Monday, May 01, 2006

On Being Compared to Sheep

I am only vaguely familiar with the lives of sheep. Scripture's metaphor says humans are as sheep (PS 95). If you think about it too much, it doesn't seem like a complement. I ran across this bit about sheep in my reading:

"Each Ewe has only a six-hour window of receptivity to mating. This poses no problem to the ram, who can infallibly sense which ewe might welcome him at any given moment. The rancher relied on ten rams to "service" four thousand female sheep, which meant that the rams worked themselves to exhaustion over several weeks, losing much of their body weight in the process. All work, no romance. When I saw a scrawny, bedraggled ram, his chores done, his strength dissipated, good for nothing but the slaughterhouse and even then unfit for human consumption, I breathed a prayer of thanks for human sexual arrangements. (Zoologists note that very few species--human, dolphins, some primates, and the large cats--engage in sex as a form of pleasure.)" author--Phillip Yancey

Or maybe the rams are having fun; and humans, at least men, are more like sheep than is at first obvious.

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