35: Sheep

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I think it's the sheep zapping the cactus and not vice-versa
Title text: I think it's the sheep zapping the cactus and not vice-versa


Due to Randall's vacation, he picked out comics from his old high-school notebooks. This is the second in a row. It was also released a day too late.

It is a very weird drawing, especially with the title text proclaiming that it may be the sheep that is zapping the cactus. The comic 520: Cuttlefish may be a reference to this comic.

It may also be a Pokémon reference, with the sheep being the Electric-type Mareep or its evolution Flaaffy, and the cactus being Cacnea or Cacturne.


[Caption in a black frame above the image written in normal letters not all caps:]
Another from my high-school notebooks.
[A sheep and a green saguaro cactus in a brown pot are linked by an arcing yellow electricity bolt.]


  • This was the 37th comic originally posted to LiveJournal.
  • Original title: "Friday's Drawing - Sheep"
  • Original Randall quote: "I'm still on vacation, sorry this is a bit late. I forgot what day it was. Anyway, I'll be back Monday, possibly with new drawings about cereal!"
    • This was the reason the Friday comic came out on a Saturday for the second week running.
    • The one about cereal came out on Wednesday: 38: Apple Jacks
  • This comic was posted on xkcd when the web site opened on Sunday the 1st of January 2006.
    • It was posted along with all 41 comics posted before that on LiveJournal as well as a few others.
    • The latter explaining why the numbers of these 41 LiveJournal comics ranges from 1-44.
  • One of the original drawings drawn on checkered paper.

Poem by Scott[edit]

In the comment to the original LiveJournal post there was a user called Scott who posted this original poem:

I had a little cactus and I treasured it with pride,
admiring its spines and dainty flowers.
Until the day - oh tragic day! - when it was RAMIFIED,
by a ram with strange psychokinetic powers.
Baaing deep, this shaman sheep came whiffling through the brambles.
It gazed upon my cactus and, with yellow flash and thudrous crash,
with dashing, brash, and rash panache,
it blew the plant to shambles.
I was, I confess, horrified - I sat and cried my eyes out!
Oh stupid sheep, satanic sheep, so wrong and rash and willful!
I nursed the cactus best I could, till finally it came about.
It grows apace now, once again, but all it blooms is steel wool!

[And then in another post beneath this posted four minutes after the poem at 4:57 UTC (AM?) he finished with:]

Oh God I need sleep!

If this is the Scott who is a friend of Randall, it is not entirely clear....

Other poems[edit]

Mary had a little lamb
She tied it to a pylon
Ten thousand volt went up its a**
And turned its wool to nylon.

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It's Mareep attacking Cacnea! -- 20:43, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Do Cacti Dream of Electric Sheep? -- 01:29, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

My theory: the cactus was draw first. It is a much higher quality drawing than the sheep or electricity, so it was probably drawn separate. Later, he drew a sheep zapping it... doesn't explain much, but does agree with the theory that the sheep is zapping the cactus. Also, 21:09, 23 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm confused; did he erase the lines in the grid when he drew the lightning cloud? Otherwise, why wouldn't the grid lines show? 16:27, 21 July 2015 (UTC)

He did color in. See the partial grid lone at bottom right. If you look very closely, you'll see mostly yellowish shade inside the cloud. Not sure what technique it is, but looks like white and yellow mixed together. 00:31, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
Looks like the grid lines were covered by thin yellow drawn lines (there's a place on the upper left of the cactus where the drawn line doesn't align very well with the actual grid line). I think there are also thin drawn yellow lines in other directions (especially visible in the lower right part). 14:46, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

What if this is related to static electricity experiments of wool and,um, cactus (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

"Sind Schäfchens Locken schwarz und braun, dann liegt das am Elektrozaun." Translation: "When the sheep's wool is black and brown, it's because of the electric fence." ...but in German it rhymes. Fabian42 (talk) 08:19, 28 August 2017 (UTC)

The Cactus shot first. 16:40, 9 January 2018 (UTC)