Thursday, September 8, 2011

Talking Sheep

Leia carried her enormous rucksack off the bus, a bit disappointed there was no handsome country side guy willing to help her. Her map said Mr. Pritzgenschtall’s farm was only 200 metres away. It would have been a small effort for Mr. Pritzgenschtall to pick her up from the bus station. Not very gentlemen, these farmer men.
Hans Pritzgenschtall took a last look at the living room: a vase of freshly-picked flowers on the table, the calendar on the right month, everything seemed in order. Would this Leia girl know that he was a single farmer? (He figured he would introduce himself as single, not divorced. But then he realised he still had some pictures of his ex-wife in the hall and decided it would probably better to be honest anyway.)
Hans was in love as soon as he opened the door. Immediately he fell some hundred kilos heavier, thinking of how he would try to hide this childish love for an entire month from this beautiful female specimen. Would she dance salsa? It was the new thing he had dared to learn and apparently this was hot "in town".
So, tell me about your, er, PrD., Hans asked.
- PhD? Leia smiled.
- Uh yes, tell me what it is about! If you think I can understand it, of course. Haha.
- Oh it’s very simple. I am finding out how sheep talk to each other.
- Well, that’s something I know about! You’ve come to the right place! I can tell you they say a lot of bèèèèèèèh and BAAAAH! 
(Hans did not know why he had to scream out that last sound at such a loud tone. It made him feel embarrassed about himself.)
- Yeah, they do say that, but actually by doing so they tell each other a lot more than we think! When they say bèèèh, they for example mean: You’re pooping in my area. Whereas béééh means: You’re hot.
Hans looked at Leia with big eyes, even though his eyes were small. How could this girl presume all this, while most likely it’s the first time in her life she is staying at a farm? He should know about this much better than her! But then, this girl had this very high degree, so he did not feel he could get into a debate about this.
So instead he asked carefully: how did you get all this wisdom?
- I will show you, Leia said. If you show me your sheep, I will do some translation for you.
As they headed off to the field, Hans started to feel a little anxious. What if his sheep would talk negatively about him? They have been able to do this their entire lives without ever getting caught for it. And beside Bertha and Hans and Stine and his parents several years ago they had not seen many people. What would their impression of him be? Hopefully it would not be too embarrassing; he would certainly not want Leia to know.
So they sat down on a rock, near the sheep, and the sheep remained silent. They probably could tell Leia understood Sheep and remind silent on purpose, Hans figured. But how would they be able to tell?  
Then one sheep made a bèh! sound. It was very short.   
Leia said it meant: who is that creature? 
It’s what sheep always say when they encounter something new that they do not like, she explained. 
It took a long time before a bigger sheep answered bèèèèèèèèèèh, which was supposed to mean: oh you wussy, why should you care. Go eat grass in that corner.
Hans asked Leia: aren’t you insulted? They are not very friendly about you. Before Leia could answer, suddenly al the sheep started yelling multiple kinds of BEEEHHHHHHs with different intonations and in varying volumes, and Leia looked both fascinated and worried at the same time. 
Yes, well.. She fell silent, which did not seem to be something that happened to her very often. It is quite shocking indeed, she murmured. 
Leia really looked a little pale.
Maybe we can go back to the house for a while, is that OK for you?
- Sure, Hans said.
- I’m really sorry, Leia said. I’ve never heard sheep going crazy like that before. It was really, well, I guess I shouldn’t tell you.
If Hans were honest with himself, he felt quite relieved. He did not dare to ask what exactly had shocked Leia, because it would be indiscreet, and because deep down he did not want to know himself. This evening, and he smiled by the thought of it, he would teach Leia how to dance salsa in his living room.