Monday, February 20, 2012

The Pillage of the Lambs


The villagers were working in the fields when they saw them -approaching in the broad sunlight; rounding the curve of the lined up haystacks off to the right; their distinctive bleat giving them away.

Panicked and afraid, the villagers dropped their field tools, and turned almost as one -and ran.

The marauding sheep had returned.

Years ago, it had all begun so harmlessly:  The marauding sheep had come to them to give them of their wool; in exchange, the villagers had fed them; housed them; given them great gifts -but it was not enough.  The marauding sheep wanted more.  First they had taken their women, and then their children, and then their very homes.  After years of rape and pillage by the marauding sheep, the villagers had had enough.  As one they had arisen in defiance and defense of their homes -and they had driven the marauding sheep off their land.

But always the marauding sheep returned, always more hungry and rapacious than the last -their eyes burning red with incandescent rage.  The vision of those glowing red eyes kept many a villager up late at night.  And now there they were again -an army of glowing red embers glaring back at them; setting their fields on fire; bouncing up and down on their broken haystacks in the wanton glee of vengeful destruction.

And then, suddenly, the marauding sheep vanished as quickly as they had arrived, their triumphant bleats fading into the distant mountainside.

As the sun set, a lone villager stood in the ruins of his field, a pitchfork held aloft in his fist -all but impotent against the faraway mountain.  In the distance, he heard the giddy bleat of a marauding sheep.

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