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2018 Jan 23

15 minutes: The fox and sheep of memory

The fox and sheep were always doing battle. The sheep were always on the losing end, but what they lacked in strength of tooth and claw, they had the upper hand in sheer numbers. If the foxes were not careful, they risked being totally overwhelmed by the sheep, never to be recalled again. In fact, that was something that often happened, as the shepherd would intentionally attempt to erase the existence of the foxes in order to protect his flock and his pasture.

During these times, he would flood the fields with so many sheep of different kinds that they stampeded the foxes to far-flung reaches of the kingdom, some never to be heard from again. But that was only when the shepherd was successful.

Usually the foxes were powerful enough to always remain on the scene, destroying new sheep as they came in, preventing anything from challenging their dominance of the pasture. The particularly strong and confident ones would even go dormant for a while, even allow the sheep to temporarily take over. But every once in a while, something would call them out again, as if waking their hunger and their rage. And they would once again tear through the flocks, scattering the sheep in every direction, sending the shepherd running off - not that he had any personal fear of the foxes, but without his sheep, he would not be able to function. So he had to painstakingly gather them again, and slowly make his way back after making sure the foxes had moved on again, perhaps tired, but hopefully satiated.

Dormant foxes meant the battle was eternal though, and hunting them down took skill not all shepherds had. Even in the best case, it would wake the sleeping foxes and cause them to charge into the pasture again.

But for the more successful shepherds, it wasn't so much a fox hunt, as the ability to tame them - to make them docile enough to control and wander the fields without disrupting the sheep much at all. 

Then there would be peace.

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