Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Inspiration: The Black Sheep

Photo 1: Sheep making their way down the side of a hill
Peru – Lake Titicaca
Apr 2012

While observing this group of sheep trying to make their way down a hill, I realised that sometimes people really ARE like sheep, but are you a leader, a follower or a Black Sheep?

Members of a group like other members to conform to the rules of the group and those who don’t follow the spoken/unspoken rules are called “Black Sheep” usually in a derisive manner.

Of course, there are plenty of Black Sheep who get themselves into trouble, but more often than not, it’s the non-conformist Black Sheep who opens up new paths.

Photo 1 : The group walks down the side of a steep hill. The leader is ahead of the others, followed by the black sheep and by a group of four other sheep keeping close to each other.

That’s just like humans…..there’s a leader and there are the followers. The followers tend to huddle together for comfort. Then, there’s that individualistic member of the group: the Black Sheep.



Photo 2:  The leader decides to turn back
 Peru – Lake Titicaca
Apr 2012

Photo 2: the leader reaches a difficult bit, tests his footing on the next level down and drags himself back up.

“Too steep, guys, it’s too dangerous to continue.” he seems to be saying, “Let’s go back.”



Photo 3: A bit of a disagreement  
Peru –Lake Titicaca
Apr 2012

Photo 3

“You got to be kidding me. We’ve come so far already. Besides, that nice grass down there is worth the risk.” says the Black Sheep.

“No, we are NOT going forward. Turn back!” says the leader, blocking the Black Sheep.

“Hey, get out of my way.” says the Black Sheep, butting the leader in the head.

“I’m in charge, and I say we go BACK.” says the leader, butting the Black Sheep back. 



Photo 4: Just like in a human group......plenty of observers.
Plenty of comments. But no one wants to get involved.
Peru – Lake Titicaca
Apr 2012

Photo 4:

Sheep 1:  “Why are we stopping? What’s going on down there?”

Sheep 2: “Whatever it is, let’s stay right out of it. Don’t look, keep your head down.”

Sheep 3: “Absolutely disgraceful. What will people think?”

Sheep 4, turning back: “I think I’ll just go back like the leader says.”



Photo 5: The black sheep rebels.  
Peru – Lake Titicaca
Apr 2012

Photo 5By now, the little confrontation has drawn a bit of a crowd.

“Oh, if he wants to kill himself, let him.” someone bleats.

After a few more rounds of head-butting, the leader relents and lets the Black Sheep through.

“Oh, GO if you want to. Don’t blame us if you break a leg and have to be turned into lamb stew. Come on guys, let’s go and leave him to his fate.”


But I’m happy to report that the Black Sheep found a new path down and arrived safely. The rest then followed and the last I saw them, they were all happily munching on the grass.

disclaimer: The events and actions are what I saw. Dialogue is what I imagine they must be saying in sheep language. 

: )

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