Dolly the Sheep
Ah, sheep. That one sheep in particular. I always felt there was
something special, unique, about Dolly even when she was just a mere
lamb. The way she would look at me with those big dark brown eyes. The
little 'Baa' of welcome when she saw me on the hillside. The way she
would look away with some kind of hurt in her eyes when she saw I was
wearing 'those' wellies and heading towards one of the older
Of course, one day she too was old enough and she saw me walking
towards her wearing my special 'romantic' wellies. Unlike the others
she did not run, she did not hide. She stood there on the brow of that
windswept hillside, staring at me as she chewed on some grass. I'm sure
Afterwards, she did not 'baaa' and run like all the others, she lay
down beside me and rested her head in my lap, looking up at me with
those eyes. Eyes that made me, would make you, regret that things like
mint sauce, kebabs and chops had ever been invented. Eyes that told so
much of long lonely nights on that cold bare hillside, of lonely baaing
at an indifferent moon, at other sheep who just did not understand
about dreams, about romance and... yes, about love.
I took her back home with me. I just had too. I could not leave my
Dolly up there, not with those other sheep who just did not understand.
Of course from that day on it was all different. I no longer had to
make the long trek up the cold windy hillside in my wellies. I no
longer had to bear the pain of the rejection by those other sheep, the
running away, the struggle with the kicking back legs and the wellies.
Dolly was always there, always ready, always willing. The wellies were
always there at our bedside and she would be there waiting for me on
Those early days were the happiest of my life, and - I like to think -
the happiest of Dolly's too. I would always rush back as soon as I
could; a bunch of grass, or some flowers, gripped tightly in my
sweating hand, always eager to see her. But those days passed, as they
always do. I began to spend longer out on the farm; other sheep seemed
to be looking at me in a new way, there were always fences, walls to
repair. Occasionally I found myself daydreaming about roast lamb, new
potatoes and mint sauce.
She would be there always, waiting. We tried new things. I bought
erotic underwear for her: lace, leather, rubber. Split-crotch panties,
half a dozen peep-hole bras at once, stockings, suspenders.
I knew it was crazy. I knew it was mad and dangerous, but I just had to
justify it; to the world, to myself, who knows? The beauty I saw in
her, still saw in my Dolly, despite everything and the passage of time.
In some sort of reverie, I posted off the photographs.
I can still remember the look on her face when she saw those photos of
herself on the Reader's Wives page of Farmer's Weekly. I had thought -
no matter how foolishly - that she would be as excited as me.
I was wrong. So wrong. So very wrong. She just stared at the pictures
for a minute or two and then turned to stare at me. Without even a
single 'baa' of goodbye she was gone, back to the field. For the first
time in months I slept alone that night, tossing and turning on that
big empty bed. Every time I thought of Dolly I had to toss again.
I woke up the next morning feeling as though I had not slept at all and
feeling rather sticky too. The pile by the front door was a big
surprise and - for once - the dog was not to blame. Never before had I
received so much mail, nearly all of it fan mail for Dolly, forwarded
from the magazine. There was a letter from them too pleading with me to
arrange for Dolly to be their centrefold: 'Sheep of the Season'.
I couldn't believe it. I wanted to run upstairs and show Dolly all of
it, and then - maybe, if we had time - the fan mail. I had a quick
shower and got dressed. I ran out into the meadow looking for her. I
called into the strong wind, I ran to the top of the hill. But I could
not see her. Judging from the looks I got from the other sheep it
seemed as though I had been condemned to the whole of the flock, heads
down they moved slowly and sullenly away from me as I ran up to each
one, the question dying on my lips.
At last, I saw her, under the old oak tree at the very edge of the
field. I walked slowly towards her, but she just stood and walked away.
For a few yards I tried to catch up with her, but it was no use. I
turned and slowly trudged back to the farm.
For the next few weeks it was always the same; a night of tossing -
waking up sticky and sad, a huge pile by the front door (only once - on
the Sunday - caused by the dog); Fan mail, modelling offers, contracts
and a free sample of mint sauce, a quick shower and the slow forlorn
trudge up towards the old oak tree - only to see Dolly stand and walk
away. I could not even get close enough to beg for forgiveness.
I remember, it was a Saturday morning. One of those early autumn days
when there is a touch of frost giving a certain sharpness to the air,
when the dull heat of summer is on the wane and the sunlight seems to
sharpen itself on the air. The leaves on the old oak tree were starting
to redden and brown. I saw that Dolly was not alone under the oak tree.
I nearly turned back then, thinking that she had found someone else,
someone new, someone who knew - almost instinctively - how to treat a
ewe. When I moved a few yards closer, I saw she was with old Jacob. I
felt a smile of relief. I knew that Jacob was no threat, not since that
incident with the apprentice farm-hand several Christmases ago, an
incident that made old Jacob too scared to go within a hundred yards of
the holly tree, let alone even contemplate tupping.
Jacob turned his old head towards Dolly as he saw me come over the
rise. As I refastened my trousers, I saw that he nodded to Dolly. She
stood and stared at me. I wiped my hand on my trousers and stood
waiting too, almost unable to breathe. She looked at me, around at the
field and back at Old Jacob.
He nodded again and nudged at her flank with his greying nose.
As Dolly stood there, as I stood there, I looked up at old Jacob. It
may have been a trick of the light, but I had the feeling he winked at
me. He nudged Dolly again and she took three slow steps forward. I took
one step forward and held my arms open.
Dolly 'baaaed' and ran towards me. I knelt down as she came towards me,
her impetus knocked me over and we rolled, me holding her tight and
swearing to never let her go, down to the bottom of the hill. As we
rolled I cursed myself for the mistake I had made with Dolly and the
mistake I had made in letting some of the cattle into that field a few
Roll, squelch, roll, squelch.
Roll, squelch, roll, squelch.
Roll, squelch, roll, squelch.
I made a mental note to reduce the amount of roughage I was putting in
the cattle feed.
We arrived back at the farmhouse. I was surprised to see that old Jacob
had followed us down the hill, in his case wisely skirting past each of
the cowpats. I thought about offering Dolly a bath - she was already
starting to attract some of the flies over from the dog's latest pile
by the door. But she had that look in her eye.
Meekly, humbled, I followed her up the stairs. The sight of her
haunches rolling under the fleece as she mounted the stairs brought
back the sweet memories; I could feel the sweat breaking out on my brow
and the familiar tightening of my underpants.
At the top of the stairs, something made me look down into the hallway.
Jacob was there, looking up at me.
"Baaa," he said and ambled off into the front room.
I wondered what he meant, but only for a moment. I could see Dolly in
the bedroom, standing next to the bed. Sheepishly she nudged my
'romancing' wellies with her nose. Forgetting Jacob, I rushed into the
bedroom, throwing off my dung-encrusted clothes as I ran.
It was the most erotic time of my life. Never before had I experienced
anything like it. Not since Old Mad Widdlepants the shepherd had first
introduced me to the carnal delights of his flock when I was a mere lad
of 13. If there is such a thing as heaven, it could only be a mere
shadow of that time I spent on that bed with Dolly. I'm sure I saw
steam rising from my wellies at one point.
A full minute and a half after leaping on that bed I fell back
exhausted. Dolly licked me on the cheek. I could smell the grass on her
breath. I lit a cigarette and lay back, wishing I could tell her how I
I looked across at Dolly. "Baaa!" I said.
There was a strange scuffling sound and then a sharp yelp from
downstairs. Sighing, I stubbed out the cigarette and took off my
wellies. At the bedroom door, I turned to look back at Dolly. I almost
went back to put the wellies back on.
Downstairs the dog was cowering in the corner. I looked around but
there was no sign of a fresh pile. Jacob was over in the corner where I
kept all my correspondence. (The pile of letters reminded me I was
running low in the bathroom and I needed to take some more of Dolly's
fan mail in with me next time. It wasn't that soft, or that long, but
it was cheap and the dog was not even tempted to steal it.) There was
what looked like a scrap of the dog's hair caught on one of old Jacob's
horns. The hair seemed to be the same colour as the fur around the
At first, I couldn't quite make sense of what Old Jacob was doing. He
was standing on the pile of modelling offers I had received for Dolly
and tapping his foot at a couple that had, somehow, seemingly become
dislodged from the pile. He looked up at me and 'baaed'. I walked over
"What are you trying to tell me?" I said. I felt a bit stupid, after
all this was a sheep I was talking to. Mad Old Widdlepants did used to
talk to his sheep, that was true, but then - that was why we called him
Old Jacob just inclined his head to one side as he looked up at me. I
had a sudden desire to check how much mint sauce I had in the cupboard.
The moment passed and I realised what Jacob was attempting to convey to
"Do you reckon Dolly might be interested in this kind of thing
Jacob nodded twice. I looked down at the money they were offering:
?300, that was enough to spend the night with Gladys the Barmaid down
at The Ewe and Wellies three hundred nights in a row. For that kind of
money she would even leave her teeth in - all three of them.
Jacob 'baaed'. I could see he had some idea of what I was
"Of course, it will be Dolly's money," I said. I thought of the life
she could lead, a rich young sheep in the nation's capital, surrounded
by the beautiful people, young and glamorous. I thought about the
hectic nightlife; the sex, the drugs, the wild parties, pop music and
gardening programmes on the tv every night.
For the first time, I was scared of losing her. The glamour of the
London lights could so easily turn a young sheep's head. What would
happen to her if she fell in with the wrong crowd; the drink, the drugs
and all that? What about if some pop star, some film actor fell for
her? How would I be able to compete with that?
It was almost too horrible to contemplate. I could hardly bring myself
to think about it, but once it was there in my mind I could not stop
thinking about it, it worried at my thoughts like a dog chewing on a
postman. What about if...? What about if some, some politician fell for
her? How would we ever be able to bear the shame, the horror? There
would be no alternative. We would have to leave the valley, change our
names, start a new life somewhere. Maybe we would, if the worst came to
the worst, even have to go to Wales. The horror was too much to
comprehend. I slumped down into my seat.
Eventually I looked up; Dolly was standing in the doorway. She had been
for a dip and looked stunning, radiant. My underpants immediately
became three sizes too small, despite the fact that I knew she was
going and there was nothing, nothing at all I could do to stop
"So, you've made up your mind then?" I said.
"Baaa." She nodded.
"You know I love you."
"Isn't there anything I can do, or say, that will make you change your
mind, make you stay?"
I cursed myself for taking those photographs, for sending them off to
Farmer's Weekly. But I knew there was nothing I could do to stop her
now. She looked back only once as she and Jacob left the house.