Individual

Excellence Award in the 'The Text Generation 2014' competition

I was fuming. I twisted around and roared at my frustration.
“Go AWAY! Leave me alone!”
The flock all just looked at me like dumb humans. At least humans don’t follow each other blindly like the flock were doing to me! I quickly trotted toward the muddy dam in the centre of the paddock. The irritating noise of hooves hitting the wet turf made me grind my teeth. I slowly drank the cool water, watching the others do the same out of the corner of my eye. It was so frustrating! Whatever I did, they did the same. Wherever I went, they followed. The only alone time I ever had to myself was at night, when the rest of the flock were counting humans. I would wander into the farmer’s shed and glance up at his corkboard. Pinned on it were pictures of beaches, cars and people eating. I knew that my destiny was in the city too.
I decided that because there were beaches in the city, I’d better learn how swim! I ploughed through the fluff to get to the dam, heart racing and feeling confident. When I jumped in it wasn’t cold, because my big woolly coat kept me cosy, but that wasn’t the only thing it was doing. It was also dragging me down! And as Sheep 66 and 89 jumped in as well, I could tell that they too were struggling. I dragged myself up the bank, as did the others. I was breathing heavily. I glared at the cluster of sheep behind me and cried, “You are all individuals!”
“Yes, we are all individuals,” they chanted back at me. I groaned.
I shook myself off and quickly made my way to the tractor, Sheep 13 and 51 trotting behind me. Soon my hoof was on the accelerator. The grumble vibrated below me as I dodged trees (and shocked family members). I twisted around and saw the flock belting after me. I laughed. Then Sheep 78 and 49 jumped out in front, causing me to screech to a holt. I opened my mouth to curse, when I noticed a large truck had pulled up, and a man dressed in a white jump suit was ushering everyone to get on-board. Suddenly I was not an individual, I was in an ocean of sheep, pushing and shoving, desperate to get on the truck too.
On board, as I saw the farm rush by, my excitement grew.
“I wonder where we’re going?” sheep 37 cried.
A thrill raced through me. I was on my way to the city! My dream was coming true! When we finally arrived it was night but the beautiful lights on the sides of the street led the way to our unknown destination. Finally…I was a City Sheep!

Postscript: Sheep 23 (Clyde) did make it to the fancy restaurant he’d always dreamed about, but he was on the menu… not the guest list.

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