“How dare you do such a thing? You irresponsible, senseless, goat!”

She hung her head in silence, listening to her mother’s tirade. It wasn’t the first time, and wouldn’t be the last. She had done the unforgivable. Again. And her mother would teach her a lesson, again. Despite the many punishments for her carelessness, the little shepherdess couldn’t contain the family sheep. She’d try to steal a quick read from her poetry collection, and the sheep would caper, making her the scapegoat.

— — — — —

“Oh, childhood experience,” she reminisced, when her interviewer asked what had inspired her Pulitzer-winning novel, Black Sheep.

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