A Lamb’s Tale

from Walk Shepherdess, Walk by Barrett Cobb

Our story begins on bright summer’s day. Ann, the Shepherdess, is out for a walk in the country. With a light heart she strides through the meadows, singing as she goes.

Her young friend, Ida, sees her from far away and runs to meet her, shouting “wait for me, wait for me!” Behind Ida runs a little lamb named Flora. Flora loves Ida and follows her everywhere.

Ann turns to greet Ida and Flora. Filled with excitement, Ida tells the Shepherdess about the sheep she hopes to find.

First, a ram, which is a male sheep, with horns the color of ebony. Ebony is a beautiful, shiny, black wood which is very strong.

Next, a ewe, which is a female sheep – but one with golden feet!

After the gold-footed ewe, they may a find a lamb (a baby sheep like Flora) with fleece, or wool, so shiny it looks like silver.

Look over the rocky hills at the swirling ocean. How the waves gleam and glitter in the sun! Their spray is as shiny and beautiful as the lamb’s fleece.

Last of all, our threesome might come upon the leader of the sheep. He is called the wether. The wether is the most important of all the sheep because he shows the sheep the way home. (Most grown-ups don’t know this word, but now you do!) Because he is so special, he wears a beautiful crystal bell. What a wonderful day it is! Look! Ann is playing her flute! Everyone is happy, or so it seems. But wait, I’ve noticed Flora, Ida’s lamb, has been looking sad. Why do you think this is? I think I know why. Flora loves Ida, her mistress, very much. After all, Flora thinks of Ida as her mother. But Ida is paying so much attention to other sheep – the ram with the ebony horns, the ewe with the gold feet, the silver-haired lamb, and the wether, with his crystal bell. And this makes Flora feel left out. Well, I can understand how she feels, can’t you? Flora feels sad. Flora feels mad! Why should these other sheep get all of Ida’s attention? And so Flora does something naughty. Ida has been collecting daisies in her basket all day. Flora kicks the basket and scatters the daisies all over the place. What a mess! Well, I think Ida understands why Flora did what she did. And I think Ida forgives her. Thank goodness!

Flora is a little tired. She’s just a baby after all. So Ida picks her up and carries her as they follow the wether towards home. Now Flora is happy again.

Ida feels tired too, so they stop for a few minutes to rest. Ann, the Shepherdess isn’t tired at all, and she dances her happiness. Meanwhile Ida makes daisy chains. Do you know how to make a daisy chain? If you look very, very carefully at what Ida is doing, maybe you will see how it is done.

Look at how delighted Ann is when Ida gives her the daisy chain she has just made!

And what if they never do find the ram with ebony horns, the ewe with gold feet, the silver-coated lamb, or the wether with the crystal bell? Maybe it doesn’t really matter. They still have had a beautiful walk through the countryside on a lovely summer’s day.

And, most important of all, they have each other.

Often songs tell stories. “Walk Shepherdess, Walk” certainly does! Sometimes underneath the obvious story there is a hidden story. And sometimes it is fun to make up your own hidden story. This is what I have done in “A Lamb’s Tale.” Maybe you would like to make up your own story. I’d love to hear it.

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