One thing that I don’t do much of is “read.” Some may even suspect me to be illiterate, which could very well be true (maybe I write all these posts with virtual Indian secretaries or Speech to Text technology). Either way, there is one particular Japanese author who I’ve never talked about, but is quite famous in American and Europe. That cool frood is Haruki Murakami. He’s written all kinds of things, and I have read none of them. To be completely honest, I have no idea what any of his books are about, yet today I explained to someone what “A Wild Sheep Chase” is all about, and made up 100% of it. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m wrong, though I’m pretty sure I am (what are the chances right). But instead of going back and reading about it on Wikipedia, I decided instead to write my own version of A Wild Sheep Chase… Thus, “Literal Murakami” is born. My plan is to take five or six Murakami books and write short stories based solely, and literally, off their titles, mostly with the hope of encouraging you to read the real books, because I hear they’re good and such. After reading my version, you’ll need a Unicorn chaser of some sort, and I’m hoping you use a nice real bit of literature to meet that requirement.
So, without further ado, here’s Tofugu’s version of “A Wild Sheep Chase,” which includes a Sheep running from the law, as well as Batman’s secret life you never knew.
A Wild Sheep Chase
A lone wild sheep (and one can hardly call him wild in the literal sense, but they did anyways) troppity tropps across the field. The field is covered with shattered colors, as if a rainbow couldn’t keep its balance and fell onto its side in a million colorful pieces. Frederick the wild sheep understands this as beautiful but doesn’t doddle. He runs up a slight hill and looks back. Nothing but an old man picking up pieces of color to put in an uncomfortable looking wicker basket. The economy of the entire area, Frederick knew, is based entirely on wicker and rainbow hunting. Pier One Imports must have a distribution network in the area, he thinks.
No normal sheep moves at the moderately fast pace that Frederick moves in, but Frederick is no normal sheep. There are two things that make him different, and I imagine you may already know what they are.
First, he is wild, or so he believes. Second, he is being chased for a terrible crime committed twelve days earlier. Today is day thirteen, and this worries Frederick so he continues to trot through space and time until it becomes day fourteen, a day with slightly less significance for the delusional superstitious sheep in all of us .
Two days later Frederick sits on a wicker chair and hungers. It is cold, and the snow covers all that is edible to sheep. He makes a snow-sheep and calls it abstract art. Many art critics would have enjoyed it, though there would be whispers of “I think my kid could have made that” from those with an untrained eye. Frederick now regrets wasting energy on snow sculpting when he is so hungry.
Frederick wonders what Batman would do in his situation, so he asks. Batman is examining the sculptor from a wicker stool with an experienced pair of Bat-Eye spectacles.
“Batman, I murdered a man, but I did it in self defense. Does that make me bad?”
“You know, Frederick, sometimes I have the same problem.”
“You do?” Frederick feels relieved.
“I have this image… Batman doesn’t kill people, he just ties them up with his web and lets the authorities take care of the rest,” he says while making “quote” motions with his rubbery fingers.
“Aren’t you worried about the legal system not working? You come in, you bonk a few bad-guy heads and leave them there. What about when there are no witnesses, the juries have to release them and they’re back on the streets committing more crimes!” Frederick rolls onto his side and stretches his legs and they shake.
“And then they sue me! You’d be surprised how much time I spend in night court getting sued for this and that-and-this-and-that. But you know what I do now?” asks Batman.
Frederick the sheep opens his left ear to listen more carefully.
“In the case where there is no evidence, and no witnesses, I chop their bad-guy bodies up into little pieces and put them in the back of my batmobile. Then, Alfred prepares them for supper and Robin cleans up the mess. The hearts, though, I eat those while they’re still beating.”
“To gain their knowledge and power?”
“Of course,” replies Batman patting his own heart, eying the sheep as if he asked the stupidest question in the world. “Now, sheep, I will paint you black and ride you.”
Frederick finds that his pace is much slowed from carrying Batman, and is worried that the police will catch up. The chase, he realizes, will soon be at a close. The sirens get louder and louder, but he continues to push. When the sirens become unbearable, Batman spreads his wings and flies away but is quickly shot down.
The wild sheep tries to run, but his legs wobble from exertion. He falls, and the police cuff him. There is no struggle, but they taze and beat him because he’s painted black.
The Wild Sheep Chase is over, and there is no hope for a fair trial. He looks up and sees a rainbow. It is beautiful, and falling right towards them.