Counting Sheep

Unfortunately, the shepherd brought his new puppy with him when he was checking on the sheep.   Little lamb and puppy only played together for a few minutes, but it was all that little lamb would talk about for the rest of the day. Even now that it was nighttime and dark, little lamb would not go to sleep.

“Did you see when he ran in a circle and I turned and watched him? I didn’t fall down because I have good balance,” little lamb said.

“Yes you do,” mama ewe said. “You’re really growing up.”

“And then he said bow-wow-wow and I don’t know what that meant. Do you know what it meant mommy?” little lamb asked.

“No, I don’t. You know I don’t speak his language either,” mama ewe said. “Now go to sleep.”

“But does daddy speak the puppy’s language?” little lamb asked. “Daddy, can you speak to puppies? What does bow-wow-wow mean?”

“I cannot speak to puppies,” papa ram said. “Go to sleep.”

“But I’m not tired,” little lamb said.

“I am,” papa ram said. “Can you at least stop talking so I can go to sleep?”

“Okay daddy,” little lamb said. He was quiet for a few minutes. And then he thought of another question. “Daddy, if its nighttime, why is there still light in the sky? Does that mean its still daytime, just not as dark out?”

“No, its definitely nighttime,” papa ram said.

“Mama, can you take me to go play somewhere while daddy sleeps? Let’s go to the stream. I want a drink of water,” little lamb said.

“No dear, I’m tired too. And we need to stay near the flock when it’s dark out to keep up safe,” mama ewe said.

“But it’s not that dark out, and I’m not tired, and I’m thirsty now,” little lamb said.

“Why don’t you imagine sheep jumping over a fence,” mama ewe said. “Then count each one as it jumps.”

“Who are they and where are they going? Do I know them?” little lamb asked.

“It doesn’t matter. It can be anyone you want it to be. The important part is counting them as you imagine them jumping,” mama ewe said.

“But I want to know the rest of the story,” little lamb said.

“There isn’t a story,” mama ewe said.

“Then why are they jumping over a fence? Is something chasing them? Is it a wolf?” Little lamb lowered his voice on the last word and shuffled closer to his mother. “Is a wolf going to come chase us? What if we can’t get away in time? I think maybe there’s a wolf hiding over there…See! The bushes moved,” little lamb said.

“There is no wolf. The shepherd keeps us safe. Imagine the sheep are jumping over the fence to find greener grass,” mama ewe said.

“Is the grass greener on the other side of the fence?” little lamb asked.

“Of course it is,” mama ewe said.

“And the shepherd will keep the wolf away?”

“Yes he will.”

“And his puppy will help?”

“And his puppy will help,” mama ewe said.

“Did you see when the puppy ran in a circle today?” little lamb asked.

Papa ram snorted and Mama ewe sighed. “Let’s imagine ants walking along the top of a fence,” she said. “Can you imagine that?”

“Yes. Why are they walking on the fence?” little lamb asked.

“Who knows why ants do any of the strange things they do?” mama ewe said.

“Okay,” little lamb said.

“Can you count the ants?” mama ewe said.

“Okay. One, two, three…” Little lamb was asleep before he counted to twenty.