of their time eating grass by grasping it with their teeth and ripping it with a twist of their heads. Basically, they’re eating machines with thick coats, black faces, and thin, unstable legs, creatures raised for their wool and mutton. Some are bigger than others. Some more attractive. Some stronger. Others weaker. They have an odd habit of loping from place to place, as if they can’t get enough, though it’s the same grass everywhere. They have a herd instinct but seldom stick together, unless someone is driving them from one pasture to the next. Now and then, you’ll see a couple of males butting heads, but there is no beating of chests, no loud bleating. When a female is in estrus, they fornicate, though a few seconds later one or both of them soon gets tired of the proceedings and starts eating again. When they’re had their fill, they stumble forward onto their knees and hunker down like cats. At night they sleep.

Sheep, I’ve discovered, are basically harmless creatures who fill their days with eating and sleeping until the day comes when the farmer decides to replace them with another set just like them.