Sheep are one of the four races in the In Sheep's Clothing arc.
Sheep are the laborers of this world. They are seen as physically strong with high endurance. They are not easily vulnerable to outside conditions such as heat or cold. With their strong bones and thick skulls, they are relatively difficult to injure. In spite of all these advantages, there is one trait of sheep that really shines, making them very useful to the other races of the world as workers: they are easy to intimidate.
The primary characteristic of sheep, as laid out by their patron god Arghast, is fear.
In addition, sheep are characterized as unimaginative, docile, and prone to herd behavior. These traits tempt the worst instincts of both dogs and birds. The desires of the other races to own sheep labor for their projects was the driving force behind the Canine-Avian War.
Sheep are categorized into:
- City sheep, who normally reside in Fleece City, work skilled labor jobs, are graduates from University, and have white to grey wool.
- Quarry sheep, who live at the quarry, work physical labor jobs, do not typically go to University, and have tan or brown wool.
- Rams, horned male sheep who have been driven almost to extinction by the time the novels take place.
Due to their largely non-combatant status during the War, sheep were the most numerous race after its conclusion. The pigs figured that, although sheep were considered sluggish and cowardly, they could still be a threat if unified and mobilized. This was why pigs constructed the great Western Wall to divide sheep territory into the plains and the quarry.
Quarry sheep primarily mine for raw iron and gold. Their territory is owned by Scurvert, who is sanctioned by the Chugg Corporation to run the quarry any way he likes. He uses it as an outlet for his sadism, threatening the quarry sheep with violence and punishing them severely, usually through their children, if they step out of line. He seems to own the dogs that guard the quarry for him, and it is stated he keeps them underfed to make them more aggressive. The quarry sheep are a practical and mistrustful lot who prefer to keep their heads down and do their work.
City sheep are employed by the Chugg Corporation, mostly at the Chugg National Bank & Trust. This both serves the business needs of the pigs and keeps these sheep occupied. The sheep in the city are controlled through more sophisticated means such as medication, entertainment, and education. The primary Corporation agent in Fleece City is Durdge. He mainly uses manipulation to dissuade rebellious sheep, but he is willing to stoop to violence as well. His typical punishment for violent behavior in the city is to have the offending sheep taken to the Megatropolis for sacrifice to Toxid.
At the start of The Healer, the sheep are all well in hand, fully in the thrall of the Chugg Corporation's control mechanisms. Docile city sheep take their children to school, while dour quarry sheep work at quotas and try to stay out of trouble. Both groups are quick to turn on any of their number who attempts to attack a pig or advocate for change. They uncritically accept whatever they read in The Chugg Report, even when it directly contradicts itself or makes obvious cover-ups.
Dreamer intuits that her classmates know there is something horribly wrong with their society, but they intentionally shut that awareness away in their minds to avoid consequences. They remain this way throughout The Healer.
In The Way of the Ram, the cracks begin to show as Dreamer detects burgeoning questions in the minds of her peers. However, they continue to go along with the Chugg Corporation's manufactured emergency, forming compliant lines and heading into the blood farm. It is only when Boxer and Healer challenge Pincher do the sheep begin to openly question what's going on. In the end, Dreamer, Shiver, and Swifter are successful in mobilizing some sheep to march on the Megatropolis and free those already imprisoned.
The fate of sheep in In Sheep's Clothing: The Child Seer remains to be seen.
- This group of people, like most in the arc of In Sheep's Clothing, is inspired by Animal Farm.