Artist's note: those are sheep. Sheep. They are not dogs with curly hair. They're sheep. So no smart remarks about dogs in the comment section. They're sheep.
Yes, I realize that sheep are cute. They're all fluffy and soft and you can turn them into sweaters and bleating sounds cool. But don't let them fool you. Sheep can make your life miserable in ways that are difficult to comprehend until you've experienced it yourself.
You see, sometimes I have a hard time sleeping. Either I'll toss and turn from the moment I get into bed, or else I'll fall asleep right away only to be woken up suddenly in the middle of the night. I'm never quite sure what it is that wakes me up...
...but it doesn't really matter.
What matters is that I'm awake in the middle of the night.
My first instinct is always to check the time. This is usually a mistake, as I then start calculating how much sleep I'll get if I fall back asleep that very instant.
And this is where the sheep come in.
(Please note: for the purpose of this story, we're going to assume that each sheep represents an infinite number of sheep of that particular colour. Making an infinite number of sheep would have taken way more time than I am willing to spend on making clay sheep. Although I should also note that the amount of time that I'm willing to spend on making clay sheep seems to be a lot higher than I would have originally thought.)
We hear it from the time we're little: when you can't sleep, count sheep.
So I try.
At first, it's ok.
The sheep jump over the wall in an orderly fashion,
one after another,
and I almost feel myself relaxing.
But then something happens. They start jumping faster and faster, one and then another and another, until they're just a blur. They're out of control, jumping much faster than I can possibly count them. I feel my stomach clench and the blood pump through my body. I squeeze my eyes shut tightly, trying to force the image of blurry flying sheep out of my head.
Too fast! Slow down! Stop jumping!
Listen to me!!!
I'm now further from sleep than ever, and still the sheep fly through my brain.
I do the only thing that I possibly can under the circumstances.
I tear down the wall.
Actually, I don't tear it down so much as break it in two,
leaving a hole just wide enough for a single sheep.
The hole is the perfect width: wide enough that a sheep can push through it, narrow enough that each one will have to pick its way carefully.
And all is well until an extra fluffy sheep tries to squeeze its way through the hole in the wall. It gets stuck halfway through, and no matter how much it squirms and wiggles, it doesn't budge.
The other sheep pile up behind it, pushing and shoving and crowding.
More and more of them join the group, until there's a big bleating pulsing jostling crowd. I wave my arms, trying to get their attention, but the sheep ignore me.
This really isn't working for me.
Oh well. I may as well get up.
I could do a load of laundry, or write another chapter, or answer my emails, or play minesweeper, or make sure that the bank account is balanced, or learn to speak Spanish, or work out, or clean out the fridge.
Or I could just look for funny animal videos on youtube.
Yeah, I'll probably go with that last one.