Only Time Will Tell

Samuel Normington - Senegal


October 29, 2013

Fair warning: This is a tad graphic, sorry.

Life is a very powerful force. I have never seen anything more than an insect have to combat death as the life escapes from its grasp. And although sometimes even seeing a spider die slowly can be sad to watch, it still doesn’t seem to hold much significance. Sheep seem more human to me than the spiders do. Maybe it’s the fact that we are mammals, maybe not. But still, I can’t help but think that a sheep has more life coursing through its veins. Maybe it is the fact that he didn’t die by his own volition (not that many things really do) or that he wasn’t stupid enough to wander into a puddle only to realize that he can neither swim nor float like many ants and beetles I have seen, but he was killed. He had the life ripped from his clutches and he could do nothing to stop it from escaping. The terrified bleats that escaped the sheep’s mouth every 10 seconds on his way to his sandy death bed were just a hint at the slight knowledge he held of what was going to happen. Held down by two men and two young boys, one sheep simply did not have the strength to escape. The knife cut deeply into the soft throat of the helpless bleating goat. The high pressured spurt of blood shot 5 yards across the courtyard until directed into the shallow hole dug into the sand to be used as a drain. As the blood pooled at the bottom of this shallow well, frothing at the top, the life had already begun to drain. The strangest thing was how you could not tell when the creature died. There was the clear moment of it being alive and well, then the clear stage when it was definitely very dead. But in between is a long transitioning stage and at some point there is the turning point. As the life leaves the sheep he gets weaker and weaker, and then suddenly his legs kick out and he proceeds to do a full speed gallop. While not moving anywhere he tries so hard. You cannot outrun death my friend. He might be 10 minutes away or 10 seconds away, only time will tell. The blood has stopped draining but he had not stopped kicking randomly, was he still alive and kicking? Had he already kicked the bucket? Were those kicks attempts to escape death, or simply spasms that happen? What is death? Is it when everything in the body stops functioning? Or just the heart? Or just the brain? When does the soul disappear? Does a soul exist? I think there is only one way to find out, and until then… only time will tell.

Samuel Normington