It’s a pastoral scene: a Sunday drive,
the Amish farm, cotton balls dot an
emerald landscape on a clear-sky
day. A picture doesn’t always
tell a thousand words.
What gets me is the animal
scent, gamey and hot, like
waves of nausea, like
heat shimmers on a
highway, like the
mint jelly cover
that fails the
The sheep don’t mind the way they smell.
They bleat and meander, vague and vapid
in the farmland dust. They go from fat and
fluffy, with wool coats in need of carding,
to skinny and new, stepping lighter,
moving faster. But their fresh-shorn
preening is short-lived. Dirt-speckled
fleece grows back, the sheep return to
the bucolic pasture, the autumn breeze
blows the odor away.
Marauding predators don’t care much
for pastoral scenes. They come in
search of meat. I will not eat lamb.
Don’t ask me to cook it, and don’t dare
mention the milk. I just might me
a sheep in wolf’s clothing.