Sunday, 15 February 2015

Sheeps and Goats

'Stop the world,' said the king, 'I'm getting confused. Let's take five, simmer down, and think...

'I'm trying to decide, and it just isn't clear, on the difference between goats and sheep.'

'I know,' cried a voice, 'I think it's to do with the people you meet and the things that you do. If you're kind to the poor, and give food from your table, and care where you're able, I'm pretty sure you are a sheep.'

'Hark at him bleating on,' came a second response, 'he's full of his own self importance. I'm afraid it's more complex than that. It's not what you do to the poor that decides, it's the attitude with which you do it. A sheep must be holy and humble and so, if you're anything else you're a goat.'

'That's just woolly thinking,' the first voice replied, 'if anyone's goat-ish it's you. It's all very well being holy and such, but that doesn't get anyone fed.'

Said the goat to the sheep, 'I think we've resolved it, the sheep looks like me and the goat looks like you.'

'I see it the same,' came the answer right back, 'a ewe looks like me not like you.'

'Hang on,' said the king, 'I'm still no more clear. Are you both sure and certain you're sheep?'

'Why yes,' cried two voices, both speaking as one, 'we know that we're sheep, and we're sure it must be, for we know that they all must be goats.' 

'So let me be clear,' said the king with a sigh, 'you each want the other condemned? Well it's never so clear. And I'm never so sure. And there's something that still gets my goat. You've heard of the herd, the tribe, and the nation; the people who act just like you? Well, the herd is a fable we're able to tell, just to justify me and my own. If you think you're all sheep, and that others are goats, you divide up the world very wrong.'

Then the king turned away, and went on his way, and restarted the world once again. But after a minute he paused in his stride, and looked over his shoulder, to see who was following on.

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