“Sheep’s Quest”, story by Ketrino; 11/10/2007

**Note: As clarification for this writing being here, I chose it not because of its writer or as any relation to her other writings or website. It is here because I like this writing itself, I feel it was done well, and further that it stands as an example of how some therianthropy writings by me and other known therianthropy writers can inspire some other therians to write interesting, unique, or otherwise personalized pieces about or related to their therianthropy. Sometimes the writings just speak and stand for themselves without need of worrying about connotations regarding who wrote the piece.

The mountains beckon to me, and I heed their call. From afar, they appear to me as if they are paradise, rising up from the horizon like gods. Reaching them, I can feel their massive power. Their sheer beauty takes my breath away. I take a deep breath and take in the scents of rock, dirt, and the unmistakable smell of the forest of conifers behind me. I measure up the cliff and decide that it is time to take my journey.

My footing is sure as I clamber up the mountain, knowing my way as if I have ventured up it so many times before. My hooves are solid reinforcement beneath my body weight as I leapt over perilous outcroppings and scamper up the cliff face, taking hold on footholds that my ancestors have used before me. The wind whips at my eyes and my white fur mercilessly as I climb higher into dangerous, yet comforting, terrain.

I stop atop a small outcropping, letting my body rest for a moment. The feeling of belonging fills my mind as I look out over the forest below me. I belong up here, among the clouds. The feeling of being up high on a mountain and being above the rest of the earth brings to me a feeling greater than joy. I shake my head, taking note of my heavy horns and the weight I may never get used to, and keep going up towards the summit, where I will meet my kind.

The air grows more frigid as I move higher, and my breath begins to become visible whenever I blow it out. But I am not daunted. I was born a climber and I take on any challenge the endless mountains present to me.

Very soon, the distinct clap of head-butting rams reaches my ears. It reverberates around me, sounding like thunder. I raise my head higher and perk my ears towards the noise. I am almost there. The summit is within reach. All I must do is leap up a nearly vertical cliff face and I will be there.

I pick up one hoof and set it down, testing the hold on the firm ground I have now. I wag my short tail back and forth in a furious motion and shake my head and snort, ready to face the challenge. It’s now or never. The journey appears to be impossible, but to my sheep eyes, this is nothing.

I start with a leap onto the lowest foothold and look up. So close. Bathing in my courage and my trust in my hooves, I leap from foothold to foothold, testing each before I depend on it to not give out underneath me when I jump. As I climb, the clacking of competing rams teases my ears. The wind grows stronger as I get closer to the top and snow begins to blow. Before I know it, there is a snowstorm, and I am left standing on a small outcrop.

To the naked eye, there appears to be no living creature on the rock face during the snowstorm. I practically blend in with my white fur. Even so, I continue my quest. It is only a few more feet to the top, and I am almost there.

I jump carefully as I maneuver the now slick cliff. And then, suddenly, there is solid ground underneath my hooves. I walk forward a few paces, listening to the frozen grass crunch underneath me. Winter has just begun here on the mountaintop, as has the breeding season. As the snowstorm begins to die down, I can see nothing but bighorn sheep, both rams and ewes, congregating about the summit. Rams clash while females look on. I stand out as I walk away from the steep cliff face I have just scaled. The rest of my kind is brown with white on their muzzles and underbellies. But I stand out, the single albino bighorn sheep. Even so, I am still welcomed on the mountaintop. These sheep are my family, and this is where I belong.