Whoever has ears, let them hear.

The sheep are gathering in the middle of street. In the village of mine there live many more sheep than men. The sheep here look proud and are very self-conscious. We are more humble and I am sure the sheep do not think much of us. When the sheep gather on the street, we wait patiently. Once, shortly after I moved here, a driver ( not from our village of course ) horned and the sheep did not move for hours, grinning at him bluntly. But sometimes when the sheep are in a good mood they form a circle and give a concert. A concert?, you might say and shake your head. But you hear quite right. It is not a too well known fact, but the sheep here form a formidable choir. Their conductor, the only black sheep in the flock supervises closely the set up of the stage. I know it has been known for a long time that a black sheep is the unwanted and not much liked cousin of the flock, but this could not be any more wrong. The black sheep, without exception splendid looking in their black suits form for centuries the conductors of the world-famous sheep orchestra you find from Ireland to Australia. Their dignified air and knowledge about the great pieces of sheep music make them experts of their very own kind. When the sheep all took in their position, the conductor sheep flicks twice with his left ear and unisono the concert is opened with the well- known hymn “Oh, praise all the fresh herbs” A marvelous piece, a waving chorus of strong sheep throats. The hymn having ten verses praises the lush valleys, the fat green meadows, the wisdom of the ancestor sheep and the mother country of all sheep: Ireland. Then  the solist, the famous Susanna Sheep-anova, who performed on meadows all over the world and was trained by the Russian soprano Ljudmila Sheep-akovic ( you are quite right to assume, that she is a far away cousin of the well-known composer Schostakovic.) Susanna now steps forward, the conductor again flicks his ear back and forward and then she masterfully performs the aria ” The wolf took our youngest” in c-minor. Truly a tear-moving piece that narrates in a most emotional way the century long struggle between the sheep and their attacker. Breathless we stand behind our open windows, clapping and trying to dry our misty eyes. Susanna Sheep-anova elegantly catches a bouquet of fresh clover thrown at her by own of her staunchest admirers. Even Queen Cat not too fond of sheep or music swings her tail in admiration. Now the not any less famous tenor Don Sheep-onso steps forward. Of Romanian origin, he has sung on the most important open air sheep music festivals between Bucharest and even performed a the Festival for Ancient Sheep Tunes in Bologna. His steps towards the middle of the street are powerful and elegant, the conductor has not even time enough to instruct the seagulls, playing the violins or to do his notorious ear-flick, when the strong, clear and crisp voice of the Don sets in with a masterful performance of ” Your sheepish eyes make me just wonder”, a dream-like floating piece, not unlike  Schubert’s song cycle, telling of a lost love and hope to see a certain pair of eyes again. The Don, who will give as well a duet with Susanna Sheep-anova later  of Traviata, bursts of energy and strength. It is not well-known, even in otherwise well- educated circles that La Traviata in its original version tells the story of a young sheep that lost its way. Today we are reminded of this much more powerful version and wish we could stop the time to let this concert last forever. But for a last time the conductor flicks his ear back and forward and the concert ends with  “May all the sheep live long and prosper, after a theme of Johann Sebastian Bach. We bent forward, clapping and cajoling, the sheep look quite contempt, the conductor a bit sweaty, the Sheep-anova and the Don take the lead and slowly as it is their nature the sheep leave the street to graze on the meadow quite opposite of the village pond.

One thought on “Whoever has ears, let them hear.

  1. What a delight it was to read Whoever Has Ears, Let them Hear: a totally unexpected, clever, hilarious tale about singing sheep who’ve been trained in the sheep classics. Bravo!

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