Hairy/Woolly Business

“3,2,1, GO!” whispered Ella. The bright sun scorched down savagely onto our backs, and the dry yellow grass crackled angrily in the fierce heat. A hot wind reddened our cheeks, making strands of hair cling to our sweaty faces like cling wrap. We stealthily commando crawled across the prickly ground like centipedes, leaving four dusty brown snake trails behind as we stalked our prey, one slightly behind the other three due to shortness of legs. Three dirty, woolly backs came into view and the two elders gave the younger children a sideways glance that said ‘Mess-this-up-and-you’re-paying-direct-deposit’. Gleefully anticipating the glorious adrenalin rush of war and hissing all final instructions in case anyone had forgotten, we let out our war cry (this was a serious business) and pounced.
The largest of the three sheep let out a strangled cry of shock mixed with anger and bolted towards the other side of the turkey’s nest, blindly crashing through the dry grass and leaving a little track suitable for further pursuit. The other two followed, sensing the first’s fear, but not knowing who or what had provoked it. As they rounded the bend, a first glimpse of their captors was caught and they doubled speed, only stopping at a good vantage point (atop the bank on the other side.) They stared smugly back at us and stamped their little legs triumphantly, shook their woolly heads emphatically, prepared for our next attack.
However, being experienced sheep scruffers, we were ready for this. We had a ‘base’ directly behind them: should one of the littler hunters be left behind, he/she would wait until the target came around again. The occupant of the base let out a wild, Indian yell and jumped up from his cover (a large clump of buffel grass), eyes wide, legs pumping, eager to be in front of his elder siblings. The sheep abandoned all previous tactics of deceit and were off, surprise overcoming fear and – “ I hope you’re not chasing the sheep again!” Alas, we had been discovered once more.

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