Baa, baa, black sheep. Chapter 5
It is difficult to say where and when a computer or a robot becomes something alive. I think it is the biggest problem we got after our computers had become very powerful. No one knows the answer to this question. We work on it on the practical side. We think they are all alive. And clever. If you think differently, you are not clever yourself. And you can pay for this with your own life.
So I tried to remember everything I knew about sheep. Black sheep especially. I knew nothing. We study digital world carefully. We know all kinds of monsters and their characteristics: how fast they are, what guns they have and how they behave and think. But a black sheep! I couldn’t remember a game with a black sheep as a character. It was difficult to think a sheep could use a gun, or be bad and dangerous. I remembered that a black sheep was a symbol of being different. I remembered a very old saying: there is a black sheep in every flock. It means that every good family has a bad man in it.
And I remembered a very old children’s song. I needed to spend some time and I started to sing it:
‘Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?’
It was stupid, but that was all I had. Suddenly I heard Johnny Lancelot’s voice. He was happily singing with me. I could understand that very well. He was very afraid of the sheep, and he wanted to go home. That’s why singing was good for him.
We sang the second line.
‘Yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full.’
And then the sheep started to change. It was getting bigger very fast. It also looked much stronger now. It wasn’t a sheep any more, it was a black bull, which still looked like a sheep. Johnny’s voice died out, and I stopped, too.
‘Christmas or Easter?’ asked the sheep.
The voice was very loud and unpleasant. You wouldn’t like to meet a sheep with that kind of voice in the dark.
I had no idea, was it Christmas or Easter. I didn’t understand what that sheep-bull was talking about. I didn’t understand why there was still no reply from Andrew. I wanted to know everything about that sheep.
‘Christmas or Easter?’ asked the sheep again. And I didn’t like the tone of its voice. I had to think fast.
I knew that people still celebrated Easter. Not everyone, not people with a good education. Christmas was much more popular than Easter, people liked this holiday and gave each other presents. So I took a risk and said, ’Easter!’
The sheep looked at me and then looked away. It just lost every interest in us. We were free to go. Were we?