Before Coyote Slays A Sheep

The plural form of sheep is sheep which is pretty confusing. Anyway,

Aru, the Sheep, one day finds herself locked in a room with few of her friends, away from the barn. Outside safe haven, even Sheep know that they can only forebode the time of their approaching doom. How they still took this bold measure of moving out was not known. Knowingly or unknowingly they went afar in their risk.

As the evening settles and the cool winds touch the skin, Aru notices a Coyote hiding at a distance. Realising the grave mistake, Aru alerts everyone discreetly and suggests taking shelter in a nearby seemingly hollow room. They all worryingly agree and start getting their toes inside at signal. Before the Coyote could pound any, they all get in and lock the room from inside.

Although the Coyote fails, he stays at the door knowing that the Sheep have wandered far from home and are helpless. Sooner or later they’ll have to come out, and when they do, life would be pretty sweet. He crafts his strategy and goes sleeping. Day goes by, no one comes out. Coyote begins to get bored. He notices Aru keeping an eye on him from one of the windows and goes closer.

“Hey, I am Dennis.”

Aru stays silent.

“…so have you guys worked out any plan to safely reach your barn? It looks pretty far from here.”

Aru maintains her silence.

“Look I know, you guys are scared of me, but I am who I am. I don’t do it for pleasure but for food. That’s how we are made. I can either hunt or die, and I value my life more than I value anyone else’s. Basic selfish trait we all have. You understand right?”

Another moment of complete silence passes.

“…yea I guess I understand.”

“Oh great! I am not really a bad person personally, but yea…I would kill you given a chance. You’d do the same”

“Why are you telling me this?” asks Aru.

“Well, you are in your room with your friends, and I have no one to talk to. I am just trying to have an honest conversation, that’s all. Make a friend for the time being probably”

After exchanging few harmless words, Aru explains to Dennis,

“Well, I’ll be honest with you too since there can be no deceiving anyone. We made a mistake and now we don’t know what to do. We’re isolated, you are aware of it and you wouldn’t let us go. Pardon me if I seem to be overstepping this friendly boundary, but I have to ask you something…”

“Oh…you gotta do what you gotta do. Ask away”

“Well, do you have any weakness that might give us a fighting chance to save our lives?”

It wasn’t a big conundrum for Dennis who had to hunt for his food. Revealing his weaknesses would mean starving himself and being vulnerable to other animals, who might not be as friendly as he is. He believed he still had to fight for his character though, because that made him different from other untrustworthy coyotes who would mercilessly kill and keep themselves isolated in their own culture. Dennis did not oppose killing for food, but he still liked to take his chances once in a while with a little honesty.

And here he saw Aru, a sheep trying to figure out his weaknesses. What chance would a sheep have against him? None at all. She’s still thinking though and had made the best move possible. That impressed Dennis. So how could he be honest and still outsmart her?

He thinks of setting a trap in disguise. After some thinking, Dennis decides to answer Aru.

“Sorry, I really had to think on this for obvious reasons that you’d understand. But I’ll answer your question now.”

Aru becomes attentive.

“I sleep a lot. Can’t help it! In probably 1-2 hours, I’ll have to sleep again. So there you go…help yourself”

Dennis’s honesty surprises Aru. She thanks him and goes back into the room to have a discussion with her friends. The time approaches for Dennis to get some rest but he doesn’t. He lies around pretending to be asleep and waits for the Sheep to come out.

They don’t.

Few hours later, Aru comes at the window and looks at Dennis.

“Hey, I thought I lost you guys. I am awake now, you missed your chance.”

“Oh, we couldn’t.”, replies Aru worriedly.

“Oh well, when I sleep next time, you better hurry.”

The Sheep still don’t come out. The Coyote doesn’t sleep or eat for another two days and becomes irascible. He starts scratching the door of the room and gets tired to bones. Without food Sheep become tired too, but not as much as the coyote.

Dennis finds Aru at the window again.

“I underestimated your wit I guess…but I am still stronger than you guys. You don’t have any food so you will have to come out. Here’s my preposition. When you guys come out, I’ll spare your life Aru and will only attack one of your friends.

Look I am tired, but I am not going to just give up.”

Aru goes back into the room and comes back with her own proposal.

“We are all friends, and we don’t want to let anyone die. But we know that you won’t let us go to our home without killing one of us, so here’s what I propose. We’ll all sever one of our limbs and give the pieces to you so you can satisfy your hunger without having to spend any more energy on us. We have the tools for it. In return, you don’t kill any of us…”

Since all Dennis wanted was food, it was not a bad deal considering he was too tired to fight now. The Coyote thinks about it, and gladly agrees.

Enduring the pain, Aru goes to the window with a few limbs and starts to throw them one by one towards the delirious Dennis who gets so absorbed in devouring his meal that he doesn’t notice the Sheep getting out.

As Dennis happily chews on one of the limbs, the distraught Sheep cut his throat using the same bloody tool. They pick up their untouched limbs and start moving towards the barn.

The Sheep looks at the Coyote in her stoical grace from the window.

“You’d do the same.”

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