James felt overwhelmed. The last time he opened up a book he came across all these words he had no idea of. First he had no idea of their existence, and second he had no idea about their meaning. He let out this long, deep audible breath and hoped that while doing this he would be expressing sadness, or defeat.
Look at this, he said when reading, privy? Tether? Wanton? Fray? Mire? I can go on like this, I suck at English, man. Gable, flout, placate, ignonimious, or it is ignominious? It’s Monday, man, not fancy word day!
Little Sheebo moved his head from left to right and then back to the left and then back to James. He had learned that this was body language for saying no. He could have just bleated the word, but somesheep told him that it’s better when you do some sort of body-backing-up your words. He didn’t know why that was so, because the dictionary just said no. But he was moving his head. Left right left, saying no in the meanwhile. No, it’s not more difficult words. I have heard that it doesn’t matter all that much if you come across something that you don’t know the meaning of, not yet anyway, because nosheep ever will just utter that separate thing to you, I mean, have you ever come across a sheep who greeted you and then said ‘sleuthing’? Nothing but that word?
James was almost starting to tear up now. ‘Sleuthing? I don’t know that word either,’ he said softly, and felt one drop of salt water coming.
You are missing the bigger picture of what I said, little Sheebo said to James, the same way you are missing the meaning of the word because you don’t see the bigger picture of the context it was placed in. You don’t have to know the specific words. Words will never be uttered in a vacuum. Life is not like an English vocabulary exam which will teach you nothing, since it only confirms that you either know the meaning of a word or you don’t. Again: life is not like that.
‘But the words..’ James continued. ‘I don’t know them!’
Little Sheebo jumped on the lap (or hoof) of James, so they could see eye to eye. And ear to ear. He said: So what that you don’t know the words? Then get to know them, and you will get to know them, when you meet them. And the way to meet them, is to see them in action, when they come up, what they do, where they are used in a story, who reacts to them, and how, and to see various sentences they are used in. So you don’t have to study that exact word, you need to just dive into stories, and eventually that word will come up. You understood my head shaking in the same way, remember? It was many times accompanied by a no, so eventually you found out that the left right thing must mean something the same, you learned within a context. Okay, let’s then try it: Beatific.
James was up for this because of the friendly approach. He didn’t feel robbed any mor, or suffocated.. ‘Beautiful? No? Hmm.. don’t know beatific.’
Ah, little James, Sheebo said, and he sat on the other side of the lap, but you do know the word.. because think back of that perfect happiness you feel when you are experiencing the full presence of your herder, that almost unspeakable paradise that you seem to be in, that you can not even catch a glimpse of without making you radiate for a lifetime, that enjoyment you know the herder has over you, how he sees you as the perfect sheep you are, the fact that the both of you are satisfied being around and in each other, that pleasure that transcents essentials? That meadowy bliss?
‘Yeah.. I know that! It’s even better than cake!
Yeah, that’s beatific.