Farmer Bob loved his lambs and his sheep.
His attachment to them was troubling, as they existed for only several purposes.
The wool on their backs and the meat on their bones.
It was always an annual dilemma for Farmer Bob when shearing time came around, and as each sheep underwent its shearing, he would apologise for the inconvenience he was causing as he was certain each sheep had grown attached to its fleece and here he was depriving them of it. Adding to his misery was the concern for them as it was winter and they’d be cold. So he fashioned small plastic coats for them, some striped, some dotted, some plain and set them free to roam the paddocks suitably attired each with an appropriately coloured bow tie.
Things got worse when his family would ask him to provide meat for the freezer, and he would have to select a lamb ‘to put to the slaughter’, as he put it.
He would spend days in deliberation, looking at his flock and deciding which lamb was to be the unfortunate victim of his families hunger.
As it was over the years, Farmer Bob had become a vegetarian as he couldn’t cope with eating one of his lambs. Then his wife and eldest son would appear to take the fattened lambs to market and Farmer Bob’s heart would be broken as they drove off down the driveway.
Upon their return though they would bring replacement lambs, which always lifted Farmer Bob’s spirits. He would as he had always done name them and set them free to roam the paddocks, awaiting once again his anxieties to pique.