Friday, April 6, 2012

Bathroom Monologue: In Sheep's Clothing Redux

Lobo stalked the herd for two hours. They were lazy things, like bleating clouds drifting across the field. He salivated, but couldn’t give in. If he attacked too soon, they’d scatter and he’d only get one of them. If he was smart, he could knick sheep from the periphery of the flock for days. Forget his pack and their rules. The life of a lone wolf was sexy.

He kept his muzzle down, hiding in the willows. One gamy sheep straggled from its herd, its dim face nuzzling the grass. Lobo panted. It was far from the most tempting of the flock, but Lobo was good for any meat.

It strayed further and further, almost straight to his hiding spot. Its head bobbed around, mouth never opening for a bite of grass. Lobo wondered if it was developmentally challenged. Then its head flopped back. Lobo stared in horror as the top of its head came to rest against its spine, as though a convulsion had broken its neck.

That wasn’t it. Instead, jutting from beneath the sheepskin, a grey wolf’s muzzle protruded. The sheep head and hide were a disguise, draped over a she-wolf. She bared her fangs at Lobo’s brush.

She growled at him. "You look like a bottle cap."

"What?"

"Screw off."

Lobo remained down. The she-wolf in sheep’s clothing padded up to his willows. He felt foolish now, seeing her shapely wolf’s legs protruding out from under the sheep hide.

“I see you, moron. This is my flock. Get out of here.”

“No way,” Lobo whispered. “You get out of here. You’ll spoil everything.”

She threatened, “I’ll cry wolf.”

“So you’ll be busted.”

“I’ll just put the mask back on. They’re not very bright.”

Lobo rubbed his nose in the dirt. He wasn’t good with inter-wolf conflict. It’s why he was trying the loner deal. “We can share. There’s enough sheep for both of us.”

“They’re not for eating.”

Lobo looked at the pudgy critters. Two of them ambled into each other and their fat deposits jiggled. “They look like they’re for eating.”

“Listen, once upon a time I thought that way. I dressed up like them to get in. But they’re really nice. They play games. We jump over fences to make kids fall asleep. Plus, sheep fur is harder to digest than you think.”

Lobo growled as low as possible, wanting to threaten her but not alert the others. The she-wolf was unmoved.

“Last warning,” she said. She jerked her head forward and the sheep mask fell back over her face. Its eyes were actually pebbles. Lobo couldn’t believe he hadn’t noticed it before. “Get out of here before I tell my friends on you.”

“Just you try it. Some day I’m going to eat you by accident.”

The she-wolf turned tail and ambled back into the fold. Sheep-walking didn’t look so hard, Lobo thought. All you needed was a costume and to trot around like you were drunk. After a moment, Lobo couldn’t even tell which was her. Wolves weren’t much brighter than sheep.

A particularly mouthwatering sheep emerged from the herd. He was bursting with meat, at least twenty times the size of his friends. Lobo had to bite his paw to prevent himself from pouncing the husky thing.

It ambled towards Lobo’s brush. The ground shook under its weight. Slowly, Lobo’s feast-enthusiasm turned to anxiety. There was something wrong with the giant sheep. Its legs were tree-stump thick and grey. Its hide was messy, almost like a patchwork of dozens of sheep-sheddings.

Lobo squinted. He wasn’t much of a thinker, but there was something off about the giant sheep’s head. It drooped straight down like there was no skull under it. Plus, he didn’t think there was a nose or mouth. If he didn’t know better, he’d think it was a sheet of paper with the word “FACE” written on it.

The giant sheep paused before Lobo’s brush. Lobo looked up and saw under the paper. Two massive nostrils glared back down at him, exhaling a gust of wind. The hippo in sheep’s clothing grunted.

“Baaaa.”

“Are… are you kidding me?”

“I’m a vegetarian, but I have a four foot mouth. You want to try this?”

Lobo whined up at the massive nostrils. He wormed away on the ground, head bowed, never getting back up to his paws. There had to be easier meals out there. Maybe he could eat the willows.

36 comments:

  1. A hippo in sheep's clothing. I did not see that coming. [Apparently I'm not any brighter than the wolves or the sheep.]

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    1. The mask is very convincing, Tim. Many of us were fooled.

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    2. Yes, it blended into the lambscape.

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  2. Are there any sheep in sheep's clothing? I am like the Professor in Rupert Bear stories 'thinking of the possibilities'. Thank you. An unexpected joy.

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    1. It's a viable theory! And you're quite welcome.

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  3. Poor Lobo perhaps he'd better try grazing. I guess Lobo learnt that not all things are what they seem.

    Loved this line - "like bleating clouds drifting across the field. "

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    1. I was pretty proud of that phrasing, so I'm glad it worked for you Helen. Thanks!

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  4. sheep may not be bright but they seem to have an uncanny knack for influencing the right sort of critters to make like them and act as a deterrent to enhance their security. John this story was fairly bonkers, in the nicest possible meaning of the word!

    marc nash

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    1. And I'll take it that way, thank you!

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  5. Cute idea. This story was very visual for me. I could imagine it as a comic.

    I also like the wolf conversation, made me smile.

    There's a typo in paragraph 4 btw. "The sheep head and hide were a disguised..."

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    1. Thanks for catching the typo, Pete. Got that for editing on the road.

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  6. Baaaa-ha-haaaa! (Sorry, I had to.)

    I think this flock of sheep may have evolved some kind of mind control. Very clever premise, with plenty of humor.

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  7. What is it about sheep that make them so powerfully attractive?

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    1. I'll tell you this: it's not in the dental work.

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  8. I'm still smiling thinking of the hippo jumping over the fences. :)

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  9. Are any of the sheep real sheep? Who knows, there might be a lion or goat in that flock. LOL The wolf is better off joining them.

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    1. Especially better if she takes advantage of available midnight snacks.

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  10. Thanks for the laughs, John. The hippo in sheep's clothing was a hilarious mental image.

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    1. There's a little of that hippo in all of us. Happy to see you around again, Chuck.

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  11. Funny - loved all the references throughout and hippo at the end was great.

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    1. Thanks! Any particular references tickle you in this one?

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  12. While the entire story was brilliant, my favourite part was the she-wolf talking about how much fun it was jumping fences to make children fall asleep.

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  13. As with a couple of the other commenters, I'm wondering if any of the 'sheep' are actually sheep. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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  14. The bleating clouds line hooked me. I'm searching for my sheep costume right now, I'm pretty sure I can blend in.

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  15. Sheep fur is hard to digest..LOL..and the jumping over the fence bit too. The sexy lone wolves have hard lives indeed. And where did that hippo pop up from?

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    1. Thanks to you both! As far as the hippo, he'd just blended in. Sheep are very accepting folk.

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  16. Wow a hippo, that one really took me by surprise!

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  17. Great spin on an old tale, lots of fun. First flash I've read in recent memory that I could read out loud to my 2 year old daughter. Thanks, John!

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  18. This story pretty much had me smiling the whole way through. When that large sheep came out I was expecting a bear. And like the hippo says you don't want to try him. Most dangerous land animal in Africa. The babies are so cute though.

    "We jump over fences to make kids fall asleep."

    I thought this line was rather cute.

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  19. This was great fun, John. Loved the she-wolf's attitude. The hippo? So clever. Never saw it coming. Thanks!

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  20. Now that's a great idea - taking a saying to inspire a story - that's got me thinking!

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  21. I want to see him stick around just to see what the next massive disguised sheep will be!

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  22. Ha! Ewe make me laugh, John. Great stuff.

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