“you have five minutes to talk yourself out of a situation”

INT: DUSK, A BARN.

Thirty-ish fluffy sheep, sluggish after a long day of sheeping, huddle together.
VIRGIL, an officious if none too bright ram, breaks rank and waddles before the flock.

VIRGIL
Alright, rams and ewes. Farmer Jane’ll be in soon to say goodnight. Let’s make sure we’re all here.

The flock, well-practiced at this nightly routine, shuffles into three neat lines.
Virgil marches up and down each line, whisper-counting each sheep as he goes.
He reaches the end of the final line.

VIRGIL
… twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty, thirty-o

He pauses, confused. BETSY, a bored old broad of a ewe, sighs.

BETSY
Count yourself again, Virg?

VIRGIL
NO.

CLEM, eager to please but rarely does, speaks up.

CLEM
Did you get tired again and miscount, on account of counting sh-

VIRGIL
NO I DID NOT. And that’s a myth, Clem.

The flock gets restless.

VIRGIL
Just hold tight everyone.

He retraces his steps down the lines, counting aloud, eye-balling each of the sheep and getting clear visuals on all of them. Betsy, Clem, Henry, Bob, Clara, Hattie – Virgil stops.

VIRGIL
Pardon me but who are you?

A sheep twice the size of any other in the flock, with long, furry grey legs, a snout, and sharp teeth, clears his throat. The sheepskin draped over him shifts slightly.

BIG SHEEP
Uh, hey Virg, it’s me, Wolfuuuuuhlliam.

BETSY
Wolfuhliam, huh?

BIG SHEEP
Woolliam. It’s Woolliam. Geddit?

VIRGIL
I’m sorry but I’m afraid I don’t recall seeing you in our flock before, Woolliam.

BIG SHEEP
(nervous laugh)
I don’t know what do you mean? I’ve been here this whole time?

VIRGIL
You’re not a new purchase by Farmer Jane?

BIG SHEEP
No, yes, I mean yes I’m new. Farmer June bought me.

VIRGIL
Jane.

BIG SHEEP
Yes.

Pause.

BETSY
I call bull.

VIRGIL
Now now, let’s hear this fella out. It can be hard being a new sheep in an established flock.

BIG SHEEP
Yes, I am very shy.

BETSY
A new sheep? Virgil, that’s not a sheep.

BIG SHEEP
Yes I am.

VIRGIL
He isn’t?

BIG SHEEP
If I weren’t a sheep would I know each delicious cut of sheep meat like the back of my paw?
(beat)
Hoof?

VIRGIL
What?

BIG SHEEP
What?

Pause.

BESTY
Prove it.

Big Sheep peeks up through his disguise and sees twenty-nine gormless faces and Betsy watching him closely.

BIG SHEEP
Prove it?

BESTY
Do a baa.

BIG SHEEP
I’m getting over a cold right now?

BETSY
Why don’t you eat some grass, keep your strength up.

BIG SHEEP
I had a big lunch.

CLEM
Oh I know!

Clem bounds behind Big Sheep “William”.

CLEM
If you’re a sheep you’ll be able to use your 300-degree vision to see how many hooves I’m holding up behind you.

BIG SHEEP
You can do that?

Betsy narrows her eyes at him.

BIG SHEEP
We can do that.

Clem holds one leg up, has a go at a second, realises it won’t work and sticks with just the one.

CLEM
OK, guess!

Betsy sighs and shakes her head.

BIG SHEEP
… One?

VIRGIL
See!

BETSY
GUYS REALLY.

VIRGIL
Betsy, don’t be rude.

BETSY
Farmer June will be here any moment and she’ll know that that is not a sheep, but a wolf.

VIRGIL
A WHAT?!

Clem loses his balance and falls forward, pulling Big Sheep’s disguise off in the process – lo and behold, Big Sheep is in fact a Big Bad Wolf. The flock looks up at him, aghast.

BIG BAD WOLF
(To Betsy)
I know what you’re thinking – ‘aaargh, would it have killed them to listen to meee??’, and I’m here thinking ‘yeaaah, wouldn’t have mattereeed!’

He bares his teeth.
The sheep scream.

EXT: NIGHT, A FARM.

Pandemonium rings out from inside the barn.

***

Thanks for reading! Reply with a prompt for next week’s and I’l turn it into a script or a poem or a doodle or a clunky personal piece but whatever it is you can bet I’ll leave it until Tuesday night.

 

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