Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Slaughtering the Black Sheep

If you've never stared into the beady eyes of one of these disgusting creatures, then you're one of the lucky ones.  When we're children,  we don't even realize that we could possibly have the blood of one of these horrible animals running through our veins, until we can finally understand those whispers that had been coming from the dark corners of the family barn for most of our childhood.  The kind of whispers that can't possibly be heard through naive ears.  But now that you're all grown up,  you can finally hear and see everything quite intelligibly and he's suddenly just standing there, clear as day, in the middle of your kitchen.  He's snorting, and baaing, and shitting all over the place, as you finally realize where all that defecation on the bottom of your shoes has been coming from for all these years.

And then you begin to see the giant trough of selfishness this black sheep has been swimming in for most of his life.  You notice how he hardly ever calls his mother the Ewe, but when he does, and you happen to answer the phone, you notice how he tries to pretend that you're old friends.  And then there's those random days when the black sheep actually decides to come rambling down the driveway.  And of course you know it's him because you can hear his mighty hoofs clicking and clacking the whole way and you can see his mighty black chest puffed out like a turkey.  Then when he finally does come in, dragging his goat of a wife, he immediately starts acting like it was just yesterday that he and the family had rubbed tails.  He then tells of his heroic journeys running across fields of green, managing to impress the ignorant little lambs who think he's as cool as Dolly.  But to the ones who've been slighted by him one too many times,  they know all too well that he'll be gone before he even finishes that stick of hay he's been rudely chewing on and will be on his way back to that mystery pasture that nobody ever gets invited to.  

In a perfect world, I would grow some horns, and stop that damn black sheep right in his tracks.  I would bleat at him louder than I ever have before, telling him that life is just too short to do these kinds of things to the rest of the herd and neglect those little lambs who have always naively adored him.  And after he turns his wet nose up at me, and leads his goat of a wife out the door, I fantasize that I would then lock the fence to the family farm behind him, throwing him and his goat out for good.  But in reality, I fear that nobody would have the guts to stand with me, and only sheepishly lay in the hay, pretending that everything is alright.

So for now, we will all cut our hooves on the black sheep's eggshells as he, time and time again, interrupts what could have been great .  But I know, that eventually his time will come, and the farmer of fate will finally realize how he's treated the rest of us, and he'll be on his way to the butcher shop once and for all.