I am Most Afraid of Sheep
They are the scariest kind of existence
“How silly,” you say as you read the title that catches your eye, being just odd enough to capture your attention, but far too different for you to take seriously. Maybe you can’t take the title at face value, so you consider that the word sheep might be a euphemism, a metaphor perhaps, maybe even a poetic device, that is for you to decide.
But let me assure you, I am writing of sheep in the truest sense of the word, and they are as dangerous as anything I have ever seen.
In the short period before you read the rest, you scoff at the notion that a fluffy farm animal could could take the title of being the most terrifying beings in existence. You say to yourself, “Surely there are other animals, that are much more dangerous.” And reasonably you might be right. And yes, I agree that there certainly are many fearsome beings out in the world that would send me screaming as I try to escape.
Running through a list of dangerous creatures that inhabit our world you undoubtedly think of a predator, an apex predator perhaps. Maybe even a beast of the sea. That is when it hits you.
They are truly terrifying sight. And so I must concur, sharks are definitely high up on the list of animals that scare the living daylights out of me.
There is no escape.
Just imagine that you are a swimmer, trying to push your limit as you free swim out to sea. You swim as far as your body will allow, finally slowing down at the protest of your aching body. Laying there for what seems like but a brief moment, you look up to see the sun is preparing to set. As you begin to turn back, your weary body flails, rejecting your commands. But as your exhausted muscles are finally convinced to move, a single triangular shape pierces the water and begins to move toward you. As you panic you realize that you had scraped your foot on a rock but moments before, causing the slightest of cuts. Your mind reaches a single conclusion as the fin speeds towards you, “I am going to die”. You develop the flawed notion that you can out swim a killing machine that has been refined and continuously improved for over 425 million years. The idea that you could escape a practically inevitable death would be humorous, even laughable, if you were not swimming for your life. Suddenly pain shoots through you as if it were lightning and grips your leg as if it were being crunched and cut by the 17th strongest bite in the world simply because it was. As you reach back in order to attempt to pry your leg from those jaws of death, your hands are cut up by the millions of razor sharp blades that cover the shark’s skin, spilling more blood into the ocean. The scent of blood whips the shark into a frenzy as it begins to tear you apart.
There is virtually no escape from this death machine.
But, if a shark stops swimming,
their gills can no longer extract oxygen from the water and they effectively drown. If a shark is turned upside down they become paralyzed, unable to move. If punched in the nose, the location of their electroreceptors, they become temporarily stunned. And even then, most people would recommend to go for the eyes or gills as that would almost guarantee your survival. To top it off, they have a insanely low kill rate, so low in fact, that in 2015, more people died from selfies, than from sharks. And so, sharks, not even whipped into a frenzy, cannot usurp the position that sheep occupy in my mind.
But then, before I am able to continue, you interrupt. You ask “what about the crocodile?” In the face of such question I would once again be forced agree that they are certainly among the most lethal of predators in the world. And so it too would be reasonable that you would believe that another carnivore would take over the position that I have given to sheep.
Crocodiles are masters of the ambush.
As you walk down to the water’s edge you look without seeing anything noteworthy, you turn away to call out to your friends. Suddenly, a crocodile leaps out of the water in the brief moment that you were not paying attention. A biting force of over 22,000 Newtons of bone crushing death closes around your body. The crocodile, lazily drags your body into the water to drown you, you panic and flail and try to escape the strongest bite in the world before it swallows you whole and digests you, bones and all. The very same design and mind, that preyed on the dinosaurs of eras past, that have remained unchanged for millions of years due to the undeniable fact that improvement upon perfection is not possible, has just ended your life. Their name comes from the ancient Greeks who, called them “ho krokódilos tou potamoú” or “ the lizard of the (Nile) river” as a testament their awesome power.
Once you are caught, death is the only escape.
But if you hold the jaws of a crocodile together.
You will meet no resistance at all. The crocodile boasts such an impressive biting force but their jaw’s ability to open is sorely lacking. Your very own hands are capable of holding together the strongest bite in the animal kingdom, which is quite underwhelming if you ask me. If you are caught in its jaws, hitting it in the eye is a almost sure way to get the beat to release you. If your already under water there is a spot behind the animal’s tongue that if hit, is guaranteed to cause the crocodile to release.
On land, it does not take Usain Bolt to escape a crocodile, if you are even moderately fit you should be able to outrun a crocodile with little to no issue. If a person has the common sense to not go frolicking in crocodile infested water, the chances of meeting a crocodile are slim to none. So for me, crocodiles are no pressing issue. And once again my fear of sheep goes unchallenged.
Sheep are the most terrifying beings in the world
And I mean it. There is no animal more fearsome than the sheep. “But why, why do you fear sheep, an animal that is completely born and bred for human utility?” You ask completely confused. And to your point I must agree that a they are completely unremarkable creatures.
Their wool, the most defining feature of this frightening beast provides more harm to them in the wild than good. They are bred to never shed their wool so it grows all year round resulting in what is called wool blindness, causing detriment to their peripheral vision, if not sheared around the face regularly. In addition if they are not sheared regularly, they can die to overheating as they do not shed their wool.
They would be brought to extinction if not for the shepherd, taking care of the flock, feeding them, shearing them, and sheltering them. Sheepdogs too care for them, guarding them from hungry wolves that would like nothing better than to eat them.
What I fear about sheep has nothing to do with their physical characteristics but instead their behaviour.
I am entirely afraid of, how they completely accept anything that goes their way. They are content to live out their life in almost absolute servitude to another kind. They are nothing more than a resource to benefit another, with each generation becoming more and more entrenched into the system of slavery and servitude.
I fear sheep not for what they seem to be, but for what they are at the core of their being: A flock that is led, submitting to a higher power. No concept of liberty or death. Their liberty and freedom, are offered up in exchange for safety. They remain blind and docile in they face of atrocities against their own kind.