Mac and Ian were glad to be
back in the country. Theyíd had enough of city life for a while. They
celebrated their return by finding the tallest oak tree they could see,
climbed to the top and slept for two days. There were no noises to disturb
them, aside from the warbling of songbirds and the trickling of the stream
at the bottom of the tree.
Feeling rested, the two
raccoons climbed down from the tree. "Ah, what a grand day it is today,
Ian," Mac said. "I feel like running through the heather. Would you care
to join me?"
Ian could think of nothing
heíd rather do than run free around the hills. "After you," he politely
They ran up to the top of
the hill and sat still among the heather, admiring the view below them.
"Look, Ian. For as far as we can see, there is nothing but green, and
wildflowers and the stream and loch. Isnít it peaceful? I love it here in
the highlands of Scotland. There is nowhere more beautiful."
Ian noticed something at
the bottom of the hill on the other side. "Look over there, Mac. I think
there are some sheep grazing. They donít look like sheep though. They
havenít any wool."
Mac looked. "No wool? What
They ran down the hillside
until they were close to the sheep. "Hee hee. They are sheep and they have
no wool. Where did it go," Ian giggled.
Mac started laughing too.
Heíd never seen anything so funny before. The raccoons walked over to the
herd of sheep. "Where did your wool go?" he asked one of them. The sheep
ignored him and started nibbling on the grass. They walked over to another
sheep. "Whereís your wool?" Mac asked. The sheep ignored him too.
Ian said, "You all look
silly with no wool. Did you get in a fight and pull it off each other?
Feeling a little cold?" He continued to tease them for a long time, saying
comments and poking their bare skin. Mac joined in.
The two raccoons were just
about to say something else when someone grabbed them by the back of their
necks. "Whatís this?" he said. "You two are the funniest looking sheep
Iíve ever seen. Well, no mind. Itís time for sheering." It was the
near sighted sheep
sheerer and he was carrying them off.
The sheep started laughing
at the raccoons. "Youíll get yours now. Baa," went one.
"Baa. Baa. Weíll see who
feels foolish now," said another.
The man sat down with Ian
and Mac in his arms. "You first," he said to Ian. He took what looked like
a shaver and shaved all the fur off of Ian, including the patches around
his eyes and his ink-point tail. He tossed him onto the grass. Ian stood
still, shivering, while the man did the same to Mac. "Your wool isnít very
good quality," he said, "but at least youíll not be so hot now," he said
to the bare raccoons.
There wasnít a spot of hair
left on either of them, except maybe a few strands inside their ears. "My
fur! My beautiful gray fur. Look at us, Ian. Weíve no fur left. Even the
patches around our eyes are gone," Mac cried. Ian just stood there,
shivering. "This isnít going to do. We canít go around looking like this,
even if the sheep can. Come on, Ian. Letís head for that house over
They had to run past the
sheep to get to the house. "Whatís the matter lads? Loose something?" one
of the sheep laughed.
"Iíd say there, lads, looks
like youíre a bit cold there," another sheep chuckled.
The teasing and tormenting
went on until they reached the house. The two hairless raccoons ran into
the house and crept around quietly, looking for something to cover
themselves with. Auld Mrs. Mackintosh was sitting on her couch knitting a
coat for their Scotty dog to wear in the upcoming winter. Another
completed one was down in a basket next to her feet. "Weíll have to wait a
while. Sheís nearly finished the dog coat," Mac said. "Letís hide in the
kitchen. There might be some food in there."
There just so happened to
be a loaf of bread sitting on the counter and a bowl of butter. Some cold
chips were lying on a paper towel. "Letís make a bitty sandwich," Ian
said, spreading the butter on two slices of bread. "There are enough chips
for us both."
They devoured the
sandwiches quickly and snuck back into the room where Mrs. Mackintosh was.
"Ah, sheís finished them both," Mac said. "Shhhhh, stay here."
He quietly crept behind her
chair, grabbed the two dog coats and ran back to Ian. "Got them," he said
They slipped them on. Ianís
was bright red with green and white stripes on it. Macís was blue with
white snowflakes. "I know, we look ridiculous, but itís better than being
hairless and freezing to death," Mac said, embarrassed at looking so
silly. "Come on. Letís go home," he said. "To think, weíre wearing
something made from the wool of those sheep out there!"
The raccoons ran as fast as
they could, avoiding the sheep on their way back to the oak tree. For the
next several weeks they didnít wander off, except to get a drink and
nibble on nuts and berries. Their hair grew back eventually. Soon they had
the patches around their eyes and the stripes on their tails once more.
From then on though,
whenever it was sheering time, they avoided going to the hills, and never
again did they tease the sheep. They kept the dog coats nearby, just in