two children gazed down from the grassy hill upon a huge flock of millions
of white sheep. As they watched in silent fascination, a very large
goat with shifty yellow eyes, twisty, pointy horns and fiendish look
of malice on its ugly face, emerged from the sea of bleating, woolly
forms and stamped the ground with its shaggy hooves. Suddenly the goat
reared up on its hindlegs and stretching out a forefoot, let out a commanding
nicker which made the children clutch their mother's hand in fright.
"Baah," replied the sheep.
Again the goat nickered.
"Baaaaah," replied the sheep.
The two bewildered children looked up at their mother in surprise.
"Behold a dictator and his stupid flock," she explained with
"What is that goat telling the sheep?"
asked the boy.
"He isn't really telling them anything at all," replied his
mother, "for, if he did, they — being simple-minded sheep
— wouldn't understand a word of it. Instead, he is using a clever
method of dealing with huge crowds, which is to shout a simple phrase
they can all understand over and over again, very loudly. The sheep
will always respond to this because they have only sheeps' brains, which
they only use for feeding, grubbing after money and reproduction of
"Are all sheep as stupid as this flock?" asked the girl
"They certainly are, Kelly," replied her mother. "And
if any of them should give any signs of being less stupid, the Great
Goat's bodyguard would soon use their sharp horns and heavy hooves to
bring them back into line, or else destroy him as an enemy of the flock.
This is called 'homeland security' and much approved of by the sheep
who do not want to see one of them rise above the flock and become their
"But what use is the Great Goat to all these
silly sheep?" asked the boy.
"No use at all, Michael," replied his mother; "except
that, being a more aggressive beast, the sheep will obey his commands,
as sheep always like to do. They get a big thrill from having such a
fierce commander who promises them many fine things such as sheep like
to dream of. This gives them the pleasure of anticipation and makes
the leader feel proud and generous."
"And does he ever keep his promises?" asked Kelly.
"Why should he?" chuckled her mother. "The sheep have
very short memories and don't really expect him to keep them, nor do
they wish it, for every day he promises something better and the flock
are very happy to have such a 'promising' leader."
"Why are the bodyguards chasing those black sheep over there?"
asked Michael, pointing to a group of terrified sheep being herded together
by three fierce looking goats.
"Ah," smiled his mother, "being of
a different color the black sheep are not considered of such fine descent
as the white sheep according to the leader. Besides, being a wise and
statesmanlike goat, he always makes sure there are some among his flock
who can be blamed when anything goes wrong. The black sheep, being such
a tiny minority, serve this purpose very well, and give all the other
sheep a comforting feeling of superiority, which makes it easier for
the Great Goat to control them."
"I think the sheep are very silly," muttered Kelly.
Suddenly, there was a commotion at the base of the
hill and a procession of smartly-dressed businessmen clutching huge
bundles of pieces of paper in their clammy hands, approached the Great
Goat. With many bows and handshakes and smiling expressions on their
faces, they laid the pieces of paper at the feet of the Great Goat,
who nickered with approval.
"Who are these people?" asked Michael.
"They are foolish statesmen from distant lands who have come to
'negotiate' with the Great Goat, lest he lead his sheep against them.
The bits of paper are called 'money' which he loves to tear to bits
and chew and this keeps him quiet for a while."
"But why would anyone be afraid of a few goats and a lot of silly
sheep?" Michael wanted to know.
"Ah," smiled his mother, "this is
called 'psychology'. The Great Goat, having a loud and angry voice overawes
these frightened and foolish statesmen with his rhetoric. They fear
that, at the Great Goat's command, the sheep would attack them in their
millions and destroy civilization, and so, to keep the peace, as they
imagine, they suck up to the Great Goat and give him power over other
grazing lands where there are not enough sheep to resist him."
"But why don't these statesmen simply band together and destroy
the goat?" asked Kelly
"They do not want to band together, because the Great Goat knows
how to promise as well as threaten. When he is in a good mood he can
adopt a very friendly tone, at the same time bluffing and overcoming
the brains of these witless statesmen."
"I think they are even sillier than the sheep!" exclaimed
"Perhaps they will wake up one day," said her mother, "and
then the goats had better watch out!"
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