It was then that chance played its hand. Or rather her hand, because Western orthodoxy likes to describe certain things as female, especially boats. So chance, that capricious minx - because Western orthodoxy insists that caprice goes with territory, when the territory is female - chance, that sly she-devil, supervened. She came into Axel's mind thanks to an unexpected visitor among the warehouses visible from Axel's window. That visitor, appearing remarkably, as if by chance, or like a character holding a gun at the beginning of a novel, was a sheep.
The sheep wandered into view. It, or she, or he, stood stock still. Still like a rabbit, standing still. Or a wardrobe, empty or full, in a room. Still.
Then, as if by magic, came another sheep. It looked very similar to the first one. It stood next to its, or his, or her, friend.
Then came a third sheep. There was no telling any of them apart. Axel squinted and tried, but then, just as it seemed as if he could work out which was which, came another sheep. And then another. And another. And another.
Axel counted them. Or tried to. It was difficult. He felt, though, that he was succeeding, when suddenly the first sheep leapt over a gate, a gate that Axel had not seen before. Quickly the other sheep followed. One by one, they jumped and jumped. Axel tried to keep pace, counting them as they jumped. But it was futile. They all looked the same.
The next morning, when Luxury woke him up, Axel wondered how it was that he had fallen asleep so successfully.
"Sheep," he said. "I counted sheep."
Armed with this realisation, he leapt from his bed, a bit like the sheep had jumped over the gate outside his window. And he knew, there and then, what he would do with his life. Rather than go to university, to study law, he would become an entrepreneur. He would market his extraordinary discovery, and make a fortune.
But first, he had to try it out. Who better than on himself? So that night, when he went to bed, Axel imagined a succession of sheep outside his window. He started to count them. And without even knowing it, he fell fast asleep.
The world was his oyster.