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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Singing (10/31/05)

TITLE: The Singing Sheep of Hillside Pastures
By Chris Miller


The singing sheep of Hillside Pastures loved to raise their baas in unison as they searched the slopes for succulent grass. Preferring the old hymns passed down from their wooly forefathers, they learned their parts carefully: alto, bass, tenor, or soprano. Enraptured by their harmonious hymn sings, they sang all five verses in praise to the One who had created their lovely hillside home.

In time, new sheep were introduced to the pastures. The hymn enthusiasts noticed these newcomers had a different style of singing. Stomping their hooves in time to the music, these shameless sheep were even observed raising their hooves with special emphasis when particularly blessed.

Extremely annoying to the hymn lovers was the continual repetition of key words and phrases. One elderly ewe nudged her sheepmate and whispered frantically, ďMarge, Iím going to need ear plugs to block out all that stomping and repetitive baaing. What are we to do?Ē

ďI know what you mean, Mable. I donít think I can take it anymore either. I canít get the words out of my head even when Iím asleep. I think we need to get the head sheep to call an emergency meeting of the elders. We canít be the only ones going bonkers.Ē

Indeed, they were not the only ones dissatisfied. Gradually, Hymn loving sheep moved away towards the stream to find grass. They officially renamed themselves The Chorus-Criticizers. Satisfied now with the purity of their repertoire, they once again chomped their choice grass and savored the satisfying songs of days gone by.

Not to be outdone, the chorus crooners gravitated in the opposite direction toward the old, oak tree by the barn. In response to the other sheepís name change, This avant-garde group became known as The Hymn-Haters. Letting out all the stops, they stomped on overturned, metal feed pails and baaed to their heartsí content. Daily, new choruses were
being written to keep their music fresh and modern. The task was not difficult, however, as few words were needed.

Eventually, sheep from both musical camps started to miss their former friends. One by one, some would break off and move toward the middle of the pasture to graze. Since its abandonment, the grass was particularly abundant in the old meeting place.

Mingled together again, the repentant sheep agreed to sing both choruses and hymns. The newly formed Hymn-Chorus Cooperators blended their baas and bleats in praise and enjoyed close fellowship once more, in spite of their stylistic differences.

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This article has been read 798 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helga Doermer11/08/05
A cute piece reflecting human dynamics and a dream not yet realized.
Melanie Kerr 11/13/05
A lovely story with an important message. It is heart that matters not just tunes and words.
Dan Louise Mann11/14/05
I really liked this piece. Many times in scripture God has told us we are like sheep, and you wrote a piece that was akin to God's view of us. Very well done. Well-deserved award this week. Congratulations!
Karen Treharne11/17/05
A great message, Chris. I wished it had gone a little longer! Congratulations on your win and reminding us all to be peacemakers, especially within the church of Christ. Blessings to you as you continue to write.
Deborah Porter 01/16/06
I cannot believe only four people have commented on this classic. Chris, this is an excellent piece with such a good message - presented in such a delightful way. Love, Deb