Lambert wasn’t a bad boy.
Stealing the pie had been Ewan’s idea, and Lambert hadn’t even wanted to do it! But Ewan had said it would be fun and that they’d get to have pie, and it hadn’t been and they hadn’t, but they had broken a window, started a small fire and thrown hot pie all over Old Man Wolfram.
“Do you have anything to say for yourselves, boys?” asked Mayor Horace, crossing his thick, horsey arms.
“No,” Ewan muttered, clopping a hoof against the raised block they were stood on in the middle of town. He wasn’t looking at Lambert.
Lambert didn’t look at him either. He thought about saying that it was all Ewan’s fault and that they should just punish him, because everyone knew Ewan was bad, he got in trouble all the time. Lambert didn’t get in trouble hardly ever and the last time with the wind chimes hadn’t been his fault.
But every time he said it wasn’t his fault, he just made everyone madder, and he had been the one who’d started the fire. By accident. So he just sighed. “No.”
“Arms up, then.”
Lambert raised his arms, wishing that everyone wasn’t watching. But that was how it worked, and everyone was here. Some people came and took off his shirt, then pulled down his pants too. He tried to suffer it with dignity, but everyone was looking at him. At least Ewan was beside him getting stripped too.
When they brought out the shearer, Lambert whimpered. “Can’t we do community service?”
“The money we make selling your wool in the city will help pay for the damage you boys have done,” Mayor Horace told them. He nodded.
They brought the shearer to Lambert first, which wasn’t fair, they had to know stupid Ewan had been responsible for it all! But he just stood there, trying not to see anyone as someone started tugging at his fur, pressing the shearer against his skin. “This doesn’t hurt,” someone promised.
Lambert had been shorn before, he knew it didn’t hurt. He just shook his head. They got to work, shearing him from his neck down to his belly in long, smooth strokes. They did his back, his sides. They made him lift up his arms and did all up and down there. Then they did his arms too. They did his legs.
Then, just when Lambert thought that maybe they’d spare him the final humiliation out of pity, they started to shear his butt, around his tail. Then they did between his legs, everywhere, and finally his front, being careful around his sheath.
And then Lambert was totally shorn, standing in front of the whole town, shaking and hugging himself. They were all looking at him.
The shearers moved onto Ewan, who was openly watching Lambert shake. Lambert tried not to watch them do him, the same way they’d down Ewan. He held his head up and let it happen, scowling at nothing. He was much braver than Lambert. Much hotter, too, and the more of his skin that got exposed, the more Lambert couldn’t help but watch him.
When he was done being sheared, Ewan glanced over at Lambert, and he smirked. Which was how Lambert realized that his penis had started poking out and it was obvious and everyone could see and oh no…
He tried to cover himself up but it was too late, everyone was staring, people were laughing.
“Now, boys, let that be a lesson to you. Don’t misbehave anymore.”
“We won’t,” Lambert promised. He was a good boy. “We’re, we’re sorry.”
“Yeah, we’re sorry.” Ewan even sounded a bit sorry. Maybe he meant it.
“Glad to hear it. Go about your business, now.”
That was that. They were allowed to go. Lambert practically flew off the block, intending to go home and hide until he was allowed to wear clothes again next week. But…there was no point. His parents were mad at him. They were going to make him do outdoor chores, he just knew it. So he slowed down.
Which let Ewan catch up to him. “Sorry I got you in trouble,” he offered.
Lambert glared at his hooves, but sighed. “It’s okay. Sorry I got you caught.”
Ewan shrugged. He didn’t seem worried about being naked. “You want to go down to the river and hang out?”
“I’m supposed to go right home.”
“Yeah, me too.” Ewan grinned now, his own penis sticking out a bit. “But what are they going to do if we get in a little bit more trouble? There’s nothing left to shear.”
Lambert looked at Ewan, then down at himself, and though he really didn’t want to get in more trouble…Ewan was right. He smiled. “Okay, let’s go!”
Ewan took his hand and then ran off to the river. Maybe this punishment wouldn’t be so bad after all.