The Musical Sheep
You know, they say of us sheep that we are silly creatures – a bit lacking in the brain department. You needn’t look so innocent – I know what’s said, and mostly it’s true. But not always. We’re not quite as daft as we’re painted. In fact – and promise you won’t tell, because this is very secret, but in fact, we’re really quite intelligent if we put our minds to it. It suits us to appear stupid, you see – that way, nobody expects us to take responsibility. Well, who would ask a sheep to do anything which demanded concentration? So, we get left to do what we want, and enjoy ourselves without any hard work. You should try it sometime – oh! I see some of you do…..
Well, you’ll know what I mean, then.
Anyway, they say we’re daft, but we’ve got enough nous to know when things are not all they should be; when the shepherds have had a bit too much to drink like, or when one of them is pining for his lady-love, and would be rather be at home then up on the hills watching us eat. It’s quite good, those days, actually – we can wander off as far as we like, and search out the really tasty places, while he’s sitting mooning over her at home. Find some nice treats that way, we do. Where was I? O yes, - we know what’s going on most of the time. So, I could tell something strange was going on tonight. I can’t quite be sure what it was that gave me the clue – it might have been the singing choirs of the heavenly host, though you’d be surprised how often that happens and the shepherds don’t see it. Out there in the hills at night, when it’s all quiet, and the world has gone to sleep. You wouldn’t imagine how often me and the boys catch a few of the angels out having a sing. It’s as if they can’t keep quiet, and want to share their praises. But on the whole, they don’t appear when people can see them – either that, or the people are too busy to pay attention. Me and the others, we see them often enough not to be too surprised, though it’s a treat right enough, and we make the most of it. But it wasn’t that, although they did seem in particularly good voice earlier on this evening, and there did seem to be more of them than usual.
But it was something else. They seemed more - purposeful than they often are. I guess you haven’t seen the angelic choir too often, have you – no, I can see that. Well, the thing is, usually, they seem just to sing and play for the fun of it – well, that’s not quite right, but for the sheer joy of it might be better. You know what I mean; praise for the sake of praise. But tonight – well, they seemed to be anxious to communicate something. AND, the shepherds saw and heard them. That definitely was unusual; unusual for the shepherds too. They were terrified – fell on their faces and thought they were going to die and everything. Quite funny, really. They’re supposed to be there to protect us, and there they were scared out of their socks, and we were quite calm. Well, we’d seen it before, and it’s awe-inspiring alright, but – well, safe’s not the right word, but at least we’ve learnt we’ll survive it. They clearly didn’t think they would – and as for thinking about us, they didn’t seem to have time to do that at all. Anyway, all we heard was the wonderful music.
It really is wonderful you know. If you ever get the chance to hear the angelic choir, take it – it’s something you will never forget. I can’t really describe it – sheep aren’t that good at music – but it sounds like the freshest grass, the clearest water, the gentlest sunshine and the brightest star- or something like that. Oh I can’t describe it – you’ll have to listen for yourselves. In fact, if you listen had enough, you might just catch an echo – they seem to be keeping it up a long time tonight………..can you hear it?
No? Pity – it really is wonderful. Where was I?
O yes, what was different – well, the shepherds listened to all this, once they’d got off their faces, and then they had a confab. Seems like they had heard something very important. Unfortunately, I had found a tasty patch of sorrel, and was just too far away to hear what was said. But blow me, it must have been vital, because after their discussion, they all just up and left. Just like that. Never seen that happen before – usually, if one of the has to go back to town for something – or someone – there’s at least one of them left here to keep us company. But not tonight! Off they all went, and here we are all alone. Not that I’m scared, or anything. Not really. Not scared, exactly. More – more jealous I guess. I mean, there’s clearly something important happening, and as always, the sheep are being left out. Not wanted except for our wool.
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think about it, the more I think this isn’t right. After all, we heard the angels too – in fact, we hear them more often. And the bit I did catch was about a stable. We know stables – some of my best friends live in stables. Why should they be going to this party or whatever it is in the stable, and not us. No – I don’t think I approve of that, and I don’t think I’m going to stand for it.
Oy, you lot – come on – we’re off. If they can go and see whatever it is in this stable, we can too. Coming?