‘Bah,’ I said. ‘Baaaaahhhh.’ I lengthened the vowel.
‘Bill?’ The ewe to my right looked at me askance. ‘Are you alright?’
‘Absolutely fine, my dear. Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.’ I lengthened the vowel again. ‘What a peculiar noise.’
‘There is a reason sheep speak, Bill. We don’t utter strange sounding elongated vowel noises.’ Thomas the elder looked down at me. Of course he did. The ram had take elocution lessons as a lamb. He wouldn’t understand the pure tonality of a good bleat.
‘Baaaaah humbug Thomas.’ I leant down and chewed some of the grass between my feet. Living by the Wall could be quite boring sometimes. One had to amuse oneself and eating grass was not as amusing as it had been. The old shepherd guarded us well. Too well in my opinion. No sort of adventure to be found. No fights against lions or quests to the other side of the world, to save a good looking ewe. After all, as a sheep, it was rather hard to cross the Wall. Firstly, the height was a bit too much to conquer without help and the rest of the herd would rather die then stray. Secondly, the gap that did exist was guarded by the shepherd, who turned away sheep and humans alike.
‘Baaaaaaaaaaaah,’ said one of the lambs. ‘Baaaaah.’ He played around with the length of the bleat. Thomas huffed and moved away, muttering loudly. ‘Damn youngsters! No respect for properly spoken English.’
I chuckled and joined in. ‘Baaaaaaaaaaah.’
And so the herd began to bleat.
Based on the Wall in Neil Gaiman’s Stardust…
By Emma-Louise Groucutt © 2014