Larry the Lamb

posted in: Fiction, Member Writing Features | 0

By Martin Smith.

There once was a little lamb called Larry, who lived a lambhood full of fun and frivolity. When he came of age and became Smith the Sheep, his parents took him aside and warned him it was a tough world out there, and to survive, he needed to be a little bit bigger and a whole lot badder. Heeding his parents’ advice, Smith bought himself a couple of wolf suits and braved a working life as BB Wolfe.

BB toiled away in the GIG economy for years and years, first in production, making little red riding hoods, and then branching out into house demolition. He partied hard, saved little and distanced himself from family and flock.

Alas, one day, whilst working for a pig of a client, BB ran out of puff. He went to the doctor and told him he was rushed off his feet and didn’t feel himself and his life was a lie. The doctor measured BB’s pulse and tapped a hammer on BB’s knee and peered into BB’s ear. The doctor paused and scratched his chin and said, ‘A-ha!’ And he prescribed BB to ditch the suits, buy a house and take life a little slower.

So BB Wolfe became Ted the Tortoise.

Ted plodded along for many more years, but his disillusionment grew. He felt his life was going nowhere, and even when he did decide to go somewhere, it took so long to get there that when he got there, he had forgotten why he wanted to be there in the first place. His house became a burden on his back, what with mortgage repayments and insurance and property taxes and utility costs and regular repairs. Pesky hares confronted him in the street and jogged on the spot in their spandex and wore headbands and measured their pulses with their fingers to their throats and challenged Ted to running races. Ted retreated inside his shell and lived a life of quiet despair as he mumbled to himself and avoided sticking his neck out into the big, wide world. But in his isolation, Ted became depressed, so he booked another appointment with his doctor.

The doctor measured Ted’s temperature and tapped a hammer on Ted’s elbow and peered up Ted’s nose. The doctor paused and scratched his forehead and said, ‘A-ha!’ And he prescribed Ted to ditch the shell and get a job in manual labour to get himself back into shape and to get himself a social life.

So Ted the Tortoise became Doug the Donkey.

Doug got a job in transport and hauled all manner of crap here, there and everywhere. He hit the dating websites and lied about his age and attributes in his profile and hooked up with some pretty wild and crazy jennies who danced him off his feet and drank him under the table and bonked him senseless.

Doug lasted a month.

He rocked up to the doctor, nursing a hangover, a sore back and a nasty itch in his nether regions. The doctor measured Doug’s blood alcohol level and tried to bang some sense into Doug’s head and inserted a gloved finger up Doug’s bum. The doctor paused and degloved and scratched his bald head and said, ‘A-ha!’ And after he told Doug that he was making an ass of himself, he prescribed Doug to return to what he had been born to be.

So Doug the Donkey became Smith the Sheep again.

Now grey and of a frayed woolliness, Smith followed the herd, worked in lawn maintenance in a meadow and kept his head low. But the meadow had changed since he’d left to become a sheep in wolf’s clothing. The younger sheep attended endless, meaningless meetings and complained about working conditions and fought over promotional opportunities and planned their social lives. They moved in packs and bleated in a strange language Smith did not understand and either shunned Smith or mocked him as mutton. Worse still, he developed a persistent and irritating cough.

Smith went to the doctor and told him about not fitting in and his life being a charade and his hacking driving him crazy. The doctor took a tongue depressor and a torch and peered down Smith’s throat and said, ‘Cough, please.’ Had he a free hand, the doctor may well have given his butt cheek a scratch, but instead he said, ‘A-ha! I know what the problem is. It’s been in there the whole time.’

Smith said, ‘What is it, Doc? Is it bad news? Am I doomed?’

The doctor smiled and said, ‘ No, no, no.’ And he cleared his throat and sang, ‘There’s a bear in there. And a typewriter as well. There are reams to fill. With stories to tell. Open wide. Come outside. It’s the true you, the true you.

And Smith the Sheep removed his sheep suit and became just Bear and quit the meadow and found a den and passed his latter years banging away on the keys of his typewriter and laughing at his good fortune at having found his true self.


Moral: Sometimes it can take a lifetime to find one’s true niche.


Eight-year-old Martin Smith


Martin Smith is a writer of short fictions of humour. Having spent a working life crunching numbers, he retired to the Bellarine Peninsula in 2013, where he lives and writes in a beach house at Queenscliff. When he is not banging away on his keyboard with thumbs and index fingers or reading snippets of his scribblings to his beloved Rose, you’ll more likely than not find him walking the beach barefoot at low tide or downing a double scoop of Peppermint Chip at the local ice-creamery. He plans to publish two collections of stories of humour (This Laugh’s On Me and The Cannibal’s Guide to Health and Wellbeing) in 2023.

Martin joined Geelong Writers in 2022. He is a member of The Seaside Scribes, a writing group that meets at the Queenscliff Neighbourhood House every second Tuesday.

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