Sure, this fluffy couple is as cute as can be. That’s what we thought too, at first. But behind “Billy” and “Bully’s” enchanting curls, there was also unbridled rage and immoderate anger. A murderous meanness that I have never seen any sheep possess. I think Beelzebub himself would have been impressed by their raw anger.
Like many before us, we encountered these curly animals while attempting to peacefully descend down the mountain Graukogel, above Bad Gastein, shortly after lunch today. And it was just seconds after a couple of cyclists rode past us at a crazy fast speed, that we realized how easy it was to end up on Billy and Bully’s “hit list”. Even though the bikes passed us at great speed, the apparently super easily provoked Valais Blacknose sheep were still not far behind them. In fact, Charlotte and I had never seen sheep run so damn fast! And it was when Billy and Bully finally gave up pursuing the speeding two-wheelers, that they seemed to quickly realize that we were at least as interesting as prey, and not just a mere consolation prize.
After loudly bumping heads and horns two or, three times, as if to show off how angry and determined they really were, both Billy and Bully turned their intense, angry attention to our direction and began closing the distance between us. Somewhat tentatively at first, but soon with more determined, fearless steps.
Aware of the slightly bizarre yet precarious situation, and at the same time quite drained after a long day of hiking at fairly high altitudes, we chose to evacuate our path and fall back ten, twelve feet into a dark, deep ravine. Our naive hope was, of course, that the two evil sheep would leave us alone and move on to new barbarities. Instead, first Billy and then Bully began descending upon us, like predators, with the obvious realization that the prey before them was ripe and ready to be felled.
In that situation, we had but two options. Either take our chances with a full frontal confrontation using all available weaponry; sticks, rocks, and, in a worst-case scenario, my hefty camera bag. Or, to admit our defeat and simply climb back up the mountain. After a lightning-quick conference, all the while Billy and Bully approached us in the ravine, we chose the most rational: retreat.
Luckily the sheep quickly picked up a distracting scent and finally left us to our fate. Groaning and puffing, we walked back up the mountain, relieved but sweaty all over.
We warned people who were heading down the path about the angry sheep and we sincerely hope that it did not end badly for them.
I guess I won’t be counting sheep when I have trouble falling asleep …