The whole long caravan followed Richard along the river, the sole envoy of the University, a young whole-hearted guy with strong arms, sunglasses on top of his head, a man who loved to laugh.
On the other side of the stream, grazed a white sheep with a thick black wooly coat. Agnes had taught me this one French thing on our last trip: Petit muton. Little sheep. It had become my new catchphrase and my proof that not only my Spanish was now fluent but also my French. It was even the one thing I said to Agnes´s parents when they visited her and I met them all in the street (They were rather surprised). Thus, “Petit muton!” was what I said to the sheep.
It looked at me.
I looked back.
It stared. Not a blink. Wouldn´t let go off my eyes.
I told the others that we had some telepathic communication thing going on, and they said that it was maybe because we were on the same intellectual level. To which I replied that was probable. And then we moved on.
And the sheep, on the other side of the river, started moving too. Keeping vague eye-contact, it walked parallel to us and directed its way and speed according to our movements.
“It seems you made friends”, commented Andreas gleefully.
“I am not sure if it took my mental messages the right way, you see. Maybe it wants to kill me. And all of you at the same time.”
Andreas said there was a chance. “It has a twisted look to it.”
“Well, anyway, good that there is this river between us, isn´t it?”
The sheep seemed to have come to the same conclusion and altered its course. Slowly, it departed, almost fading from our sight. We made some presumptuous jokes about its giving up and our glorious succeeding, and our general God-given superiority over beasts and brutes and then, as a bit of a surprise, we reached a stone bridge.
And from the other side of the bridge, as a bit more of surprise, the sheep re-appeared. Apparently, it had only made its way around a small side-arm of the river in order to reach us. It was heading directly towards our group. Tammy giggled and padded me on my shoulder. “Good that there is this river between us.”
“Good Lord!” said Andreas with astonishment in his voice. “I guess this is no ordinary sheep.” He pointed at the animal and raised his hands in the air. “That´s Brainsheep.”
And Brainsheep stopped on the bridge, hovering an inch or so above the cobblestone, or so it seemed, and stared at us stoically, glaring, glancing down into the very cores of our souls, reading our thoughts. The sheep stared into my eyes. For what seemed like a little eternity. Then it turned around and left us baffled.