I’m going to tell you a story. It may be faintly familiar from some distant children’s fable, but I can assure you that it ends like no childrens story ought to, and it has a different moral…a very different message in a very true story.
Once upon a time there was a little sheep. She lived in a small valley suburb with a flock of loving sheep. Each day, the little sheep would walk away from her neighborhood flock and into the city to be taught the ways of the world. With time, she found herself another flock of closest friends and grew to love them very deeply. Each day the little sheep would take the same path to and from the city, hardly ever diverting (unless there was the temptation of a nice patch of grass a little out of her regular walking path). But as the little sheep grew older, she began to explore much of the city she lived so close to and soon knew it like the back of her hoof. She could help tourists find their way and bray with laughter with her friends as they walked around the city during their free time, enjoying life. Her memories of the city she was in everyday were strong and the little sheep was confident in her directional skills. The irony was to become all to apparent.
The little sheep grew and grew and soon was visiting the city during lunch break with her friends. She walked to the gas station, to the Demi Tasse up the street, to the park and sometimes went to a grocery store to pick up a treat. One day, something was not right. The little sheep, daydreaming, wandered away from her flock and was going to meet up with them at their usual spot. The little sheep confidently walked along, treading the familiar paths until…she realized these paths weren’t familiar at all. Why she hadn’t been here before at all. Or so the little sheep thought until she really looked around. Something in the back of her mind told her that she knew this place deep down, but she was befuddled and confused as to why this old yet unfamiliar street corner befuddled and confused her! She pushed these thoughts deep into her pockets and turned around and tried to walk home. She stumbled around for the whole hour of lunch, confused. She knew where she was but the knowledge was somehow blocked from her mind. The little sheep was scared and tried to psych herself up by saying that she wasn’t insane or anything, just a daydreamer and that sort of thing happened to daydreamers from time to time. The sheep didn’t tell her flock of friends or family what had happened.
She didn’t cry ‘WOLF’ because she was afraid of the consequence of having screamed there was a ‘wolf’ when really it wasn’t; just a big misunderstanding. She didn’t want to make waves so she let it go.
She thought that it was a one time deal. It wouldn’t happen again.
But over the next few months, the little sheep got lost in her beloved city many times. She would arrive somewhere, not know how she got there and on top of that she would have no clue where she was. It took awhile and alot of questions to re-orientate herself before finding the right way. She was slightly unnerved but not yet willing to cry ‘wolf’ until she was certain there was a problem. She had been taught that even though you might see something coming, that didn’t mean you should take preventative measures!
That same sorry sheep wandered away from her flock without any recollection of doing such. She felt nauseous constantly, inattentive in lessons which was peculiar for such a previously studious sheep, very tired (even though she walked very little, for a sheep), she was confused often, forgot conversations mid-sentence and felt the beginnings of a dull pain. Yet the little sheep was not quite ready to yell ‘wolf’, although at that time, she had no idea of the huge wolf that lurked ahead.
That little sheep saw so many doctors she lost count. About 10, counting walk-in’s and specialists and ER doc’s. She heard so many rumors about what she might have, but nothing concrete. The poor little sheep had so much blood taken, that she must have thought a vampire had sucked the lifeblood right out of her. She was thought to be crazy one week, anorexic the next, depressed the following and chronic fatigued after that. The doctors threw out ridiculous problems and kept passing the little sheep amongst a circle of different doctors, like teens smoking a bowl with friends.
Finally the little sheep was so sick and her flock so angry at the medical systems failure, they took her to a neighboring country to help her.
And now, where can you find the little sheep.
That same little sheep, who used to run and skip with her friends and laugh and drink bubble tea on hot days and make weird jokes and play music and laugh some more, that little sheep who lived so happily, was not finding her ‘ever after’. That poor little sheep couldn’t walk, every joint ached in the worst way, she had the worst insomnia and hallucinations, had excruciating pain all over her body that was a thousand times worse than she would have thought and had no memory. Her mind was a blank slate being wiped ever few minutes. She had nothing that she used to. Now this is one unhappy little sheep.
What was wrong with this sheep? What was wrong was no one cried ‘wolf’. Because she passed it off as daydreaming, because the doctors couldn’t figure it out, and because the whole country was ignorant. No one cried ‘wolf’ because no one knew why they should startle a village, because they had nothing conclusive. They couldn’t find the little sheeps’ wolf. So they let the wolf eat her. The wolf ate her alive because no one was aware of the fact that this sick little sheep was harboring a more dangerous kind of ‘wolf’, a ‘super wolf’, that when it arrived could hurt much more sneakily than a real wolf . And the most dangerous part about the ‘super wolf’ was that he wasn’t it a poor imitation in sheep skins, he wore a cloak of invisibility and could come and go as he pleased and never drew attention to himself.
Lyme is the worst kind of wolf. He is silent and deadly and knows what he’s doing. And the villagers who fled up the hill at the boys cry of ‘SUPER WOLF’ were tired of there being no wolf. They didn’t understand the cloak of invisibility and lies.
The little sheep hurt so much because of a lack of knowledge.
Curiosity killed the cat.
Ignorance tried to kill the sheep.
So cry wolf, when your gut says yell, on the off-chance that there is a monster looming over your flock.
“Creating a new theory is not like destroying an old barn and erecting a skyscraper in its place. It is rather like climbing a mountain, gaining new and wider views, discovering unexpected connections between our starting points and its rich environment. But the point from which we started out still exists and can be seen, although it appears smaller and forms a tiny part of our broad view gained by the mastery of the obstacles on our adventurous way up.” – Albert Einstein