Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Wolf in Sheep's Clothing (11/21/13)
TITLE: Wool You Say That Again?
By Jack Taylor
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It didn’t take a dating coach to tell that the two huddling together in the back of the dingy diner weren’t a match made in heaven. The waitress flitted back and forth like a humming bird depositing the orders and darting away to safer sanctuary.
A security guard built like an ox shuffled to stand closer to the situation as things heated up. Using stealth technology he recorded the conversation underway. He listened in.
“But Lamb chop, some days I just can’t help but want to eat you up. I’ve never met a tender young leader like you from New Zealand.”
“Listen, wild thing, I am not on the menu for this meeting. Quit your growling. We’ve got some serious issues to work through. Love that coat of yours. My friend used to have one just like that.”
“My coat? It’s a little snug right now. I think I’ve put on a few extra pounds lately. I know you didn’t hoof it on over here to deal with staffing issues all night. I feel like you’re trying to ram this through.”
“I didn’t prance on over here to have you wolf down everything in sight and then slink off into the night. We need to shepherd this process through. It’s my neck on the line you know.”
The security guard shifted his position and moved into the shadows near the washrooms. As he passed the table he casually set the listening device near a plant pot behind the larger of the two diners. It was that voice he heard next.
“I’ve tried to rack my brain to see if I can shoulder any more of this deal but the competition has a leg up on us and we’re behind. It’s going to take more than the shake of a lamb’s tail to change things.”
“All the girls used to flock to you. You had a way of saying things different than the former leader. You kept calling us to totally commit ourselves to these wild adventures. To risk everything. I was sure you were fleecing us and taking the best for yourself. Now I feel a little sheepish imagining that you were thinking the grass was greener on the other side.”
“Lamb chop, you know that if I was going to loin anything it was going to be from you. Before you know it they’ll put me out to pasture. I’m just a mutt on the prowl.”
“Maybe this is baaad timing.”
“Wool you say that again.”
“Ewe should ask someone else.”
“Sometimes I feel like you’re always ribbing me.”
“Maybe there’s too much on my plate.”
“When you’re around I feel like I’ve got all I want on my plate.”
“Why do you drool when you say things like that?”
“I just think we’re rushing things saying we need a good shepherd. Sure, a few of the sheep have gone astray somewhere. Are we supposed to legislate life for everyone around us?”
“The last shepherd had a manual he always followed. Right now I feel like we’re making it up as we go.”
“Feelings can be so misleading. Sure the flock is smaller since I came on staff but look at the passion in those that are left.”
“I think that’s anxiety disorder. Everyone knows something’s not right but they can’t figure it out. When you took out all the fences and told us we could go anywhere we wanted it didn’t turn out to be as great as we first thought.”
“What are you afraid of?”
“The last shepherd told us there were dangers outside the fences. Destruction. I just worry about those who went outside the fences and never came back.”
“I’m sure the last shepherd told you how destructive it was to worry. So, a few of the group want a taste of adventure to find their identity, their purpose! Let them be. We’ve still got each other.”
“Do you think I’m just going to fold my options and follow you no matter what happens?”
“That’s what I was kind of hoping… Hang on a second… My cell phone is vibrating. It’s Red. Her grandmother’s unwell and I’ve made an appointment for this afternoon. Maybe we can finish this thing with the flock once I get back from the forest.”
“The forest? Words of warning. Watch for wolves.”
The security guard whispered into his radio. “Good Shepherd to Woodcutter. Prowler is on the way. Lamb is safe. Repeat. Lamb is safe.”
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