What I Talk About When I Talk About Sheep

Today I want to talk about sheep, not electorally ineligible royal Swedish testicle(s).

I therefore renounce my pledge. It was foolish of me to make silly promises I knew all along I would not keep.

But don’t forget, a lack of integrity is not a hindrance to writing. A lack of original material isn’t either or I would have given it up years ago.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Sheep.

Well sheep follow sheep and people follow people – Ergo – people call people sheep when they follow someone else’s lead.

Even the anonymity the internet affords does not seem to impinge on people’s unwillingness to stick their neck out. How many of us, let’s be honest, speak our own mind rather than ape someone else’s?

Despite large brains we often as not do the sheep thing. Follow. Not lead. Refuse to stand out from the crowd.

Sheep have small minds. Lucky sheep I say. And yet, unlike people they do no suffer from small-mindedness, it’s more that they have no concept of such matters as say, determinism versus free will.

Lucky sheep.

No free will. No option other than to keep their counsel. Play follow me leader no matter what happens.

Sheep might not know much about anything, true, but they know one thing for certain; don’t get separated from the rest of the flock. ‘Shedding’ as it is known in Sheep Dog Trials.


Like dogs, sheep are innocent, too. Neither moral or immoral. Incapable of wrongdoing all they want is to keep themselves to themselves and eat grass.

Shag occasionally.

Stick Together is the number one sheep rallying cry baaaaaah none.

A poor second and third; Keep Grass Legal and (more) Free Love.

The same goes for people I guess – not the grass and free love mottoes – but the notion of sticking together, not standing out from the crowd.

A Wild Sheep Chase is a novel by Haruki Murakami. It is probably a very good book. I haven’t read it, yet. No doubt I will one day soon as I adore Mr. Murakami.

He is a fine writer.

I have read several of his novels. Kafka On The Shore is my favourite to date although the better known breakthrough novel Norwegian Wood runs it close.

I have several more of Haruki Murakami’s novels to read and naturally I concede that there maybe others in his back catalogue I’ll enjoy even more than Kafka On The Shore. However, recently I read Mr. Murakami’s Dance, Dance Dance – the sequel to A Wild Sheep Chase, and didn’t enjoy it one bit.

Everyone, I reckon, should be excused one bum note. One off-key moment in an otherwise note perfect aria.

I excuse Mr Murakami.

I’m sure he’ll be mightily relieved about that.

His latest book, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage sold something like a million copies in its first week on sale in Murakami’s backyard, Japan.

I am not the only person, you see, who loves the 65 year old former jazz club owner.

The man is a legend in his own lifetime.

Or lunchtime if in fact you were expecting a punchline.

He is also a very modest man- take my word for it.

Or better still if you doubt my judgement about Murakami’s ego and imagine all this adulation has gone to his head, decide for yourself and read his very readable memoir What I Talk About When I Talk About Running or alternately read Dance, Dance, Dance if you suspect I have been fibbing all along with regard not honouring my pledge.

That I really am talking bollocks.


4 thoughts on “What I Talk About When I Talk About Sheep

  1. I got the bird chronicles (I think that is the English title) and I didn’t enjoy it. About 8 years later (this year) I read Norwegian Wood because both you and my sister recommended it. I loved it! I immediately read Kafka On the Shore and also loved that one. Now I have the trilogy 1Q84 in front of me. I too have a soft spot for Haruki Murakami, but not particularly for sheep or small-mindedness. I just don’t care for ’em and I refuse to think anything other! I have made up my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I only discovered Murakami about 3 years ago. Up until about 5 years ago I was a Philistine sticking with crime and science fiction – might give the !Q84 series a go next – thanks for reading Tobias – ATB – Adam


  2. I’m also chock full of Murakami love. Norwegian Wood and Kafka on the Shore both excellent. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is fantastic and I can also add Blind Willow Sleeping Woman into the mix (short story collection). As a Welshman I can neither confirm nor deny my affiliation with / affinity towards sheep in general. What I can say is that the baaaaaaah one pun worked for me. Tidy.

    Liked by 1 person

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