Posted June 1st, 2010 at 12:43 AM by mary
I wrote this about two years ago. I don't believe any man is a shepherd anymore, but this was the only way I could try to explain what was happening when I was in...
Once upon a time, there was a shepherd who had many sheep. The sheep were healthy sheep, though all had their little differences that made them rather sheepish. Most of the sheep were happy sheep, and they all enjoyed doing sheepy things, laying in the sun or eating the grass and watching the lambs play. The shepherd was happy too. He had a peaceful job, for the most part. He had time to think and enjoy the outdoors. He practiced hunting the bears and lions that occasionally came around looking for fat sheep or little stray lambs to steal, and ensured that none of the sheep wandered too far. It was nice being a shepherd. He protected them from predators, and they, by sharing their wool to make him coats, kept him warm on cold winter nights.
One morning a bear came. The shepherd got his sling and started to stand. The sheep were scared and huddled in close to him. They trusted him, and they would protect him. But then he couldn’t get to the bear, and it was getting close to a favorite lamb, and though he knew they were doing what they knew, the shepherd got angry. He began kicking and yelling at his sheep, trying to make them move. The sheep got scared and huddled even closer together, tripping the angry shepherd in his attempts to get at the bear. When he stood, he saw the bear lumbering away with his little lamb in it’s paws.
The shepherd was sad. His lamb had been lost, and his sheep were at fault. As they calmed down, he did not. He vowed this would never happen again. As the sheep came toward him through the day, he would push them away. He had his lambs to worry for. The sheep didn’t feel it much, through their warm coats. But they felt the shepherd’s anger, and this made the sheep sad. Over the next days, the lambs stopped jumping as much, and the old rams stopped eating as well.
After a few days, the bear came back. The shepherd knew this bear, and immediately jumped up, kicking and yelling at the sheep to move. Most of the sheep, seeing his actions, and smelling the bear, ran to him like they had done earlier that week anyway. But one little lamb remembered the shepherd’s angry voice. It hesitated to get too close, and the bear snatched it up, and lumbered toward the forest. Again the shepherd was angry. Now two lambs were lost to one bear. The shepherd planned a bear hunt, and resolved that the bear would never eat another lamb.
It wasn’t long after this that the shepherd began to notice changes. Some of the sheep were sickly, even though there was nice green grass there, and water nearby, and they didn’t come to him like they used to do. He also started noticing more and more of the sheepish qualities about these sheep. The rams would butt heads. The lambs wandered too far. The ewes were too fat....