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This sheep is my Patronus

RSPCA

Do you know how easy it is to let yourself go? Do you let things get horribly, dangerously out of control? Have you put off something simple — hilariously so — until it has derailed your entire life and possibly threatened it?

I have. I have had a cavity in my back left molar for the last two and a half years, and I have no plans of getting it filled. It poses little problem to me except for prohibiting me from enjoying Milk Duds, a candy which is not even in my top 10. I have never had the oil changed in my car, I route messages from my student loan provider to spam, and as of September 2015, I still own stock in Kodak.

why put off until tomorrow what you could just do never?

Another thing I had put off indefinitely was choosing a Patronus. Yes, I know from the legend of Harry Potter that having an animal that represents your personality / essence / paternity is super important. But nothing really felt right, and I had more important things to worry about — like figuring out how to eat my 11th-favorite candy without crying.

That is until I met Chris, the sheep.

Chris was found in the Australian wilderness on Monday and rescued by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He was a classic dominus in distress: covered in so much hair (otherwise known as wool) that he was legitimately in danger of dying.

rapunzel

The RSPCA quickly put out a call for volunteer shearers, needed "urgently" to take the load off Chris' back. National shearing champion Ian Elkins answered the call and promptly extracted Chris from the 89 pounds of wool (half of his body weight). It looked like this:

upside down sheep

pile of wool

You may be asking: how did Chris let things get so bad? How do sheep usually go about conning someone into giving them free haircuts? How did it come to this?

Obviously Chris' near-death is the fault of humans (typical humans), who have, for the last couple of centuries, bred sheep to grow more and more downy undercoat (aka wool), and less and less coarse, useful overcoat. NPR reports that we've also opted to selectively breed sheep that don't shed, keeping their wool on their bodies long enough for us to snatch it and then stack some paper. My Patronus, Chris, was just really, really good at avoiding this whole haircut thing. Or maybe, to give him some credit, he was going to get around to it eventually, but had some other concerns.

chris the sheep

After his haircut, Chris was spotted taking some time alone to consider how his life had gotten so out of hand — publicly televised as a disgusting case of hair hoarding and the physical embodiment of neglected self-care. Chris, with his green housecoat and look of bewilderment, stares wistfully into his future, just as I, whilst holding my jaw in place, summon the courage to visit the dental section of ZocDoc. Me and Chris, Chris and me, how did we come to this?

At least we have each other.