A Shepherd Guards Her Flock

It was a dark and stormy night. The farmer pulled her bedroom curtain aside to get a better look. There it was, a lump in the darkness lying in wait next to the pasture fence. It struck fear in her heart. Earlier that day she witnessed a stray dog lurking about. Luckily, at the time, the guard llamas, Thelma and Louise, did their job and herded the sheep to safety but at this time of night the llamas are fast asleep. It seemed the livestock guardian dog on night duty must be doing the same.

“Great,” she said. “Where’s that stupid flashlight?”

As much as she hated going out at night she had to protect the flock. She just knew they must be hiding in or near the barn, trembling in their little hooves. Poor things. After fumbling around a few seconds she located the flashlight next to the shotgun shells, tossed them all in her pocket and headed downstairs. While slipping quietly out the door, she loaded.

“I’m a big girl. I’m not afraid of the dark,” she reminded herself. “It’s a dog or a coyote. Not the boogey man.”

The wind was crisp and blowing her long hair into her face. It made it difficult to see but still she could make out movement at the fence line. It looked as if the head was bobbing up and down. Sniffing the scent of the livestock no doubt. Her hands trembled.

“You can do this. You’ve practiced. You know you can do this.”

Inching ever so quietly she made her way across the driveway toward the dark corner of the pasture never taking her eyes off the intruder.

“Wait just a minute? What the…”

Published on Dec 20, 2011

Grit Magazine

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