Saturday, March 08, 2008

to laugh? or to cry?

There's a fascinating cross over between laughing and crying. Have you ever noticed someone's face but (because you can't hear them) you can't quite figure out if they are laughing or... crying? And sometimes people laugh so much, tears run down their cheeks... Or they feel so overwhelmed by an incredible sense of joy they start crying... Or a situation is so ridiculously miserable it's laughable... Laughter and tears represent seeming extremes of emotion yet at times they merge and blur and indicate the very same feeling. Incredible.

That's a pretty fancy intro just to tell you that the sheep got into the garden. Again. And I don't know whether to laugh or cry... and I can't figure out if I'm devastated or amused... and, and, and...

We came home this evening from a very pleasant ride to the waterfront for fish and chips. Clive was standing in the yard looking kind of guilty (this is funny, sheep can look guilty). I said 'I hope you haven't been in the garden Clive because I've seen you pacing and pawing around it quite a lot recently'. (Clive and Blackie have also been making frequent, small incursions into the edge of the patch, snatching forbidden fruit whenever they can)

I stepped around the back of the shed to see what they had been up to, and found Blackie standing in a mess of trampled, chewed silver beet, lettuce and capsicum, brazenly tearing leaves off the tomatoes (this was not funny, I wanted to cry). She immediately ran through the hole they had torn in the chicken wire and joined Clive in staring at me, waiting to see what I would do (this is kind of funny - sheep seriously act like people sometimes).

Frank heard my ensuing garbled expressions of disgust and came down to see what the problem was. He was furious and (very unusually for him) clapped his hands loudly and chased them into the neighbour's yard (three cheers for Frank - that was fantastic). The sheep stood just across the boundary looking rather sheepish about their behaviour (this was cute, but I wasn't laughing). They even managed to look slightly penitent - but since we've seen that look at least ten times before we had no mercy. Frank found a piece of suitable plywood, placed it in the fence and effectively banished the sheep from our yard. They made not a sound, not even a bleat. They knew they had done wrong (this is interesting, but not really funny).

The funniest thing of all though, was Frank's reaction - he was visibly upset. Usually it's me running around madly, cussing and cursing those blasted sheep. This time Frank was the cross one. He didn't cuss and curse mind you... only I do that around here... but he determinedly set the sheep out of his sight. And why? Not because he was upset about the loss of vegetables - it was for me to mourn the loss of our beautiful produce. Frank was upset because he thought the sheep knew the vegetable garden was not theirs for the taking. He thought he had a meaningful relationship with them such that they could be trusted to do right and stay out of what was obviously not their territory. He could not believe they would have been so deliberate in their wrong doing. Surely they knew better.

Sheep? With a conscience? With a brain big enough to stop and think before sinning?! Now that's funny!

(After which I'm off to cry about my poor, poor vegie patch. I think I give up)

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At 6:55 am, March 09, 2008, Blogger Mike S said...

I truly believe the sheep are just too dim to realize the fence isn't food as they chew through. Have Frank and the sheep considered joint counseling?

At 2:44 am, March 10, 2008, Blogger Deanna said...

You might feed the sheep to the spider...

At 8:59 am, March 13, 2008, Blogger Cherie said...

Good that you wrote this story down, Cecily. Someday you will pull it out of your story-library and share it again and again.

Shame on Blackie and Clive.

I'm so sorry for your poor bedraggled veggie patch, the victim in what shall become a fun retelling.

(You wrote it up so well, and with such humor in spite of the events, that I pictured the entire scenario.. Good job!)


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