Counting Sheep

My brothers saw my mother in a whole new light. She had risen to the level of a superstar, in their little eyes, for she had become a kindred spirit; she had become one with the devilish delights of all that was disgusting, and my brothers loved her all the more for her repulsive juvenile inventiveness.

My mother was a creative soul that knew how to improvise when the occasion presented itself. She always had quite the imagination, and she always had the greatest ideas when it came to our childhood games.

Now, she would also gather us close and share stories from her youth, and we were always in awe of her tales. We would snuggle in close and quietly listen and hang on to her every word.

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One day, Tommy came over, and we decided to play sheep camp. It was that time of the year when the ranchers loaded their stock and took them to the mountains to graze for the summer. So the two of us decided we would be sheepherders for the day. Now between us, we had a couple of old trucks and sticks for ramps to load the sheep in the back. The only problem was that we didn’t have any sheep. So we thought, and we thought about what we could use for sheep. Finally, we decided we could use flies. They were plentiful, and the folks always complained about all the flies, especially those in the barn.

We found a couple of old jars with lids. We didn’t want our flies to die, so we took a nail and pounded holes in the tops. We found a rock to use as a hammer because your grandpa didn’t like anyone messing with his tools. We also put some leaves in the jars, so they would have a place to rest.

Once in the barn, Tommy and I went about catching flies. We wanted to have a large herd, so it took us quite a while to capture just the correct number of flies. After we gathered our little flock, we were ready to start our mountain trip to take our sheep to graze in The Muddy.

three lamp on green field
Photo by Michael Morse on

We collected the flies, our make shift-ramps, and our trucks and began looking for our own version of a grassy mountain valley. Finally, we located the perfect camp and took twigs to make little corrals. Then we backtracked to our “ranch” and prepared to load our sheep.

Settling in, we opened the lid of the jars, but we had a problem. The flies started escaping! Quickly, we slammed the caps back in place. Now, what are we supposed to do? We had spent hours catching our herd, so we had to find a way to solve this problem. We couldn’t just let them get away!

Tommy looked at me, and I looked at Tommy. And in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, we both grinned. Then, talking at once, we both came up with the same idea. “Pull off their wings!” We screamed in unison. And we took on the difficult task of catching flies and removing their wings. Soon, we were back to counting sheep.

Finally, we had our herd, and we could begin running our sheep up our ramps and into the bed of our trucks. Using tiny twigs as a staff, we guided each fly until they were safely secure in the pickup bed. That proved tougher than we expected, so we finally picked them up and loaded them ourselves.

We drove our trucks to our mountain pasture and carefully unloaded our “sheep” into the corrals. After our long adventurous day, the two of us were tired, so we decided to call it a day and pick up tomorrow where we left off. It was a great day.

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We all sat there in shocked silence until everyone started talking at once.

“That was cool!“ My four brothers yelled in agreement.

“Gross, “ I sputtered, but I laughed at their delight.

Photo by Pixabay on

My brothers saw my mother in a whole new light. She had risen to the level of a superstar. In their little eyes, she had become a kindred spirit; one with the devilish delights of all that was disgusting.  And, of course, my brothers loved her all the more for her repulsive juvenile inventiveness.

Life at my house was never dull.

8 thoughts on “Counting Sheep

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