Because the only thing more terrifying than velociraptors are velociraptors that can fly.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Story Duel aka "Millie the Golden Lamb Goes to the Farm"...Twice

Hello hello, dear readers! 

You're in for a special treat today as my esteemed colleague, Ms. Samantha Barrett and I are currently participating in a story duel. During a conversation we had this past week, Ms. Barrett and I both became enamored with a story title and main character. To decide who could tell her story better, we each wrote our own and then agreed to post both of them, leaving our respective audiences to vote for their favorite. Here is my version of "Millie the Golden Lamb Goes to the Farm," and I shall provide a link to Ms. Barrett's version below.

If you enjoy the story, please leave a comment here, or on my Facebook, or on my Twitter. I'd appreciate it. (And be warned, this story is pretty creepy.)

Millie the Golden Lamb Goes to the Farm
Once upon a time, there was a lamb named Millie. Her name was not “Ewe Spawn #7794,” nor was it “Walking Cutlet,” but rather “Millie.” Millie’s fleece was unlike any fleece the other sheep had ever seen. Instead of black or white or grey, or made of rusty wires or bleeding worms, Millie’s fleece was the softest, most lustrous gold.
            One day, Millie decided that she would go to a farm. She did not go because she was being abused at home, nor was she concerned about being slaughtered and eaten by a cannibalistic sheep that secretly ruled the flock with an iron hoof, but because Millie wanted to go on an adventure.
            Millie said goodbye to her mother and father, because she had a mother and father, as opposed to being taken away from her mother at birth and forced to live in a small cage for the rest of her life, so small that her leg muscles atrophied and she could not stand. Instead, her family lived in a wide open meadow with luscious grass and colorful flowers.
            “Goodbye, Mother,” Millie said, nuzzling her soft nose against her mother’s. “I shall miss you terribly on my journey.” She did not say, “I hate you, Mother, for abandoning me to the wolves which ate my entrails,” nor did she say, “I wish you would not bite me, Mother, when I do not obey as quickly as you would like.”
            Then Millie turned to her father, the great ram, Rosiah, and bowed her head to him. “I ask for your blessing, Father,” she said, “as I travel through the woods to the farm.” Had things been different, she might have said, “Please stop striking me with your horns, Father, that hurts,” or “You are not my father, Rosiah. You killed him and have tried to take his place.” But things were not different, so she did not say these things.
            Millie’s mother nuzzled her back and her father, the great ram Rosiah, gave her his blessing. Having just finished a hearty lunch of grass and clovers, not nails and broken glass or poisonous frogs, still twitching feebly as they slithered down her throat, she set off into the woods towards the farm.
            As night fell, Millie was not set upon by a group of bandits, starving, ill-mannered men that used Millie cruelly before slitting her throat and draining her blood. She was not flayed by their sharp knives nor was her bloody hide fashioned into a pillow so that the leader of the men might have a comfortable place to sleep that night. Her haunches were not roasted over a fire to be eaten by the bandits; her organs were not valued for the richness of their flavor; her intestines did not become sausages. None of these things happened, and Millie spent her first night in the forest in great peace.
            Millie’s dreams were of her great adventure, not of the fear that she might never return home, nor was she concerned that the farm might not exist, that it might only be a story and a figment of the sheep’s imagination back in the meadow she called home. It never entered her mind that the elder sheep of her flock could have concocted a story about “a farm” to lure those sheep unsatisfied with their lives in the flock away into the dark forest so that their rebellious thoughts would not infect the orthodoxy of the other sheep. Such a thought did not occur to her, nor would such a thing have been true even if it had.
            When Millie awoke the next day she drank from a crisp, cool stream she found nearby. She did not have to walk the whole day without a drink of water, her throat slowly growing more and more parched as she grew wearier by the moment. Millie did not have to worry about growing dehydrated, nor was she concerned that when she finally found a sluggish brook and broke through its scummy surface to slurp the viscous water that she was ingesting heavy metals and toxins, waste products of a distant factory whose poisons would kill her, leaving a stiff carcass to rot in the forest, foam on its lips. She came upon her first stream just feet away from where she’d laid her head the night before, and the water that burbled merrily over the rocks was pure and clean.
            The grass on the stream’s banks was bright green and sweet on her tongue. It had not been colonized by an exotic species of spiders. No eggs would attach to the interior of her first stomach, dispensing their payload of immature arachnids. Mille didn’t have to worry about those spider larvae working their way through her bloodstream until they emerged in her cranial cavity, nor was she concerned about the spiders spinning webs over her brain, slowing her thoughts and making her woozy. She did not stumble after a few days of walking aimlessly, all thoughts of the farm forgotten, fall to the ground, and moan pitifully as the spiders assumed control of her brain.
Millie did not then return to the other sheep of the meadow a brain-dead zombie, nor did she die there with her family gathered around her. An army of millions of spiders did not erupt from her corpse once she had died, nor did they go on to infect the rest of the sheep of the meadow.
The grass that Millie ate was perfectly safe.
Near the end of her first day in the forest, Millie heard a rustling sound in a bush. She was a little frightened as thoughts of bears and foxes did run through her mind, but then a large hare bounded out of the thick brush and came to a halt when he saw her. “Hello,” said the hare. “My name is Harold.” He did not curse Millie for being a stupid sheep wandering through the forest, nor did he curse her for her golden fleece, fearing her as an abomination or mutant. Instead, he marveled at her lustrous coat. “My goodness!” he said. “You’re beautiful!”
Millie thanked Harold for the compliment and introduced herself. “I’m going to the farm on the other side of the woods,” she said, not, “I’m fleeing my responsibilities back in the meadow,” or “I hate my family and so I’m running away from them.”
Harold, in turn, said, “That sounds like a wonderful adventure,” not “This seems like an incredibly foolish thing for a young lamb to do, especially one with a coat like yours. You’ll stick out like a sore thumb and predators will have eaten you by the end of the day.” Instead, Harold said, “I’ve never been to the farm. May I join you?”
            “Of course you can,” said Millie, as she did not shun Harold for being of a different species from herself. Nor did she find his large ears and teeth off-putting, nor the way he bounded along on his large back feet. Millie did not find his chatter annoying or the sound of his voice irritating. When they lay down to go to sleep that night, the lamb and the rabbit snuggled up close, neither one distrusting the unfamiliar scent of the other.
On their journey the following day, Millie the golden lamb and Harold the hare came upon a large, placid river. Its banks were not sheer cliff faces leading to a turbulent torrent below, nor were they treacherous pits of quicksand and bubbling mud. Instead, smooth grass transitioned into soft sand the color of a lion’s hide, an image not in Millie or Harold’s mind at all as they began to swim.
Tall fronds of thorny weeds did not wrap around their limbs as they swam through the water, plunging them below surface of the river to strike their heads on hidden rocks. Hungry piranha did not rend the flesh from their bones with sharp teeth, the lamb’s bleats mixing with the hare’s screams as they eventually succumbed to the shock of their wounds. A floating log did not reveal itself to be a crocodile that snatched Harold up in a single gulp leaving Millie to swim furiously for the opposite bank. The golden lamb was not forced to make the rest of the journey alone, her mind now scarred by the images of her newfound friend getting eaten alive, nor did she cry herself to sleep each night hearing the gaps he made just before he died.
Millie and Harold made it to the opposite bank safely and shook themselves off, the sun shining down on them to dry out their coats.
After a few more days of walking, the golden lamb and the hare stepped through a line of trees to find themselves at a tall wooden gate. Harold was small enough to squeeze between two of the wooden slats, and rusty nails did not scratch him as he did so, giving him tetanus. Nor did jagged splinters work their ways into his tender paws as he figured out how to move the wooden peg keeping the gate latched shut. Eventually he managed to work it free, and the gate swung open, granting Millie access.
The pair walked up the dusty narrow lane and found themselves staring at a sign. The sign did not read, “Bazinville’s Institute for the Criminally Deranged” nor did it read “Poskon Slaughterhouse.” Instead, the sign read, “Welcome to Sunnvale Farm.” Neither Harold nor Millie the golden lamb knew how to read, of course, but then Millie heard a sound and knew she had brought them to the right place.
The sound was not a pneumatic rod being driven into the skull of a cow, nor was it rifle bullet ripping through the air. It was the bleat of a happy sheep. “I know that sound!” said Millie, starting to run toward where she thought it had come from. When Millie turned the corner of a large red building, she saw a large meadow like the one she’d left in the woods. “Look,” she said to Harold. “That ram there looks like my father, the great ram Rosiah.” She did not say that she was desperately lonely and wished she’d never come to the farm, nor did Harold say that he found all sheep incredibly ugly and he could not bear to meet another one.
Millie led Harold to the fence where all the sheep were standing and said, “Hello! My name is Millie and I come from the meadow in the woods.” At that point the farmer did not come out of his farmhouse and see the golden-fleeced lamb. He did not take a shotgun and shoot her, not understanding what she was, nor did he grab her and place her within his fence so that she might never return home. The farmer did not kill and eat Harold for his dinner and he did not breed Millie against her will when she grew up in order that he might get more golden-fleeced lambs.
Instead, Millie spoke with the sheep of Sunnyvale Farm for the rest of the day. At the end of the day, the farmer’s children let Millie eat the same forbs they planted for their own sheep. When Millie had eaten her full, she lay down on the ground next to Harold and slept, where she did not have bad dreams.
When Millie returned home to her family, she did not hoard the story of her adventure, selfishly keeping what had happened to herself, nor did she make up lies to increase her stock in the minds of the flock. Her mother and father and the other sheep did not disbelieve her story of the forest and the river and the farm, then call her names and ostracize her out of jealousy. No, Millie the golden lamb went to the farm and no ill befell her. 

You can read Sam's story here.


  1. Both stories have been read... I need some time to consider my vote.

  2. Dude, it was so close... I have to go with Sam. Great job though!

    1. Thanks! (Her story is pretty good, isn't it?)