The Love of Sheep
The Following is a fictional story of Mauro the Mighty Ram and His love for his shepherd. It tells of the great love a sheep has for his shepherd.
Mauro was a most magnificent and mighty Ram. His coat of red and royal mane made him glisten against the horizon. Mauro was the king of his flock and he loved his pasture and all the sheep around him. Mauro lived in a sheep's paradise that all sheep dreamed about living in. Mauro had it made!
One of the greatest reasons Mauro's life was so great was because of his wonderful shepherd. Mauro was part of the flock of the kindest shepherd any sheep could wish for. The shepherd was always showing Mauro and the other sheep his love by making sure they had all they could possibly need. He also would spend time with Mauro, rubbing his mane and down his back. He would walk in the field and talk with Mauro, telling Mauro of many glorious things in life. The Shepherd always reminded Mauro how much he cared for Mauro and the others and hoped they were happy in life. How Mauro looked forward to these walks with his shepherd.
Mauro also loved the shepherd's family. Many times, the shepherd and his children would come to the field just to play with Mauro. Mauro would leap and run with the shepherd's children. After spending the day together, Mauro, the shepherd, his kids, and the other sheep would lay down and rest under the shade of the mighty oak tree. As they laid there, Mauro reflected on the amazing life he was living. He was loved so much by the shepherd and Mauro's heart burst with joy when he thought about how he loved his shepherd in return.
What made this even more glorious was the fact that the shepherd and Mauro could talk to one another. They had such a close relationship that they had grown to understand each others language. This truly was the life sheep dreams were made of!
One day, Mauro noticed something different about the shepherd. He came and was with his sheep, but his mind seemed to be else where. Although he smiled, Mauro could tell something was not exactly right. As the days went by, the strain on the face of the shepherd became more evident and Mauro finally asked the shepherd what was causing him so much pain.
The shepherd smiled and thanked Mauro for his concern, but reassured him everything was okay. But as days and weeks passed by, Mauro noticed the shepherd became thinner and weaker. He continued to smile, but his eyes reflected great worry and concern. Mauro had not been allowed in the shepherd's yard for sometime, until finally the shepherd asked him to follow him home.
As Mauro entered the yard, his own heart was saddened by the sight. The shepherd's children were so skinny and tired. They could barely even smile or play. They had absolutely no energy and all the laughter Mauro once enjoyed was gone. The shepherd and his wife were whispering in the corner and Mauro overheard the shepherd say, "I just don't know what else to do, there is nothing left for us to eat. " The shepherds wife looked at Mauro, then turn and left in a sob of tears.
The shepherd hugged his kids and asked Mauro to follow him back to the field. No one had said a word, but Mauro knew that the shepherd and his family were starving to death. Mauro knew the shepherd wanted to use his meat to feed his kids, but it was just more than the shepherd and his family could bear to ask of the ram they loved so much.
Mauro sadly walked back to the field with the shepherd. It was a long quiet walk until Mauro finally asked the shepherd if there was anything he could do to help. The shepherd let out a weak smile, love still gleaming from his eyes, and reassured Mauro that somehow things would be okay. The shepherd shared how life had been difficult and his money had run out. He told Mauro that he was doing all he could, but it just seemed like without a miracle, he and the children would die. He asked Mauro to please watch over the sheep and take care of them because he so longed for the flock to be okay. He asked Mauro to promise him he would do all he could to protect and provide for the sheep he loved so much. With a broken heart and confusion swirling in his mind, Mauro promised the shepherd he would do his best. With that, the shepherd patted his head and turned to walk home one last time.
Mauro stood in his field, still plush with green grass. He looked over the flock and saw the healthy sheep all enjoying the cool water and shade the shepherd had worked hard to provide for them. His mind was racing and his heart was heavy, thinking over the final words he had heard the shepherd speak. Mauro had promised to care for the flock the best he could, but he knew deep down in his heart, what the sheep needed most was the care of their shepherd. In that moment, Mauro knew what had to be done.
Without a word to any of the other sheep, Mauro left the field and went to the nearby town. He had made the journey before with the shepherd, and he knew exactly where he needed to go. Mauro butted his head against the door of a place he had always been afraid of. It was the local butchers shop, the only place that made the mighty Mauro tremble.
The butcher answered the door and looked down to see Mauro there all alone. Confused, the butcher asked what it was that Mauro wanted. Mauro looked up and told the butcher of how the shepherd and his family were starving to death. He told the butcher of how much the shepherd had done to be certain his life had been great, and how he had asked Mauro to care for the sheep when he was gone. Mauro told the butcher that he had realized the best way to care for the sheep was to be sure the shepherd was there to care for them. So, with a shakiness in his voice, Mauro asked the butcher for a favor.
The next day, the butcher arrived at the door of the shepherd and his family. The butcher was shocked to see how starvation had taken its toll on the shepherd and his family. He quietly, and with tears in his eyes, unloaded a cart full of meat into the shepherd's home.
The shepherd and his wife were speechless as they watched the meat come in that would certainly feed their family for many days to come. Once he was able, the shepherd grasped the butcher and through many tears thanked him for saving the lives of all his family. The butcher could not really speak a word other than to say, "I am not the one you need to thank."
It was at that time the butcher handed the confused shepherd a letter written in red ink:
I wanted to say thank you for the wonderful life you have given to me. No sheep could have ever asked for more. Your love and tenderness to protect and care for me has overwhelmed me since the day I was born.
How I have treasured the walks you and I shared and the stories you have told me. You have been so kind to allow me the honor and privilege to be a part of your family. Your wife and children have always accept me as one of the family and treated me like a brother.
How I enjoyed those talks we shared in the shade under the mighty oak tree. You have always been so kind and your rod and staff have always brought me comfort. Never once did I ever feel as if my life was in danger as long as I was in your care.
When you brought me home the last time, and I saw how hungry you and your family were, I did not know what to do. I wanted to help, but did not know how. When you left me last in the field, you made me promise that I would do everything I could to take care of the sheep you loved so much. As I looked over the flock, the one you have allowed me to lead for so long, I realized that the best way to keep my promise was to be sure they had the love of the best shepherd a sheep could ever know.
Please accept this sacrifice, my one and only gift I have to bring. My only hope is that it will give you the strength to continue to care for the sheep that I know you love so much. The reason I know you love them is because of how you have loved me.
With All I Am,
The shepherd, his wife, the kids, and the butcher literally stood there and wept. The butcher had never seen a love so great. He had slain many sheep in his life, but never one who had willingly laid down on his table to be a love offering for his shepherd.
The shepherd and his family were heart broken over the loss of the ram they had loved so much. At first the shepherd wondered how Mauro could have done something like this. Though the shepherd was grateful that his family would now eat because of Mauro's personal sacrifice, he mourned over the loss of his glorious ram whom he loved.
He read over the words time and again that Mauro had left behind. The words that resonated louder than any other were these, "As I looked over the flock, the one you have allowed me to lead for so long, I realized that the best way to keep my promise was to be sure they had the love of the best shepherd one could ever know." Although he wished Mauro were there by his side, the shepherd knew that his loving sacrifice would not go in vain.
Soon, it was spring again! The shepherd and his family had regained their strength through the meals provided through Mauro's willing sacrifice. They had eaten glorious meals, and at each one had shared a memory they had of Mauro from his days in their fields and yard.
In the cool of one evening, after again enjoying another meal, the shepherd and his family walked out to the field to see one last gift Mauro had left behind. They each smiled as they ran and played with all the new lambs frolicking in the field, each one with a slight resemblance to their father, Mauro, the mighty ram!