Monday, April 07, 2014

“Your report, Taskmaster?” The land-owner was rich, but not very enthusiastic, and you could tell by his voice.

“The sheep are well-fed and pacified with entertainment, as you suggested. We have led them to believe that their little problems like buying toys and finding sex partners are the only things to worry about. They have no idea whats in store for them.”

The Taskmaster was fidgety and this didn't go un-noticed by the land-owner. It was obvious something was bothering him.

“Is there something else?”

“We have a malcontent who isn't falling for it. He's trying to spread discontent and refusing to be a good flock member. So far none of the others pay any attention. But that just makes him more determined. It's worrying to think that his ideas may spread to others and eventually the Department of Agriculture might get wind of it.”

“Deal with it! That's what you get paid for!”

“Do I have permission to use the secret weapon?”

“Is it absolutely necessary? If the other find out it may wake them from their stupor.”

“I have a plan that will allow us to kill two birds with one stone.”


KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK! The wolf answered the door and the Taskmaster was standing there with hands folded in front of him. “I have a job for you.”

“i don't like having a boss. What's in it for me?”

“All the lamb-chops you can eat. They are outside in the trunk of my Fiat”

“I can get squirrels and rabbits for free. Your fiat lamb-chops are worthless.”

“Worthless, maybe. But oh so tasty. If you're not hungry perhaps you could trade some for a new flat-screen TV”

“You have a point there. What do you want me to do?”

“Clean off your sheep suit”


Number 436 was laying down in the barn eating the hay that the land-owner was saving. This wasn't really allowed, but he didn't care. The wolf sidled up to him. “Why aren't you out there eating some fresh grass?”

“Why should I? The land-owner took away my freedom and the Taskmaster whips me and steals my wool. I think they owe it to me.

“Yea, it's rough. But I bet if the land-owner didn't have to pay so many taxes, he would give you more freedom. And if the Taskmaster didn't have many rules to comply with he wouldn't take out his frustration on you.”

“Are you saying that it's all the fault of the Department of Agriculture?”
“You catch on quick. I can tell you are different and special, so I'm going to tell you a secret...”


“Wake up, 667! I got something to tell you!”

Number 667 groggily lifted his head to see what his friend wanted. He was tired from searching out the tastiest clover, and somewhat perturbed that 436 wasn't. “This better be important.”

“It is. I just figured it all out. If it wasn't for the Department of Agriculture the landowner would give us more freedom and the Taskmaster wouldn't be so pissed off.”

“Why do you always want to talk about complicated issues when I'm half asleep? Listen, if it wasn't for the Department of Agriculture, the landowner would scrimp on our food and shelter and the Taskmaster would abuse us even more. They are protecting us from greed and avarice.”

“No no, you don't understand! If you talked to the people I talked to, and read all the books I read you would see for yourself.”

“Where did you get all those books?”

“From the new guy.”

“So you got all those books from the same guy? And they all say the same thing? Thats not research, that's thought control. Why don't you read one of mine?”

“But they might tell me something I don't want to hear, and since I know I'm right, they must be wrong.”

“That is a logical fallacy, and if I had some coffee I could tell you which one.”

“No you're not getting it. I have learned the secret words that once spoken will bring us everything we've ever wanted. Don't you see, words are magic. That's why they call it spelling. Get it? Spelling? Magic spells? It all makes sense.”

“Words are words. There is no such thing as magic. Getting 'spelling' mixed up with 'spells' is like saying that there must be a heaven because it rhymes with seven. If it only works in English, it can't be some sort of mystical truth, or else it would be true in German and Spanish and all other languages too.”

“But the new guy told me and I believe him because I want it to be true.”

“Then why is he here? If he knows magic, he should just create himself a magic land and go there and forget about this place.”

“He did! He said the magic words and got what he wanted. He just came here to tell me that I can do the same thing. I now have special knowledge, and that makes me free.”

“Let me guess; for just $299 he will tell you how Fiat Currency is worthless. This is a huge scam and he wants you to be a Guinea pig.”

“You're wrong. He cares about me and wants me to get what I deserve.” He stormed out of his friends stall in a huff.


Number 436 marched into the office of the Department of Agriculture without an appointment. He wrote his name with the magic ink and spoke the magic words, and was promptly handcuffed and led away to the echoes of laughter. As the knife came closer to his throat, he regretted believing the wolf and not reading some of 667s books.

The Investigator for the Department of Agriculture talked to the landowner and the taskmaster, and they decided to shoot the wolf. The wolf was dangerous, but he was outnumbered.

667 lived to a ripe old age. Sure he gave up his wool once a year, and he wasn't always in the best of health, but at least he was alive and free to read any book he chose.

Nothing else changed.

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