The goal of the enterprise had been definitely achieved. The whole left wing as well, went home in the belief: 'against this monster there's no avail.' On all sides, its body and limbs were shielded by scales as if by steel armour and these, in their turn, were protected by a system of blades and spikes. And those tremendous nostrils, who knows what deadly venom might belch from them when it mattered. Its movements in general were sluggish but, if necessary, it could swipe with lightning speed. A sudden jump by the poor little sheep had revealed as much.
'We'd better learn to live with it,' was the unanimous conclusion. There followed an overall reconciliation and thereby unity was restored. In line with the junior councillor's opinion, to many of them this seemed what mattered most.
Now, at all ease, the second part of the plan could be implemented, to gradually remove the offering place back to the pond's vicinity. Unexpectedly, this met with strong resistance of the population. Were the lookout facilities, constructed with so much effort and at such cost, just to be demolished forthwith?
This argument was proffered foremost but behind it some deeper motives emerged. There were such as to frankly confess that they simply loved the horrors. Artists considered the beast highly inspiring. Painters, going a step further, declared it to be of exceptional beauty, a knight amongst animals. Never had they observed reflections of light thus enticing. To the Surrealists among them it was nothing short of 'gefundenes Fressen', a godsend.
Scientists joined in the protest as well. They wished to have a closer look into this phenomenon, as they preferred to call the beast. The ethically inclined couldn't stop pointing at the beneficial consequences of its first contemplation and considered it quite possible the effects might be lasting.
In short, resistance became so overwhelming that the council decided to leave things as they actually were and thus, the offering just under Silene's wall became a weekly event.
Not during deliberations, nor at the final decision was any word breathed on the perpetual agony of the sheep.
English translation by Ronald Langereis © 2009
from the Dutch, "Sint Joris" by Belcampo, 1983