Wednesday, August 02, 2006


By Matthew Sanborn Smith

There really wasn't much to being a sheep. Bob found it suited him. Stand around, eat some grass, take a dump. You had some occasional sex and every so often, one wicked haircut.

The biggest problem he had was that all the other sheep were always calling his name. He looked around constantly to see what everyone wanted, and by and large they ignored him. Now, you'd think he'd get used to that after the first week or so of sheepdom, but he never did. This could have been a negative thing, Bob could have wound up a nervous wreck, a sheep suicide at the age of three years, and in fact he was a bit disturbed at first.

But one night when sleep was hard coming and he and the gang were all counting each other (not an easy thing when everyone you're trying to count is milling about trying to count everyone else), Bob decided that he wasn't going to get any sleep tonight. He was too wound up and his neck hurt from craning to see who wanted him all the time. What he needed was some exercise, a stroll through the forest seemed like just the thing for him. But between him and the forest, stood the fence. How in the world would he ever get past that big old thing?

The horses did it, didn't they? They were always showing off, jumping things. Why couldn't he? Because he was a sheep, that's why. And a nervous sheep at that. And the sheep him wouldn't stop calling his name. He looked back and something was different this time. Some of them were looking right at him.

"Well, what is it that you want?" Bob asked. They didn't say. They just kept calling his name.

"Holy cow," he said. "They never wanted my attention. All this time they've been cheering me on! I'm gonna do it! I'm gonna jump that fence for all you bastards who never had the faith to do it yourself!"

He gave himself a good running start of about two hundred feet and he jumped that fence, by gum! Bob felt like a god. Everybody was still chanting his name. He ran off to see the world and days later, when he came upon another herd, they too were chanting his name. He'd never even met these sheep!

"I am the most popular sheep in the whole goddamned world!" Bob exclaimed. "No more haircuts for me! I can do anything!"

He vowed then and there that he would bring peace to this world that man had darkened with violence. He would lead his people from subjugation and see them colonize the stars.

He took a pottery course at the local community college and then found a job as a customer service representative for a toaster oven manufacturer. He lived out his days in relative contentment and brought satisfaction to many toast-loving customers.


What about his great aspirations, you ask? The world peace and the stars and what not? Well, he was just a sheep, you know. Anyone else would be quite impressed with all that he did accomplish. I mean, just the fact that he could speak should astound you.


You frickin' people.

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