It is such a beautiful morning in Connemara. All mornings are beautiful in Connemara. It could rain, it could be cloudy, there could be a storm, and yes, sometimes, we could even see the sun, just there, pointing a little beam of light from behind a cloud. The sun! Who cares about the sun? Always trying to sneak in, to hide our beautiful clouds from view. Those white, grey, black shapes of fluffiness. Just like us.

Some of the old ones say that clouds are what sheep become when they die. I don’t believe that. I think clouds just live there, in the sky. They don’t need to have been something before. We have never been something before, I think, so why should they? I think clouds are just the sheep of the sky.

I like doing this. Staying in the middle of our field before anybody else has even noticed that the day has restarted, watching how the world lights up, changes colours, seeing what the clouds are up to when they wake up, munching on some grass.

I always turn towards the huge pointy rock. The old ones say that the humans call it “diamond hill”. The say it is because it is a bit shiny… I don’t get it. And who cares what the humans call things? I call it the huge pointy rock. At least it’s clear. It’s not like anybody would get confused by that. Humans are good for nothing really, going around on our grey trails in their big shiny metal things (I bet they call them diamond wheely beasts, or something), so I don’t see why we should bother with them.

It is almost time. I can feel it. The air becomes different. The birds change their tunes (they are clever things, the birds: They know), even the grass changes taste (maybe the grass is also a clever thing, not only a delicious one). So I turn around until I find the huge pointy rock. It is always there that the show starts.

Something is not quite right though. It is not quite like it was in times before. The colours, the greens, the browns, the greys and the blacks, are not where they used to be. It is the same general shape, but not quite in the same way. Someone has been messing with my huge pointy rock. I bet it is the humans. I will have to tell the old ones when the day has properly restarted.

OK, the light is coming. The light is coming? That can’t be correct!

Messing with the colours is one thing, but with the light! That can’t be allowed. Even the clouds seem to have noticed: The light is not in the right place!

It always comes from behind the huge pointy rock. That’s why I look that way. But now, it is coming from behind me! It is shining on my bottom!

I’m so confused I forget to munch on my grass.

I see someone waking up over there. It’s Bé. I ask him: “Have you seen this?! The light, it’s in the wrong place!”

Bé looks at me as if I’m some kind of a crazy thing, like a human or something: “Baah… Isn’t it always there?”

I go to somebody else. It’s Bé. She is not in any way more helpful. I ask: “Where are the old ones? I need to talk to them.”

Nobody knows. Not Bé, or Bé, or even Bé, who is always sticking close to them, to make himself look good. He thinks that, in this way, he will become a white cloud when he dies. Bé is a bit stupid like that.

I think… What happened before the lights were turned off? The big one outside, and the small one inside my head. What did we do before the day stopped? We went, as usual, to eat at the bottom of the huge pointy rock, and then the human and the dog pushed us back to our field, as always.

I like the dog. He is always so happy to tell us what to do that nobody ever feels like not doing it.

But something was different. Something was not as usual, as always. What was it? I remember feeling strange. Feeling like it should not be that way.

The Water! It was the water! When we go back, it is always on the side of my bad ear (I have a bad ear. It got stuck once in some pointy wire thing put there by the humans and was hurt). But not that last time. That time, the water was on the side of my good ear (I have a good ear. It is… not bad). So… it means that this is not our field! We are somewhere else!

I need to tell the others, but they won’t see it. They won’t believe me. This has grass, a grey trail over there, the huge pointy rock. It is like our field. I need to show them that this is different. I need to show them how to go back.

But how to go back?

I think some more. We are somewhere else, but we can still see the huge pointy rock. The light usually comes from behind it, but now, it comes from behind me. Does this mean that I am behind the huge pointy rock? On the other side?

It has another side?

Wherever I am, it is the only thing I know. I can go there. I can climb it. I know that when I climb on a small rock, I can see more. If I got all the way to the top, maybe I will see the water, our field, the old ones. Maybe I can tell the others and they will believe me.

Climbing is hard. It takes time. The light is fully on now. The sun has tried to come around a few times, but my friends the clouds have pushed it away, at the back of the sky where it belongs.

I thank them in my head. As if to say that they heard me, they send water. Clouds are great like this.

Finally I’m at the top. I’m exhausted, but I’m close to them. I can almost touch them. And they are many! All around, in all directions, a lot, and a lot, and more of a lot of clouds.

I look down… At first, I think I have gone crazy. I see the huge pointy rock, but I’m on it. I know I can’t see the thing I’m standing on over there… And there! It is there again, and again, and again. The huge pointy rock is… more than one!

I can see water, but it does not have the shape of our water. I can see grass, but I can’t tell if it is our grass. I can’t see the old ones…

I will have to try another one. Another huge pointy rock. And if I still don’t find them, I will try another one, and another one again.

Yes Connemara, my beautiful home, you might have suddenly become bigger, but I’m not afraid.

I am Bé, I have a good ear and I’m friend with the clouds. The light is turned on every day for me, whether I’m in front, behind or on top of a huge pointy rock. And I will see the day restart at each and everyone of them if I have to.

 

By Mathieu d’Aquin

Images by Lindy Buckley and Stefan Jürgensen

In the `Connemara,` there are lots of sheep, and it’s very bumpy. Oh, and by the way, the sheep are angry, because giant colourful things with owners inside go on their road. At least that’s what they think, but it’s actual cars with us inside. Us means humans (I’m saying this because an alien might be reading this). The sheep always kept together. Well, at least until an ordinary sheep got lost. This is his story.

Bernard the sheep decided to walk beside `Lake Nochman.`

The biggest lake in the `Connemara.`it was 2440km2 (big isn’t it).

He went down there a lot it was where no sheep dared to go, but he thought that was silly.

Anyway, it was still in sheep grounds.

Next to him was the giant `Diamond Hill.`

He wished he could go up there so he could eat the tasty ants crawling about.

Suddenly, a huge rock fell and Bernard jumped.

PLOOF!

He’d fallen into the lake.

He swam the fastest he could ever swim.

Then when he got to the bank “Where the heck am I?” he thought.

He looked everywhere for the farm, but it wasn’t in sight.

Then an owner came with a sword “NO!!!” Bernard thought.

“Baaaa!” he said, but when he opened his eyes he was with the other sheep.

“It was just a dream,” he thought.

The Sheepy End

Story By Hugo d’Aquin. Images By whisky&coJoel Sowers and Tom Fahy