Baa, baa, black sheep. Chapter 10

10

When I opened my eyes it was pleasantly dark. At first I didn’t understand where I was. Then I saw I was in bed. In my own bed, in fact.
Then I heard the sound I knew. It was the sound of a very old computer keyboard. It was one hundred years old. Andrew, my partner, used it for pleasure. It was very good to hear that sound. It was amazing.
Andrew came into the room and turned on the light.
‘Good morning!’ he said. ’After it was over Doc gave you some sleeping pills. You slept well.’
‘Is the boy…ok?’ I asked in a low voice.
‘Oh, yes, he is perfectly well. His mother is twice happy.’
It was great to know the boy was fine, though I didn’t know the details.
‘Why double happiness?’
‘Well, she is happy to have him back in one piece. And then the boy says he will never play a computer game again. Ever in his life’, Andrew answered.
‘Ah! They say that, all of them. Then they start playing again. You know that’.
‘Yes, I know. But now his mother is very happy. She sent us many thanks and a lot of e-money.’
‘That’s nice’, I said. ‘But tell me… You know, I thought we lost the game. I was going to die. I saw death’.
‘Yes, it was very close this time. That black sheep was the most dangerous program I have ever seen. I didn’t crack it.’
‘Then how on Earth…’
‘Oh, it was luck’, Andrew said. ’When I heard that question – Christmas or Easter, I started to think. I found everything about black sheep. There was a nursery rhyme, a small poem for children.’ And Andrew sang me a children’s song:
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.
‘Then I learnt that there was no such song in King Arthur’s time. This song is very old, but not that old’, Andrew said. ‘And then I found this. This is the oldest version of the song. Listen!’
And he sang again:
Bah, Bah a black Sheep,
Have you any Wool?
Yes merry have I,
Three Bags full,
One for my master,
One for my Dame,
One for the little Boy
That lives down the lane.
At first I didn’t see the difference, but then he sang it again. And I understood. The third line was different. Not ”Yes sir, yes sir” but “Yes merry have I”.
‘Yes’, said Andrew.’ And then I thought about this greeting – Merry Christmas. It was very simple. And I sent you “Christmas”. You said the word exactly at the right moment. This word was the code that destroyed the sheep and saved you and the boy. You were great!’
‘Thank you, Andrew, but I wasn’t. You were great! You understood the black sheep’s question, not me. I didn’t understand it’.
‘Well, that’s nothing!’ Andrew said.
Suddenly I remembered the sheep’s question again.
‘Listen, Andrew! If I had said “Christmas” and not “Easter”, the sheep would have been dead right then. And nothing bad would have happened!’ I said.
Andrew looked at me. Then he said,
‘Yes, that’s true. But… When I was analyzing the whole game I found another bot. A black dog. And I think that if the sheep died, the black dog would come after you.’
For a second or two I didn’t say anything. I understood how close to death we were. And then I was happy that I didn’t know anything about black dogs. No, not for me. I’ve had enough of the black sheep.