This is one in a series of short stories I've been writing during my own coronavirus quarantine. You can find the complete collection of fiction written especially for this blog here. My books are available on the Amazon Kindle, for sale or for reading via Kindle Unlimited.
It was quiet in the hills. There was a lot of grass. Her mom was by her side.
Then, one day, her mom went away. Dolly did not know where. There was still grass, so Dolly ate it. It was good. She was in the flock. The flock made her feel better about missing her mom. In time she forgot all about it.
On a fine early spring morning, Dolly and her friends all flocked together into a big space that soon became small. One by one they were grabbed by their hind legs and dragged away. Dolly was one of the last, because she did not want to be grabbed.
They got her anyway.
But then the weather got warmer, and she felt fine.
It was quiet in the hills. Dolly and the flock ate their way to the bottom of the hill, where the big machines moved past fast.
It was quiet there, too.
Dolly and the flock decided to seek out the machines. Maybe they could find where the machines lived. Maybe they might meet the machines and tell them that, when they moved so fast past their hill, they were scary. There were stories told at night, in small bleats, of sheep that got onto that path and were killed by the machines.
Dolly wished they wouldn’t do that. She would tell them not to. All would be well.
Once Dolly and her friends found the path, it led them to a place where there were many barns. The barns were locked. There were barns of all shapes and sizes. Most had signs of some sort. Dolly didn’t know what it meant. Sheep can’t read. They can’t even read this story, let alone long words like coronavirus.
One of the barns had gold arches around it. Dolly found some food in front of the barn. There was a wall she could see through. She could see the inside of the barn through the wall. She looked in. Then she looked away.
She saw a face she knew. It was the man who had cut her hair. She smiled. She was happy. She heard a click, then a strange bleat that humans call a laugh. She put the shape of the face in her mind and kept it there.
Dolly and her friends went back up the path, and back into the hills. But they did not forget their big day among the barns. A week later they went back. Then they did it again, a week after that.
The next week Dolly decided to try the trip by herself. This is a very dumb thing for a sheep to do. Not the town part. The herself part. Sheep don’t do things alone. They flock. It protects them from wolves and big machines. Dolly’s mother tried to explain that before she went away. Dolly never got the lesson.
The Sun was high as Dolly set off. The path went up, and the path went down. There was grass beside it. Dolly stopped to eat it, then walked some more.
The sound grew very loud. The thing making it was blue. It hit Dolly and kept right on going. It came on fast. Dolly’s body flew off toward the side of the path.
Just before she hit the path, she saw the side of the big blue thing. It was the last thing she would see in this life. It was a white swish, the shape she had seen on the man who had cut her hair, just as he let her go.
Humans call it a smile. Even small humans could also read the word above the smile.
It said Amazon.