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The Sheep

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The sheep is the eighth animal in the Chinese Zodiac after the horse and before the monkey. This animal is generally considered to be the most amiable and graceful one. It brings with it the harmony anywhere it appears: the quiet mountains, the green prairie, or the river bank. It never fights anyone for food. We may well think that it was selected to be one of the animals by the Jade Emperor because it deserves this honor for all its wonderful personality. 

There is a famous legend about the kindness of the sheep, who stole the cereal seeds from the paradise up in the heaven to help the human beings out of starvation. 

One day in autumn, the sheep came down to the earth to enjoy the beautiful autumn scenery. It was surprised to see the hard life of the people, who lived on vegetables and grass and looked very thin and weak. It went up and asked: "Why don't you grow grain crops?" The people responded: "What are grain crops? We have no idea about them." The sheep said: "Grain crops are the cereal grasses that you can plant yearly and you can make food out of them. If you keep growing them, you will have no worries about your food." 

On hearing this, the people were overjoyed and were eager to know where to get the seeds. The sheep told them that it would go back to the paradise and get the seeds for the people. Immediately, the sheep made a summersault and returned to the paradise. It was the daytime and the sheep could not get into the fields for the seeds. It waited and waited until it was dark when the guards went asleep. The sheep quietly and quickly picked the seeds and went back to the earth with the seeds in its mouth. 

It was just the right time for the growing of wheat. The sheep demonstrated each process and told the people how to grow and when to grow other crops as well. Since then, the people lived a happy life without any worries about the food. 

The Jade Emperor got the news and was angry with the sheep for its theft, though he did not blame the people for growing the crops on the earth. He meant to punish the sheep but gave up the idea because he saw how happy the people were since they started growing the crops. He later even decided to enlist the sheep as one of the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac for its kindness. 

Those who were born into the year of the sheep may be creative, artistic, passionate, elegant, warmhearted, honest, charming but pessimistic, timid, disorganized and vulnerable. They may have some problems, but they will find their own solutions. The best occupation for a Sheep is an actor or a gardener. They are compatible with Rabbits or Pigs in marriage, but not Ox.

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