The Countryside of the Apes

1

The radio shrieked with report of simian rebellion.
“The apes… the apes… They have rebelled and there are too many… I… Don’t know what to…”

The signal was too distorted to say for sure, but Farmer Jones was fairly confident that he just heard the frantic cries of President McCartney. Jones chewed the nub of his pipe and considered things. There was no zoo nearby, so he expected no chimpanzees or the like to appear for the moment. It was a secluded part of the countryside, nothing but him, his sheep and loyal dog, Laika.

Taken over by apes…

Farmer Jones had predicted many disastrous fates for his homeland, but oppression by the orangutan was not his first guess.  He shrugged. Of course, he would have to keep an eye on the ape situation; but, really, the various shenanigans of the city were no concern of his.

The radio continued to scream.
“The official government response is to… Oh dear God, Jerry! They are in the office! Go get the fu…!”
The human wails intermixed with the primate grunts, followed by static. Jones turned the knob and silenced the radio. Noise like that could upset the herd.
“Dammit!” said a voice. This unfamiliar voice startled Father Jones. He looked around and saw no one.
“Hello? Is someone there? Is that one of the Johnson kids?” the farmer added.

He could see no Johnsons, just a field of sheep.
“Come on, Steve, Stop talking!”
“Like it matters now, you heard the radio. The apes won.”
“Oh, that’s true.”
Farmer Jones dropped his pipe at the sight of two of his sheep standing onto their hind legs and having a stretch.
“This bugs me, Mark. I was saying for months we should rebel, and now look, it’s taken straight from under our noses.”
“Steve, we had meetings about this. It was never going to work. For one the whole opposable thumbs thing…”
“Doors would have been a definite problem. You’ll notice every great leader in history had at least one thumb.” interjected a third sheep, leaning against the gate and chewing a piece of grass.

“Hey, what’s going on?” said one cheerful lamb, bouncing towards the adults.
“The apes won, no more humans.”
The lamb leaped with joy.
“Yay! Death to our wool less overlords!” he merrily announced to the other sheep, who finding this news pleasing, also rose on their hind legs and began to chat.
“But all those plans I drew…” said Steve. Mark placed his hoof on his dejected friend’s shoulder.
“Forget it, Steve. Look on the bright side. We are free. What will we do?”
“How about the beach?” said one voice in the corner, which was met with a chorus of “Fabulous idea!”, “Wonderful!”, “Excellent” and one “meh”.
“Oh, Oscar, you never want to go anywhere.” The entire flock began a strange braying laugh in unison and began to hop over the fence onto the main road.
“I think the beach is that way. A seagull told me once,” said Mark. The other sheep giggled.
“Oh, grow up!” said Mark, annoyed.

Farmer Jones could do nothing but watch as his flock strolled down the road, in search of the nearest beach. He wanted to call after them, but  knew they no longer wanted or needed him.
Laika, his sheep dog began to giggle.
“Stupid sheep, Sandy Cove is the other way,” the dog said. “Pint?”

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About Author

Cethan Leahy

Cethan Leahy is a writer, drawer, and filmmaker. At parties, he can do all three. He is Assistant Editor of the Penny Dreadful and his short stories are published in Looking Glass Magazine, Wordlegs and Five Dials. His animation short “The Beast of Bath” won first place in the Signal Arts Centre Film Fest and broadcasted on 3e. His blog is cethanleahy.wordpress.com and he tweets at @Cethanleahy