PostScripts from Blessing

The official blog of author Lauraine Snelling and the fictional town of Blessing, North Dakota

A Sheepish Christmas final installment 12 24 1902

A Sheepish Christmas
Jesse N. Visser

The Final Installment

The shadow loomed around the corner and…it wasn’t just one creature, it was three men.

They were dressed in fine robes, crowns, and jewelry. They wore gold necklaces, rings with precious gems, anklets and bracelets. And each one of them had a box in their hands, and grins on their faces. Each one presented their gift and left their boxes next to the baby. Daniel couldn’t keep this in, he had to tell someone!
He decided that when he would go home, he would tell his family, but he had to stay and watch just for a little longer. The people didn’t seem to mind the visit and all the barn animals that had come didn’t even give the men a second thought. Daniel was especially surprised at the cats. Cats usually scurry away when disturbed, but not tonight.

The men left after a short visit and Daniel decided it was time he left, too. He squeezed through the little door he had discovered earlier, and started to head home. As he walked back up the hill, he started to think about what he had seen that night. Who was that baby? Why had he felt such peace around the baby? And why did the baby gather such a crowd just being born?

Suddenly he heard something behind him. He turned around, and squinted his eyes so that maybe he could see something. There was nothing there. Daniel turned around and kept going, but the noise came back again. He stopped where he was and sighed; he turned around a second time and gave a yelp. It was that stubborn sheep! He’d forgotten all about it.

Daniel frowned at the sheep. The sheep had wanted to go with him earlier, but he ignored it. Then the sheep was at the barn, and now it was with Daniel again. He decided to let the sheep follow him. It was much easier than trying to find it! So they trudged up the rest of the hill together.

They were approaching the top of the hill, when Daniel heard someone coming their way, quickly. Daniel rushed himself and the sheep over to a bush. This time the stubborn sheep had no problem doing what Daniel wanted! The boy crouched down and forced the sheep to lie down. The stranger went by and they were unnoticed. Daniel peeked over the bush to make sure no one else was there, then the sheep stood up and started walking again. Daniel followed.

As the two were walking, Daniel looked back at the stable; the star still shown directly above it. Daniel smiled and looked at the sheep that was sniffing the air, he turned around and kept going, the sheep continued to follow. Daniel started to pick up his pace when he started to think about telling everybody he knew about what he had seen.

He was beginning to run when he looked back to see if the sheep was still following, and it wasn’t there. Daniel looked around and saw it in the distance looking at him. He was going to leave it, but he couldn’t. After all, it was his father’s sheep and he would never lose one of them again. He dragged himself back to the sheep. It looked at him, and then looked in a different direction.

“Home is that way.” Daniel demanded, pointing up another hill. The sheep continued to look in that one direction. Daniel grabbed the sheep’s wool and tried to pull; it wouldn’t move. The he tried pushing and shoving and pulling harder on the thick wool, but the sheep wouldn’t give, just like before.

“So be it.” Daniel gave up, and went the way the sheep was insisting. After all, he could get home going in that direction too, it would just be longer and harder, Daniel didn’t really feel like doing that, but he didn’t want to go without the sheep. So on they went. They climbed rocks, and hills, over fences and streams, and finally, they climbed up a last hill, and as they were walking, Daniel could see his home. He looked to his right to see the sun was beginning to rise, and his home was already lit up with candles.

Daniel looked around, and saw that the way that the sheep insisted to go was actually the best way home after all. He was surprised that the once-stubborn sheep actually helped him on his way. He patted the sheep and headed home.
He finally got to his house and put the sheep in the pen. And now the sheep seemed perfectly content! It began to nibble on the weeds.

Daniel smiled and was excited to tell everybody about what had happened. He was going to tell them about the empty barn, the star he had followed to get there, the people and their new baby who brought such peace within Daniel, the strange cats, all the barn animals that had escaped from their homes to see the baby, and the three men dressed like kings who didn’t seem to mind kneeling to a baby. Like he was someone. Daniel knew that he would never forget that night.