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Torfaen Tales

Bad Sheep

Part 13 of the K-Nine Tales

It was a bright and chilly autumn morning as K-Nine rolled gently down the lane, past the Bush Inn and down to the square at the bottom of the hill. As he turned left by the bus shelter he noticed that someone had sprayed the words "Dafad Drwg" in white paint on one of the metal panels.

"I wonder what that means ?" thought K-Nine. He ran the phrase though his universal translator and it came back with "Bad Sheep". He was intrigued. It was the same phrase that had been painted on the side of the TARDIS just a few days earlier. He decided that further investigation was required.

He was about to head up towards the mountain when he saw a small group of people coming out of the church opposite. A tall, grey-haired man at the front of the group spotted K-Nine and strode purposefully towards him.

"Hi, I'm Terry Watts, chairman on the Upper Cwmbran Abstinence League. We've just finished our weekly meeting and have decided to join forces with another like minded body of people in the area."

"Really, who's that ?" asked K-Nine.

"UCANT" he replied.

"Well, there's no need to be rude" said K-Nine "I was only asking."

"It's an acronym for Upper Cwmbran Against Non Teetotallers."

"Oh I see" said K-Nine.

"Would you like to join us ?" asked Terry.

"That's very kind of you, but no thanks" replied K-Nine. "I'm fond of the odd glass of WD40 and have recently developed a taste for Crow Valley bitter."

"The demon ale" said Terry "It's brewed by Martians you know."

"Actually, I think you'll find it's brewed by Marvin" corrected K-Nine.

"Whatever it's chosen name, all alcohol is evil, and should be banished forever from God's fine Earth. Beware the bad sheep" warned Terry.

"Oh dear, this is beginning to sound like a sermon" thought K-Nine and he couldn't help feeling that Terry and his band of followers may have been responsible for the graffiti on the TARDIS and the bus shelter. He hastily bid Terry farewell and then continued with his journey up the mountain.

As K-Nine passed by a large field he sensed that he was being watched. There were perhaps a hundred sheep in the field, but there was a solitary sheep, slightly larger than the rest, standing by the gate who seemed to be following K-Nine's every movement along the narrow country road. K-Nine turned and moved slowly towards the gate. The lone sheep backed off slightly and bleated rather unconvincingly. K-Nine was not fooled. He took careful aim and fired a short blast from his laser just in front of the sheep. The dry grass burnt away instantly and the explosion left a shallow crater about a foot across in the ground.

"Hey, be careful with that laser. You could have turned me into roast mutton !" exclaimed the sheep.

"Negative" replied K-Nine "Firstly, I wasn't aiming directly at you, and secondly you are not a real sheep, are you ?"

The sheep looked well kind of sheepish and confessed "Alright, I'm not a real sheep. I'm a shape shifter called O-Vine, but I come here in peace."

K-Nine was puzzled. "You come from where, exactly ?"

"The twin planets of Bacchus and Dionysus" explained the sheep. "We landed here a few months ago, disguised ourselves as different animals and began a survey of the area. Our mission is to determine if this land is suitable for the integration of our species."

K-Nine noticed that the sheep had said ‘we' and asked "So how many alien shape shifting animals are there in Cwmbran then ?"

"I'm not sure" replied O-Vine. "There were twenty of us originally, but unfortunately Ur-Chin who was disguised as a hedgehog got run over, but Ro-Ger and Jess-Ica have probably increased our numbers by now."

"How's that ?" asked K-Nine.

"They both took the form of rabbits" replied O-Vine with a grin.

"Could you tell me more about your mission ?" said K-Nine.

"Sure" replied O-Vine "As long as you are not one of those religious fanatics from the local church. I've heard them ranting on and on about the evils of alcohol, and trying to persuade everyone they meet that abstinence is the only true way of living a full and meaningful life."

"I know" said K-Nine "I met a group of them earlier. I wasn't expecting the Cwmbranish inquisition ! They even told me to be wary of the bad sheep. They weren't referring to you by any chance, were they ?"

"I don't think so" replied O-Vine "You are the first one to realise that I am not a real sheep. I think they were referring to the Young Sheep, a popular drinking establishment up the hill towards Pontypool."

"But why did they pick on that particular place ?" asked K-Nine.

"I think it was because some of them were barred from there after making ridiculous complaints about their opening hours" explained O-Vine.

"Serves them right" said K-Nine "Anyway, I've had enough of religion for one day, you were going to explain about your mission here."

"Oh yes" said O-Vine "We are hoping to bring the rest of our species to this planet in the future providing that we can find a suitable community that is compatible with our culture."

"Can you tell me more about your species and culture ?" asked K-Nine.

"We are a very peaceful race" continued O-Vine. "We work hard for a living but we also thoroughly enjoy our leisure time. We like fine food and wine, and other alcoholic beverages in moderation of course, intelligent conversation and generally relaxing in the company of like minded beings in warm and friendly surroundings. We are also very proud of our history, art and literature."

"Does that include poetry ?" asked K-Nine "I know a charming young lady who writes poems."

"It certainly does" replied O-Vine "I often like to read poetry when I am relaxing with a glass of wine or brandy. One of my personal favourites is a short verse called Palm 23. I have a copy stored on my portable computer, if would you like to take a look."

O-Vine handed over his small rectangular computer to K-Nine who scanned the text displayed on the blue screen:

The Landlord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me sit down on green sofas, he leadeth me beside the still and sparkling waters.

He restoreth my bols, he leadeth me in the paths of allbright and guinness for his pub name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of meths, I will fear no bovril, for thou art with me, thy food and thy staff will southern comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of wine enemies; thou anointest my head with felinfoel and my glass runneth over.

Surely guinness and kirsty shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Landlord for ever and ever, cheers.

"That's marvellous" said K-Nine "It reminds me of a place not very far from here. I have also met some people there who have a similar cultural background to your species. Maybe you should go there and meet them one evening."

"What, with me looking like a sheep ?" said O-Vine.

"Good point. Perhaps you should change into a dog first, they like dogs" said K-Nine with a smile

By Nigel Daft

Last Modified on: 05-11-2015

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