Saturday, July 09, 2005

On hating sheep

I hate sheep. When I was a grad student at CERN, I had an office in a trailer beside a grassy knoll. When the grass got a bit long, a flock of sheep would be deposited on it. Sheep are, following millennia of human selection, just a smidge smarter than lawnmowers, and are an adequate automated substitute if you don't mind them walking into the side of your building headfirst and baaing in surprise. Over and over again, stinking the whole time.

Here's a sour little (believe it or not) love poem I wrote then:

Spring, Frühling, Printemps, Primavera

The sheep outside my window gnaw the grass down to the dirt.
Some of them wear cowbells; the others surely don't wonder
What they are saying to each other.
Sometimes they baa without inflection, their simple vocabulary
Well-matched to their lack of anything to say
Or ability to comprehend.
The songbirds blurt their programmed monologues -
The male birds, having absorbed and regrown the cells
In which they store their shrill spring come-ons.

I've been studying Italian, you know some - with English,
French, and German that's four languages we could talk in -
Your French is better, and my German, but in any case
We don't, or little - our border is clearly drawn,
We've little commerce and nothing to declare.
By treaty I will continue not telling you
What you know already, what you mean to me,
In four languages simultaneously.

So anyway, I'm able to set aside my love for the natural world in cases where humans have screwed species up and so take Schadenfreude from this updated link (this report is stale) about 3 gross of suicidal (I'd write "lemminglike" if that wasn't an urban [orban?] legend) sheep, via Billmon, who puts his usual english on it.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet, you do seem to like cats.

11/7/05 21:15  

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