The Denuded and the Deluded

from The Magic Pond and other fables

One hot summer morning a flock of sheep were horribly surprised to find themselves chased into a pen, funnelled into a shed – and sheared of their woolly coats.

“Look at me!” said the first of the sheep – who was an indignant sheep – emerging naked from the shed. “Look what those bastards have done! Where’s my wool? It’s a downright liberty.”

“Oh? Don’t you like it?” said the next sheep – who was an aspirational sheep. “Frankly, I’m glad to get rid it. It was hot, it was bulky – it was full of bugs. But I must say – ” it complained – “they could have been nicer about it.”

“There’s no point in blaming the shearer,” said the next sheep out – who was a confident sheep. “It’s up to you to be more assertive. I gave mine one of me special baas, and he didn’t dare tangle with me. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for, and as free haircuts go, you’ve nothing to complain about. It’ll probably take a week or two to work.”

“Oh? You had the free service did you?” said the fourth sheep to enter the conversation – an arrogant sheep. “I paid mine. And I gave him a tip. You see, the relationship between client and stylist should never be taken for granted. These free shearers – well, can’t blame them, can you? Having to spend all day with the hoi polloi.”

“The trick is . . . ” said the next sheep out – who was a deluded sheep, “the trick is to book a double appointment. That way you get the time to plan, to consider your whole look, discuss your options and make the right choices. I’ve been coming to this place for years, and I always insist on seeing the same makeover consultant every time. And of course I’ll be co-ordinating my jewellery and footwear appropriately . . . ”

“You have got to be fucking joking,” said the first sheep – the sheep who was so indignant. “You damn well know you were all forced in there against your will. We’ve been threatened, rough-handled, mentally and physically abused, robbed-blind and humiliated without apology. And you have the nerve to talk about stylists and appointments and jewellery? You are sheep – you pretentious bastards – and you have been fleeced!”

A lorry arrived.

“Good God, is that the transport?” asked the aspirational sheep.

“Probably a mix-up,” said the confident one.

“Right, you nudies! Up the ramp!” barked a sheepdog.

“I think you’ll find I’ve made separate arrangements,” said the deluded sheep. “Oh, all right then . . . If you insist.”

The dog chased all the sheep into the truck.

“And I wonder,” grumbled the indignant sheep, “what indignity they’ll put us through next?”

“Nonsense,” said the deluded sheep, as the truck started moving. “You really get a feel for a place if you travel like the locals, don’t you?”

Moral: Did you know that wool can spontaneously combust?

© Adam Acidophilus 2014