Sunday, April 5, 2009


“No! I forbid you to die on me.” I speak English to an Italian sheep. With my walking stick I nudge the feeble beast encouraging her to keep-up with the flock on our return home. Her knees buckle.

“I’ve had my quota for the day” I explain. She falls again and takes the opportunity to eat dandelion. At least she knows a good thing when she’s down.

Eventually, we all make it to the barn. Hot and thirsty, the sheep line up for a drink at the bathtub. In the corner, Little Stephen still lies. A few flies have settled on his head. THIS I cannot watch.

I scour the barn and find a broken shovel. Finding a location is easier: under a baby olive tree, next to the barn, looking out on the valley and the grassy fields where the sheep and I were this morning.

“Tomorrow” I say, “you’ll be out with your friends.”

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