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October 26, 1940 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1940-10-26

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rage cs

B L LY K &vA B A "3BY.Continued from Page One


bett: ,ab o'shearin than last year.
I ain -anna pay out all that money jist
to hawv mny sheep nicked up un bleedin
all ce: 'h place." He spat on top 'of
the nrg wheel and the skin around
his e. crinkled up in a grin. "I guess
he tr_:s wool s' 'sosed to be half
sheep-In. But we'll tell 'im we jest
want ae wool this time.'
As rhe sheep drifted and nibbled their
way tssard the feed-trough, Billy Ka-
babby ;ndered on what he had heard.
He coztn't make it all out, but he was
certairn that he had heard a snipping-
metal-Kushing sound when Berndorf
had rinted at the ewes. and he was
positive that he had heard the hated
name f the dip. It had dipped into his
mind 'th a, certain drenching finality.
it hat dipped into his mutton-greasy
ears with a fatal splash of nostril-sting-
ing dip water.
Somewhere in the dim vistas of -his
unnecesary memory, he could recall
the shearing, the panting men holding
him dawn on the hard boards of the
shearing table, the sheep-shearer inso-
lently anapping the long blades of the
shears above his wool, the men holding
his lean ankles painfully under their
bony knees, the snipping, the terrible
falling-off of his wool, and the bleating
of the sheep all crowded into the muddy
little e-nclosure. And all of them wait-
ing for the dipping, even he being forced
to wait for that which he couldn't avoid.
Billy bleated in sympathy for himself.
That night he cornered his two most
beloved ewes and indulged in that act,
which not only produces lambs for
stews and chops and roasts, but pro-
duced great pleasure and release for
Billy Kababby himself. The two'-.ewes
were not enough, however, so he cor-
nered a virgin ewe that he had watched
for several weeks; and he presented
her with that which she had never be-
fore had the honor of being presented
with. At last Billy drove an old ewe
out of his own cozy little corner. It
was a corner well-matted with straw
and wool-tufts; and Kababby folded
his hooves under his pampered body
and sank down on the straw. Being a
true libertine, he did not worry about
the next day; and his dreams were filled
only with gently rolling hills of green
grass, and firm-haunched ewes that
waited for him by the grove of elder-
berry bushes.
The loud voices of men awakened
Billy before his usual scrambling-up
time. The flock was bleating and mill-
ing about in the shed. He crossed the
sheep-ball slush of the floor and butted
through the hanging swinging-door with
more than usual vigor. The men had
closed the gate to keep them in the
small enclosure. Kababby trotted around

the sheepyard, baa-aaing faintly, and
knowing that what he had suspected
last night was true: they were going
to be sheared and dipped.
The men hurried around the yard,
carrying a sturdy short-legged table
into the shed and scattering the ner-
vous sheep before them, stampeding
them into corner of the shed and fin-
ally driving them all out into the yard.
The hinged boards were stood up against
the wall, ready to card the great jagged
blankets of wool that the men were so
certain they would clip from the round
bodies of the flock.
One by one the sheep were cornered
and hoisted onto the table by the con-
certed muscles and curses of Berndorf,
Brownie, Carl and the shearer. Under
a tatt-too of hoof-beats and frightened
bleats, the ewes were gradually held
down while the tall sheep-shearer, snip-
ping the razory shears every second of
the time, whether in the air or in the
resistant wool, sheared off the grey coats
and left them shivering in their fawn-
colored hides.
It was late afternoon when the sheep
were all sheared. Everyone was -tired
and cross. The sheep by now had be-
come used to it and there wasn't as
much bleating filling the fresh air of
April outside the sheep-pen. Billy
rammed a few of the ewes who were too
frightened to even try to run away from
him. One by one the sheep were cor-
nered for the dipping, and Billy knew
that his turn would come: they were
being dragged and pushed along to the
mouth of the cement-lined trench, then
bodily shoved into the dip water, and
towed along in the deepening length of
it, and at the far end they were given
the final indignity of being totally sub-
merged into the creosote water for a
second. There could have been abso-
lutely no lice or ticks on them after
such a strongly perftumed bath; yet
they didn't appreciate it at all.
On being hauled out of the dip the
sheep bounded around the yard, sneez-
ing and bleating. They were almost
through dipping when Jimmy was sent
to open the yard gate and the lane gate
into the eighteen. Jimmy went down
the slushy lane and began tugging and
pulling at the wooden gate with toe
bleating ewes crowding against his legs.
He finally wrestled it open and the sheep
piled through the gateway, crowding and
squeezing each other, running up the
slope, bleating monotonous things about
the disadvantages of undress. Jimmy
climbed up on the huge round anchor
post and shouted at them. They didn't
seem to mind it, so he got down and
began throwing stones at them. After
a few direct hits he was satisfied and

he started back towards the sheep shed.
By mutual consent, Billy Kababby
had been saved until the last. The
men had, at last, a chance to pay off
some of the debts of devilishness that
Billy had challenged them into. With
cheers from Carl and grins from the
older men, Billy was rushed into his
de-bugging bath with more dash than
dignity. He was given more for his
money than any of the others; he was
dunked and dipped and dunked again;
he was towed back and forth in the
water until even Carl swore that there
couldn't be many bugs on Billy. But
Billy emerged from his April bath shak-
ing his' body, swaying his head from
side to side, glaring from his beady
eyes. He started up the lane with all
the grace he could command. Villain-
ous thoughts were ramming through his
It was at this very moment that
Jimmy met him, halfway between the
mouth of the lane and the gate that
opened into the eighteen. He heard
Jimmy make some remarks about his
appearance, something about the un-
manliness of bathed and barbered rams.
It is doubtful that Billy Kababby, in the
confusion of the day's events, caught
the full gist of Jimmy's slurs; but he
did see directly in his path that same
little man who had once ridden on his
back and who had caused him to re-
ceive one very sore nose. He did not
hesitate. Lowering his head he charged
the boy.
Just as Kababby thought his horns
were about to thog into the boy, an
annoying thing happened: Jimmy
jumped to one side, Billy rushed by
him, barely brushing him with his keg-
round sides, just enough to knock the
boy off his feet. More angered than
before, Billy whirled his big body around
and made for the boy who was writhing
on the ground in surprised terror. Just
as Billy reached him, two feet suddenly
rose up in the air and Billy raced into
them, hardly able to believe that he
was getting biffed in the black-wooled
face. He backed up again, hoping to
trample the wiry little body on the
ground. -
When Jimmy first went down he be-
gan shouting; but for a moment his
shouts were fear-frozen in his throat.
Then his voiced thawed out and in a
moment the whole farm could hear his
shrieks of terror. The men rushed up
the lane, expecting to see a maimed and
gory boy. What they did see was Jimmy
sprawled on his back, his legs desper-
ately threshing the air as the angry
ram charged back and charged again,
and Billy completely bewildered at get-
ting more footwear in the face each

time. The men rushed to the rescue.
Billy Kababby turned and charged
upon the re-inforcements. Berndorf
was out in front and, at the proper
moment, he raised his hob-nailed shoe-
boot and let Billy crash into it. Kab-
abby reeled and came around for an-
other attack. This time Berndorf wait-
ed until the last split-second and raised
his foot, kicking it with all his force
and catching the rushing Billy right be-
neath the horns. Billy almost went
down under the force of the blow. Deep
under his new spring suit, and in the
dazed areas of his sheepish mind, Billy
Kababby realied that he was defeated
and defeated badly. He turned, amid
the coarse haw-haws of the men, and
began his bitter retreat. Berndorf ran
behind him and gave him some en-
couragement with the toe of his boot.
Berndorf closed the gate and called
to the blubbering Jimmy, "C'mon there,
son. Chin up and fists doubled. In a
few years you'll be able to take 'em
standing up. But ye did alright fer a
little tyke-that is, if ye quit yer squal-
Up the spring-soggy slope trotted
Mr. Billy Kababby, puffing sadly through
his buggery black nostrils and still a
bit groggy from the battle of boots and.
horns. He was just sensing the full
impact of his defeat. He realized that
what he had suspected of late was true:
he was gettini old. It was the first
time he had ever given up so easily in
battle, the first time he had, ever been
beaten so thoroughly. Once he had
put Berndorf himself down on his back.
That was the time Billy had caught
him standing by the feed trough and
Billy had charged him without warn-
ing and hit him so hard that Berndorf
had fallen right on top of Kababby and
every sheep had conceded it a great
victory for their leader. Now it was
The editors of Perspectives ded-
icate this first issue to the memory
of Avery Hopwood, whose bequests
form the Hopwood fund and en-
courage literary talent on the
University of Michigan campus.
We have endeavored to present
a representative cross section of
the material submitted in the most
recent Hopwood contests. All of
the manuscripts in this issue were
prize-winning scripts.
only a memory. Now he had upset
only one measly little boy.
At that moment Billy saw, at the
edge of the flock in front of him, the
young ram who had alwaysybeen so
careful to keep out of his way. Now
that young rascal was smelling around
his favorite ewe. Billy stopped short
and lowered his horns; he knew that
this was an insult for whicl he must
receive satisfaction of one kind only:
he lowered his horns and glared at the
ground in front of him. He waited for
the young ram to turn and accept the
challenge. He thought of his pasture
harem; surely it was still his own, for a
while at least; surely that young ram
could not equal his butt or satisfy the
ewes in the way that he had. But it
could never be left to doubt.
The old pride rose in his still-power-
ful body. Gathering his hooves under
him, Billy Kababby, the prince of the
pasture, tautened the great muttony
muscles of his round body, lowered his
head again and swiftly charged the
trembling young ram.


stooped to death at any block, with
haste or without. The ironic line clear-
ly indicates that the Duke intends to
mete out to Angelo the same measure of
punishment that Claudio received; that
is, no legal retribution, but a deeper
and more profitable puishment through
self-knowledge of his own guilt and
In turning from an account of the
technique of Measure for Measure to an
evaluation of its significance, we should
perhaps indicate the role that technique
has played in clarifying the meaning.
By sharply contrasting the major char-
acters, Shakespeare has balanced mer-
cy against adherence to the strict let-
ter of the law, chastity against lust
the pardonable heat of Claudio with the

cold calculation of Angelo, public repu-
tation against private vice, and in the
great speeches, a reasoned persuasion
to die bravely against an ardent love
of life. By employing a conception of
retributive destiny, Shakespeare has
probed those virtues upon which An-
gelo's public reputation rests and found
them the very source of phis weakness.
Similarly he has shown that the cause
of Claudio's condemnation, the warm,
sensible motion of young blood which
could not be restrained, is the same
that forces him to shrink back in an-
guished fear of death, desiring life ev-
en at the price of his sister's chastity.
The same ardent nature in Claudio's
sister, Isabella (why do critics persist
in repeating phrases about her cold

chastity?), which drives her to renounce
this pleasant world for the. rigors of
a holy sisterhood, likewise causes her
to break forth in harsh denunciation
of both Angelo and Claudio. For, in an
ironic conception of character, the
good may to the unwary, be a source of
ill. So through the passionate purity
of her temper, "the swift vindicative
anger leaps, like white flame, into this
white spirit," to borrow Peter's apt
words. The use of contrast, then, and
of dramatic irony, helps to determine the
significance of the completed pattern of
the play.
EDITORIAL NOTE: The analysis and
evaluation of the meaning of Measure.
for Measure is omitted.

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