In one pasture a small flock of sheep graze, knee deep in poo and belching enough methane to remove all doubts about the greenhouse effect; they have their charms.
Being an old hippie, I try to talk to them, flash them the peace sign and chant OM, but they are a cliquish bunch of flockers. Many say that I have a world class sheep bleat, but then again, who doesn’t? Must be sooo embarrassing for the sheep, to have a sound that some fool yurtster, a two-leg can duplicate! But unfortunately, I don’t really know what I am saying to them…perhaps I am cursing or randomly casting aspersions upon their dreadlocks?
I mean no harm. I am trying to teach them English, because it seems that they are some of the brighter ruminants. They spend many hours gulping down grass and then lounging about burping them back up, with a healthy whiff of gas, to chew their cud. They are so liberated. When I did that back in school, I was banned from the salad bar for a week.
The English lessons are only going so-so. I give them the traditional greeting of a wave of the hand and a raucous version of the Mr. Rogers good morning song. They eye me suspiciously, as some of us did Mr. Rogers. Well sheep eye everything suspiciously, with those goofy googley eyes, all yellow and slitty like a devil with a wool dress on.
So after my gracious greeting, they slowly turn their backs, take a few steps and defecate, a luxurious steaming pile of brown jelly bean-like poo. (No, never did, I know what you’re thinking) or alternatively the squat a little and pee like a racehorse. Actually, pee like an elephant might be better here…have you ever seen an open fire hydrant! Whoosh!
So by process of elimination I have deduced that they are responding to my greeting in a somewhat negative manner. I may be misreading this gesture, I do not hold any advanced degrees in scatology or waste management (just a BA in sociology) but the gesture seems the same in every language. I try to walk carefully as to not get it stuck in the Vibram treads of my Keds, but it’s a minefield. Gene Kelly might likely have learned choreography walking among the sheep.
Demonstrative defecation and urination seem to find its way into human behavior as well.
Once, after the arduous journey to attend a family picnic, my Uncle Tom produced a glass jar filled with urine, and proudly proclaiming that it was produced by my Cousin Tom, age 7. Now it is widely known that many of my close relatives do in fact have kidneys, bladders, etc., but why was this trophy being shared with delicate children such as me? Maybe he didn’t want to chance pulling the old Studebaker over to the side of the road?
Perhaps he was training his traumatized son to become an over the road trucker, who find stopping to pee in the traditional manner a waste of time. That’s what those empty 32 ounce soda pop bottles are for; they’re the super deposit bottle for those in a hurry! Ladies, it’s a guy thing…although I’d be super impressed if you have the knack!
Safety tip; never approach one alongside of the road, swelling in the summer sun. They are hair-triggered. Pity the poor state worker running those gang mowers down the median strip.
Well, please be advised to watch your step. There are many over fed dogs roaming the country. And have you seen the size of those Canada Geese, eh?