Not to in any way suggest that the young man was a pervert, but it can be truly said that the sheep were Larry's only friends. And even in this the relationship was rather one-sided, not just due to the fact that Larry was a human, and the sheep were… sheep, but also because they didn't like him any more than the townsfolk did.

Larry's job was to watch the sheep. Larry went the extra mile by trying to keep the sheep company by talking to them incessantly about nothing. The sheep were very disappointed by this because, as it was once quite accurately put, Larry's voice could shatter glass.

Now, this is not to say that Larry's voice, though quite nasally, was high pitched. In fact physics and harmonics hardly enter into the discussion. Larry's speaking quite simply made all the glass in the vicinity want to commit suicide by spontaneously breaking apart and throwing itself to the ground in the heap, much as the sheep would do if in fact they were capable of such an act. As it was the sheep responded in the harshest manner they could, which consisted of standing rather still and eating grass.

Still, it wasn't so much the sound of Larry's voice that produced this reaction as it was his chosen subject matter. Larry seemed to be quite unable to stop talking about every problem he'd ever had, both real and imagined to anyone who would listen. This put the aforementioned glass at a severe disadvantage due to its inability to walk away. The sheep were at a similar disadvantage, because they were too stupid to walk away.

Larry's job was necessary for numerous reasons. For one, the nearby woods contained a surprisingly large wolf population, which if left unchecked would undoubtedly spill into the flat grassy area that the sheep lived in and result in their consumption. Therefore, Larry severed as an early warning system, where if a wolf was spotted, he would cry out in a loud voice and summon the townsfolk who would come running with shovels and other blunt instruments to beat the wolves into submission.

Another good reason for Larry to be out in the field was to keep the sheep upright. These sheep in particular had a nasty habit of falling on their backs with all four legs stuck in the air and not being able to get back up. In point of fact as the flock that Larry was appointed to watch over steadily grew in size over the years, it became quite a chore for him to run from sheep to sheep turning them over before the next one could fall. The sheep of course still didn't like Larry at all, and after seeing how much trouble it caused him, started falling down on purpose when they weren't busy standing still and eating grass.

And so, it came to pass that one bleak autumn afternoon Larry spotted a pack of wolves meandering towards the flock. In between turning the sheep over and trying to get them to move closer to the town, Larry shouted as loud as his annoying, nasally, glass shattering voice would allow. The villagers responded quickly, brandishing baseball bats, lawn darts, and other implements of destruction, and very soon had beaten the wolves to a pulp.

As the villagers walked back to the village, a few stopped to talk with Larry, not because they wanted to, but more due to the fact that he was standing in front of them talking, and none of the villagers wanted to appear rude in front of the other villagers.

"That's too bad, Larry. I hope that emphysema clears up for you," one said as he patted Larry on the shoulder and made a break for it.

Another commented on how sorry he was that Larry's mother had died of cancer ten years ago, and also made a quick getaway, after nearly tripping over an upside-down sheep.

One by one, the villagers slipped past Larry, each one quickly trying to forget what horribly personal tragedy Larry had shared with them. Larry didn't seem to notice their apparent eagerness to depart, or his social gaffe in revealing to the last villager the three warts that had spontaneously grown on his right-hand middle finger during the last spring.

As the last villager vanished out of sight, Larry turned on his cell phone and dialed Karen's number by heart. By the time Karen answered most of Larry's flock was lying upside-down bleating relentlessly.

Karen starred hard at the caller id flashing Larry's number at her, as if she could by sheer force of will change it to someone else's or at the very least wait it out. As it turned out she could do neither and she decided that instead of letting the non-stop ringing drive her completely crazy, she'd answer the call and let Larry do the job himself.

"What?" she sounded angry.

"You sound angry."

"I'm angry because I told you, several times, as I recall, that I'm not in love with you, and I'm not interested it a relationship with you."

"I know that, but I still love you," Larry said quietly as another sheep groaned and fell over, "and you always tell me what I need to hear."

Karen couldn't help but think she was being taken advantage of, but she didn't say so, instead she asked, "What's wrong now?"

"I had a bad day at work again, there were some wolves. The villagers had to come drive them off, and none of them ever want to talk to me, they never listen, they just ignore me. I mean, no one seems to care about any of my problems. That, and my supervisor wants me to get an eighty percent productivity rating, but they won't give me any overtime, so I've had to cut my hours and work on my free time to reach the productivity, but then he's mad at me for doing that because it makes him look bad for me to be working without getting paid."

Karen glanced at her day-planner which reminded her of an early morning meeting the next morning with the board of directors in her office. "Well, have you told your supervisor that it's not possible to get that kind of productivity in the amount of time you're supposed to work?"

"I talked to Gary, the guy who watches the flock on the other side of the hill, and he said that's just the way it always is. I just get so frustrated about this stuff. You know the last guy that watched this field got an ulcer from it. I think I'm getting one, because my stomach has been bothering me quite a bit lately…"

"I think you should just discuss it with your supervisor, I mean it's not doing you any good to just worry about it. Maybe you can work something out." Karen looked at her watch and tried to think of a polite way to get Larry off the phone.

"I don't know, Karen. I just want all of this crap to go away."

"Ok, well look, Larry, I need to get up really early tomorrow for a meeting, so I'm going to have to let you go, just go talk to your supervisor, ok?"

"Ok, thanks Karen. I always feel better after talking to you; you always tell me exactly what I need to hear."

Karen hung up the phone, and then threw it across the room. "But you never listen to a word I say!" she shouted to her empty room.

Larry quickly went to work setting the sheep to their feet as the sun set.

When it was dark the wolves gathered together on the edge of the woods for their nightly meeting. The dark gray wolf with a white stripe across his left eye growled and howled in such a way to indicate to the other wolves that Larry was much too annoying to be left alive, what with his nightly nasally singing to the upside-down sheep and loud snoring. He then wagged his tail and jumped up and down to say, "I don't even care about the freaking sheep, I just don't want that annoying kid bothering me anymore."

The next morning the wolves came much the same as they had the day before, and the villagers quickly responded to Larry's pleas for help and drove them off. Larry then went about his day, turning the sheep over and telling them his problems until he could stand it no longer and he picked up his cell phone and dialed Karen's number.

The phone kept ringing as Karen yelled at it, "Why do you keep calling?! I'm so sick of this."

She finally answered it… and exploded. "Why do you keep calling?! I'm so sick of this. It's every night now, and it's always the same. You ask for my advice and you never follow it. And then you tell me how you always feel so much better after talking to me. Well… every time I get done talking to you I want to kill myself. So do me a favor and stop."

"I think I have cancer. There's this lump and…"

"Stop! Why do you keep telling me this? I'm really sorry, Larry. Get it checked out. But please leave me out of it."

"I'm scared, I don't know if I can go to the doctor. What if it is cancer?"

Karen screamed very loudly and then hung up the phone.

The next day the wolves came again, and Larry again called for help from the village. As Karen heard Larry's cries for help she went outside to watch the villagers gather their weapons.

"Wait!" Karen shouted. "Stop. Every day it's the same thing. He's just like the little boy that cried wolf."

Most of the villagers needed no more convincing than that, as they began to walk back to their houses. One of them, however, needed a little more. "But, there actually are wolves," He said.

The villagers seemed very disappointed at this statement as they now felt obligated to help once again.

Karen responded very quietly, "There might actually be wolves, but at some point you have to stop solving people's problems for them. If you don't, they'll just use you forever."

With Larry gone, the upside-down sheep were very happy… at least until the wolves ate them.