Snow was falling in sheets of white,
Through all of the day, and most of the night.
By morning it piled in banks tall and high
Hardly definable, line of the sky
On my grandfather's farm, he was wrapped up warm,
With a shepherd's crook over his arm.
To rescue lambs in snowdrifts lost
Bring them back home whatever the cost.
His old dog Shep, ever by his side,
As they prepared to go outside.
It seems an adventure, I want to go too
Grandpa, please, may I come with you.
No, child, you don't want to, it's much too cold,
Stay in the warmth, is what I was told.
No, Grandpa please, I want to go
I really, really don't mind the snow.
The hill is steep, and the snow is deep,
The wind is chilly with blinding sleet.
This isn't fun child, we look for sheep
While snow gives way beneath our feet.
I'll be no trouble, I promise you,
I'll follow real close, and listen too.
I'll help if I can in any way,
If I may go with you for just this day.
Surveying the landscape, nothing but snow,
Dips and piles wherever we go.
No sign of sheep anywhere to be seen
But Shep always knew where they had been.
He'd lead the way and find a groove,
Give a short bark and refuse to move.
Grandpa would dig sometimes four feet deep
Before he would find the stranded sheep.
So it went on throughout the day,
Finding many lost sheep in just this way.
Bringing home safely to the fold
Thanks to a dog worth its weight in gold.
Grandpa knew the number he had to find,
And he would not leave any behind.
"I can't leave them to perish beneath the snow,
Now child, you know why we had to go."
I learned that day how good shepherd's care,
They won't abandon the sheep out there.
Though ninety and nine may safely lay,
They will seek the one that has gone astray.
Copyright Juliette Chamberlain-Bond 2010
I remember my grandfather setting out to search the hills for lost sheep, with Shep, his old Border Collie.
I was utterly amazed at how Shep could always locate the sheep, even though there was no visible sign on the surface of the snow, except occasionally a small groove.
I remember too how my grandfather refused to come home until he had found the last one that was lost.
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