Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I wish I could say I have no problem going to sleep at night. But that would not be true. I have been cursed with - well, not insomnia, thank goodness, but just an inability to sleep without spending a lot of time flat on my back first, gearing down from the day's events. No warm milk, no reading, no soft music will help ease the transition. I just have to lie there and listen to both my husband and the cat snore.

The other night, after an abortive start, I figured maybe I had better try the old idea of counting sheep.

I closed my eyes and imagined a flock of sheep in front of me. I quickly mentally lined them up. I noticed they all had numbers on them, which made me laugh because the Serta Mattress commercial sheep all have numbers too. How clever of my sheep, I thought. I sent Sheep #1 over the fence, Sheep #2 over the fence and then I thought about that Christmas wall-hanging I started to make one year that was to have a few shepherds and lots of sheep on it, all standing around a manger. I never finished the wall hanging, though. The sheep bodies were made of french knots and I got tired of making them. I threw it all away, but now as I was counting sheep I wondered where I could find a copy of that pattern so I could try again. Perhaps on the Internet? Oops, I was off track.

I brought myself back to Sheep #3 who was waiting patiently to go over the fence. Over he went. Sheep #4 went next, and I then I wondered if it was really true, as I had always been told in Sunday school, that sheep are so dumb that if the first sheep through a gate has to jump over a stick held a few inches off the ground, if you take the stick away the rest of the sheep all will jump at that point anyway. Was that really true? Maybe the internet would provide an answer for that. I immediately made a mental note to look this up too.

I pulled myself back to Sheep #5 and mentally got him over the fence. Sheep #'s 6 and 7 went over without any problem but before Sheep #8 could get his front legs off the ground, I wondered why I was making all my sheep male. Was there something Freudian about all my sheep being males? I laughed out loud again and wondered if counting these sheep was getting me any closer to sleep than when I started out.

I opened one eye and saw by the clock that forty-five minutes had passed with nary a feeling of sleep hovering anywhere near my bed. By this time it was obvious that my flock of sheep, numbers notwithstanding, was not going to assist me in falling asleep. I wondered if there was something the matter with my sheep. Or the matter with me?

But I also had a nagging feeling that maybe I had fallen asleep and this was all a dream!

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