Wednesday, November 21, 2007

First People, Now Sheep

Regular readers of this blog know that my eldest daughter has developed a fascination with the concept and design of People-Launchers and other assorted siege engines. See, for instance, this post, this post, and this post.

Well! Her little engineer's mind is constantly seeking to apply existing solutions to new and various problems. So today, I came across this proposal she had written:

Having already developed the Mark 1 People-Flinger, she decided to adapt this technology to new and different problems, by introducing a new Conception of Operations (CONOPS).

The new idea is that this system can be used to pilfer sheep.

Here's the new CONOPS, as illustrated: the user grabs the big rubber band which is stretched between two trees; then, he/she stretches the rubber band over to the nearest sheep pen, in the lower right side of the above diagram; then he/she grabs the first sheep that happens to wander within reach; then the sheep is inserted in the rubber band, and off it goes. With a little luck (and some really dumb livestock), one can get one's own Black Sheep Squadron going.

(Note that I used the term "he/she" in the above paragraph. If we were dealing with adults, I would have just used the term "he", as most women I know wouldn't have thought to do this. However, considering that this whole scheme was dreamed up by a female, I figured I needed to inlcude the possibility in my choice of pronouns.)

I asked the Fairy what the purpose of this contraption was. She said something about making "sheep stew".

Although, the way the Fairy described it to her little sister, the rubber band is supposed to launch both the sheep and the sheep rustler at the same time. The rustler stands in the rubber band holding on to the sheep as the rubber band is released, and they both go flying. Intriguing concept, no? Perhaps the purpose of the sheep is to provide some nice wooly cushioning upon landing. Or maybe it's just an ingenious getaway device, of the sort that Wile E. Coyote might have used to abscond with his quarry from that big sheepdog.


Except for the obvious fact that the Pillowfight Fairy hasn't given all that much thought to the landing part. Which, come to think of it, was Wile E. Coyote's problem, too. These super-geniuses all seem to think alike.

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