I was in a pickle. I had no idea where I was. I never knew it was so dark in these mountains when you were alone. Normally, I walked around in a group….there were 100 of us all together. Life was great. We walked all over the mountains and valleys eating the best grass and drinking from cool, clear waters. There were a lot of others to play with and we romped around, climbed and jumped from rocks. My favorite was the shepherd. He walked with us, led us to the best eating spots and always knew where the cool water was.

One day I was so intently focused on following the patch of green grass that I was eating, I lost track of where I was. I kept following the green grass farther and farther from the herd. Before I knew it, I looked up and I was alone. There were no familiar sights, no bleating of my friends and I could not see the shepherd anywhere. I was afraid. I wondered around at first trying to find them but soon became distracted by more patches of grass and those little thistles that taste so sweet. Night began to fall and very soon it got cold. As I continued to wonder, the darkness grew. I could hear strange noises and knew instinctually they were not friendly. I was afraid.

Suddenly, I heard a faint voice. It sounded familiar but I couldn’t place it exactly. I stayed put. There – there is was again. Why was the sound tugging at me?  There is was again! I started walking toward it. I let out a bleat, soft at first – just in case – you never know if the voice you are hearing is safe. The voice came again – louder in response to my cry. I cried out again – louder this time walking faster toward the voice. Suddenly, two very strong hands grabbed me around the middle and hoisted me up.  It was the shepherd! He placed me on his shoulders speaking soft word of encouragement. I was saved! For the first time since I had been lost, I felt safe. He walked and walked talking to me the entire way until finally he placed me down in the middle of my flock. As I began to drift off to sleep, warm and comforted, I faintly remember the sounds of a party in the background. I wonder what they were celebrating?

–Elaine Kapetanakis

Written by Diane Levy


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