Sheep Breeding for Dummies
25 After the birth of Joseph, things were getting a bit cramped at Laban’s house, so Jacob decided to leave. 26 ‘Let me go back to my own country,’ he said. ‘I’ve finished paying for my wives, and I own a lot of kids. There’s nothing else for me here.’
27 But Laban protested, ‘No, please stay. I’ve been getting rich off you…’ He coughed. 28 ‘I mean, I love you all so much!’
29 ‘When I first came here, you had nothing but a few mangey rams, and you wondered why they wouldn’t breed. 30 I bought you some ewes and taught you about sheep sex, now look how many you have! You’d have nothing if it weren’t for me, but now you’re not willing to let me make some money for myself?’
31 ‘If you stay, I’ll pay you!’ cried Laban, shaking a pouch of coins.
‘I don’t want your money, you old bastard!’ rebuked Jacob. ‘Although…’
32 ‘What if I keep tending your sheep, but I take any that have stripes or speckles? 33 You know I wouldn’t screw over a family member.’
‘What about Esau? You stole his birthmark, skin, and blessing.’
‘Yeah, but he’s not human. He’s some kind of weird genetic aberration.’
34 ‘Well, that’s true,’ replied Laban nodding. 35 So, Laban let Jacob take any sheep that had stripes or speckles, 36 and he went off on a three-day hike.
37 Meanwhile, Jacob set to work on a scheme to get back at Laban. He collected poplar branches, and he stripped their bark to expose the white wood below making them stripy, 38 for he knew from reading Poplar Science Magazine that lambs take on the appearance of whatever their parents were looking at when they mated. Science note: usually, sheep breed whilst looking at clouds.
39 And Jacob made the strongest sheep mate in front of striped branches, 40 and they bore young that were stripy. Unfortunately, two sheep mated whilst looking at Jacob’s busty milkmaid, and the ewe gave birth to camels.
41 Jacob kept all the strong stripy sheep, 42 and left Laban with the weak plain sheep. 43 In this way, he grew very wealthy, having bred sheep, camels, donkeys, and even male and female slaves!
Now, Laban’s sons started to get suspicious of Jacob and his weird experiment in artificial selection, 2 and he was worried that eventually Laban would cotton on to what he’d been doing.
3 Suddenly, the Lord appeared and yelled, ‘Go back to the land of your fathers!’
4 Jacob thought this might be a subtle hint that he should return home. 5 So, he called for his wives, and he said to them, ‘Your father is a dick! 6 I worked my arse off for him, 7 and he’s trying to fuck me. 8 Yet, I’ve done nothing at all wrong. 9 I’m sure God is punishing him and rewarding me for being a good honest person.’
His wives bit their tongues.
10 Jacob continued, ‘You know, the angel of God visited me in a dream. 11 He said, “Jacob.”
I answered, “Here I am.”
12 And he said, “Look up and see that all the sheep are mating. Now ask yourself, Jacob, ‘Why am I dreaming of sheep mating? And why do I like it?’”’
13 Rachel and Leah gave each other worried looks.
Rachel piped up, ‘What the fuck does that have to do with anything?’
‘Oh, nothing,’ replied Jacob. ‘It was just a cool dream.’ He smiled to himself.
14 Leah asked, ‘So, do you think Dad’s planning to cut us out of his will? 15 I mean, he did sell us off like we meant nothing to him.’
16 ‘Quiet, woman!’ snapped Jacob. ‘You know fine well that you’re only here to wash dishes and pump out babies! You’re not supposed to have opinions!’
17 So, Jacob told everyone to get their things, 18 and prepare to go back to his father Isaac’s house in Canaan. 19 Unbeknownst to him, Rachel decided to steal her father’s collection of Star Wars figurines out of spite.
20 When everyone had packed, Jacob loaded all of his stuff onto camels, including his wives and kids, and set off across the Euphrates towards Gilead. 21 He didn’t even bother to say goodbye to Laban or his sons, which was quite sensible considering that they were trying to sneak away.