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I’m Not One of the Herd

There are nearly 30 million sheep in New Zealand. Nearly six times as many as human beings. Sheep serve a lot of purposes- the main one being extracting wool. We float around aimlessly all day, feasting on ample amounts of scrumptious grass – at least that’s what you think.

We have an identity as well. Each of us have a different shade and personality. To us, all human beings look the same. We are just conditioned to be a flock and not step beyond our boundaries.

But I refuse to comply with this!

My main residence is at Matamata next to what seems to be a film set for a movie that is yet to be shot. They say it will be called The Hobbit. I see several construction workers and other humans working to complete it. No sheep allowed though. We’re always driven away.

My name is Steve by the way. Steve the sheep. I have existed for two years on this planet and I’m what the humans call a “rebellious one.” I also have a black patch surrounding my left eye which makes me unique. I remember my first sheep shearing experience like it was yesterday. I was being fed milk by my mom when I was plucked away from her udder and taken to a cramped shed. They turned me upside down and took this razor and attacked my fur! Wool they call it. Sheesh. It still belonged to me. I wasn’t going down without a fight. I struggled and struggled until I came free of the sheep shearer’s grasp and ran amok. It took two hours for them to hunt me down. I did get shaved in the end but I was satisfied that I gave them a challenge… unlike my other friends who have subdued their true personality.

I also have an idol and his name is Rudolph. I once heard a kid speak about this reindeer at a sheep shearing farm. This reindeer apparently had a red nose that made him stand out and the other lame reindeers ignored him. This dude Santa came and made him ride his sleigh because his nose was so bright. And thus he became the most famous reindeer in history.

My best friend Louis keeps telling me that this story isn’t real and Santa Claus doesn’t actually exist. I ignore him because he’s never really had an imagination. He’s content being just a sheep.

Well I’m not.

I’m a sheep on a mission. I will break into this Hobbit Set and become part of this film. I will become a famous sheep no matter what.

I heard some construction workers say that they will be shooting in a week’s time. I must sneak into the set before that! I have already plotted a plan. I just need the right chance.

For a whole week that didn’t come. Just when I had given up on my dream and said sorry to my idol Rudolph, a van stopped right in front of our patch of grass on the day of the shoot. Here’s my chance!

I sneak into the construction van all James Bond style while the two construction workers are smoking and ruining their lungs. It’s one of those vans with the back open. The back has empty cardboard boxes. I jump into one that’s wide enough for me. It’s dark and scary but I hold on. I can hear the tune of this movie called Mission Impossible running at the back of my mind. I totally don’t remember how I know this tune.

The truck finally stops. Before the humans come to take me, I jump outside and immediately dash into what looks like a small mushroom house. I wait inside here and look through a window. Luckily no one catches me. This is my chance to observe the Hobbiton set through a tiny window in the house. Luckily, there isn’t any furniture and I can move around.

The Hobbiton set is so amazing. There are tiny mushroom-looking houses all around with chimneys that actually work. Every house is placed on a tiny green hill. Outside each house are awesome details like clothes lines, post boxes and much more. There are even tiny pots and plants. The biggest house of them all is right on top of a huge hill. It belongs to a specimen in the movie called Frodo (or that is what I have heard the construction workers say at least). The biggest tree that I have ever seen is rooted above this house, on a more elevated platform right next to me in what humans call a Bar. This one isn’t tiny however, it’s very big. It’s completely made out of wood.

Suddenly something amazing happens. Tiny human beings dressed in strange clothing start partying in the middle of the set where there is a huge lawn. A very serious looking fellow stands behind the camera and is ordering everyone around. There are glasses spread all over the lawn with a weird brown liquid. Looking at it makes me realize how parched I am.

I have found the opening I was looking for! It’s my turn to be famous.

I dash towards the lawn as fast as my little sheep’s feet can take me. I pause in front of the strange brown liquid and take a quick few sips. It tastes horrible but it will have to do. I make my way right in front of the camera but as I do I feel very fuzzy. The world is spinning. I have never felt this way before. But somehow it is still fun. Instead of going straight to the camera I land up right in the Middle and sway like I have never swayed before.

“A sheep!” shouted the serious looking man behind the camera.

Yes a sheep. Steve the sheep. That’s moi. Everything feels so awesome. The world is beautiful.

“The sheep is behaving very strangely. Like he is drunk.” Someone comments.

“I don’t care, get him out of the set.” the serious man screams.

After that I don’t remember anything. All I know is that when I opened by eyes, Louis, my best friend, was staring at me.

“Finally you’re awake. You have been out for half a day.”

“What? Did I get filmed? Did I?” I ask

“I don’t think so. I heard the construction workers say what a nuisance you were to the set and how the director was so upset he had to stop filming.”

“Oh no!” The serious guy stopped shooting. Now I will never become famous.

“This is why I say you should always be a sheep. We need to know our place.” Louis says and walks off.

For the next few weeks I behaved like a normal sheep. I quit my rebellious ways and complied with whatever my owners told me. I didn’t even struggle during shearing. What was the point? It wasn’t like I would ever become famous. A sheep should know its place. I’m sorry Rudolph. I’m sorry Santa.

After a month or so some strange teenage kids were driving by our pastures. They were intently looking at all the sheep.

“That’s the one! The one with the black eye patch.” One of them said while pointing at me.

“His drunk sheep video, where he sways like he’s wasted has over two million views on Youtube.  There are hundreds of Memes about him already. Remember that video where he danced to Drake’s Hotline Bling? He’s famous! Let’s click a picture with him.” The other one said.

Me? Famous? How?

“I’m so glad someone on the Hobbiton set took a video of him and uploaded it to Youtube.” The first one says as he cuddles next to me to take a picture.

Two million views! I am famous after all. I felt a tear of gratitude run down my furry cheek. Thank you Rudolph, thank you Santa. I owe it all to you.

As the days passed by, I eventually became a tourist attraction. People would come and click pictures with me before stopping over to Hobbiton. I would even sway for them so that they could take more videos. The brown liquid I had earlier was something called beer but I could sway without it nonetheless.

I’m not simply any sheep. I’m Steve, the black-eyed patch drunk sheep. And currently more than two million people have seen me around the world.

Source of keychain: Semi-handmade. Made a stuffed toy sheep from New Zealand hold and keychain. 

This is a work of fiction.



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