Thanks to growing up on the wisdom embodied in Bugs Bunny cartoons, when I cannot sleep I often resort to counting sheep.
I’ll picture a line of sheep backed up for miles, or acres, I suppose. As the next in line approaches the fence he or she gets a running start and usually makes it over the barrier. Sometimes, though, a sheep will stumble or catch a hoof on the top rail, and soon all the other sheep are laughing and pointing and offering advice, often saying, “Baa! Baa!” Which loosely translates to “Ewe should have stopped and asked directions!” Even though the sheep wasn’t lost, just clumsy. Sheep aren’t the smartest animals in the barnyard, after all.
Instead of counting leaping sheep I’m now offering them lessons in compassion. I relate the story of the Good Samaritan, but my words fall on deaf ears and my frustration grows and now I’m more wide awake than when I started the process.
Tonight, though, I had an epiphany—what if the sheep aren’t in a single file line? What if they aren’t jumping a fence? What if they’re all just chomping on grass, scattered about the countryside like so many cotton balls on a blanket? This scenario has possibilities! Now, if I could convince them to stay in one place this might just work.
“Hey, you, get back here! The fence is off limits!” Oh well, it was worth a try. Maybe I should count cotton balls instead.