This three line tale is for Sonya’s photo prompt.
photo by Gemma Evans via Unsplash
Lamb 753 spat out a bit of thistle and replied to Lamb 537. “Because it’s Easter, for their God fella, because he’s compassionate and merciful and full of peace and love.”
“So they’re going to eat us? All of us? Even us babies?” Lamb 537 said, glancing fearfully at the row of trucks waiting, ominous and empty.
Lamb 753 spat out another piece of thistle. “They don’t have the same ideas about peace and love as the rest of us,” he replied mournfully, “and they’re in charge.”
For Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt : pale
She crouched in a corner of the hut until it was over, her apron over her head, trying to pretend she couldn’t hear the pleading in their voices, but that was all she could hear—that and the chanting of the men in black.
Her father would occasionally kill one of the wethers, if there was a nasty one, because they were vicious some of them, or if one got injured. They would have meat for a long while then, and she would eat it like everybody else and be grateful for it. But this was different. The men who came, all in black, they took the new lambs. They took the lambs she had played with. She heard the ewes bleating now, crying for their babies. They could smell the terror and the blood. She sobbed in helpless anger.
Her father had told her to be still and quiet, and he’d piled a heap of skins over her and pulled her mother’s loom across the floor so no one would see her from the door. His face was white. She had never seen her father afraid before. When the men had gone, he let her out, took her in his arms to comfort her, but he couldn’t bring them back. ‘Sacrifice’ he’d called it, and spat out the word as if it tasted bad and bitter.
The men in black had left the bones in the fire, blackened and stinking. A greasy smoke curled around them, and her breath caught in her throat. When the ashes were cold, she took the head bones and washed them white again in the spring. She laid them on the rocks where the sun would warm them, brought them flowers to replace their springy white curls, and vowed that the next time the men in black came to take the lives of her flock, she would kill them.
Painting by Ford Madox Brown.
In this country there is peace. Rich green meadows roll gently to the sea, and the winters are mild and short. Food is plentiful, and there is no need to travel miles to find pasture. Rabbits and small rodents abound, to sate the wolves’ hunger so they leave the flocks alone, and when the gales blow in from the sea, there is calm in the lee of the valley. Life is sweet. Predictable but enviable. In this country, no hand is raised in violence; past butchery is forgiven. But as a guarantee, the humans’ handsomest lambs are kept as hostages.