I attribute this idiom to that savage rocking band from beautiful WA, the Southern River Band. As an aside, I had the pleasure and the lived experience to see these young lads in my own back-yard (practically) at a recent music festival. They were cool, entertaining, hard-working, the lead was awesome on his guitar, and this lyric snippet has stuck with me since, with the enduring image of that band at work.
So, back to the idiom. I like its ambiguity, its subtle confronting nature, it stimulates my desire to process and understand. And to know that there is no clear meaning, just a desire to encourage people to think (or be amused, or …).
Like a tiger in an Australian zoo. Or Donald Trump at a leader’s summit.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Of course, that smacks of the truisms I have written about recently, and whether seeing is believing, understanding or even useful. Is the picture real or modified or fake?
But words, they are left to our infinite imagination and intellect, to our prevailing emotional or motivational state, or even whether we are safe enough to even hear. Nevertheless, words can evoke a thousand pictures.
What is your ‘sheep on a hobby farm’ scenario? The boy who does not play football? The man who does not drink alcohol? The woman who does not want to have children? The politician who embraces social justice?
So the punchline? Of course that is your choice. Mine is to think before you judge, and accept that there are many ways to live in harmony and to achieve collective success.
Meantime, for the metaphorical sheep, it is free to live out its days without fear of slaughter or trauma. What a great gift to provide our fellow humans and sentient beings?