To look at him you would not expect anything out of the ordinary. Like any other sheep of his generation he was beginning to show his age. Stiff in the joints, fleece a bit coarser and more uneven than in years past. “Long in the tooth”, some would say, but in reality a few were broken off and the rest worn down to blackened stubs. Smooth mouthed, livestock people call it. Slower gaited, slower eating, with a clouded eye that sees more of what was than what is- “Why not?”, he asks himself, “there is much more of yesterday to ponder than there is of tomorrow “.
As a lamb, he was lucky enough to be on one of the better ranges in the country, although at the time he did not know it. Life was good; but as he got older, he began to notice more and more the inconsistencies of life as a sheep. Most sheep were restless– indeed they seemed to be downright uncomfortable with being sheep. In fact, they started to do some very unsheep-like things. He started asking others why; in point of fact he found two philosophies fighting it out before his very eyes.
The older quieter sheep held to their quaint outdated ways. Being sheep they were content in their sheepness and took pride in what sheep were good at: growing wool, eating weeds and shrubs, having lots of lambs to carry on after them. In general helping to keep the rangelands in the same good order they found them while doing the most important thing of all, following the herder and just being sheep.
Now what he learned from his friends and neighbors was something quite different; and it WAS different in a dangerous, sort of delicious way. They told him it was no longer proper for a sheep to be a sheep; in fact it was downright unethical nowadays. Every sheep was destined to be as unsheep-like as possible: it was their “duty and right to evolve as fast as possible”.
In fact the beau ideal of sheepness now, was to become a wolf
END PART 1