Goodnight Sophia: A Shepherd's Bedtime Story

Once upon a time there was a beautiful golden sheep named Sophia. She and her three best friends, Dorothy, Blanche and Rose, lived on a farm. They spent their summer days eating green grass and lounging under the shade trees. During the winter they could usually be found nibbling on crunchy hay inside their warm barn. The shelter was small but solidly built and filled with comfortable straw to rest on.  

Each morning the shepherd would open the barn doors and pour out a very small amount of corn for them as a treat. In the evening, just before bedtime Sophia and her friends would follow the shepherd into the barn where they would each receive an animal cracker before the doors were closed to keep them safe. It was a good life.

One particularly cold and blustery day Sophia grew tired of the animal crackers. She thought they were rather bland and tasteless.
She would prefer to have more corn. That night, when the other sheep followed the shepherd into the barn, she stayed outside refusing to go in.

The shepherd asked her, “What’s wrong, Sophia?”

“I don’t like animal crackers anymore, I would rather have corn,” she said.

“But I don’t have any corn, Sophia,” said the shepherd.

“Yes you do. It is in that little barn over there.”

“No Sophia, it’s time for bed not corn. Come get your animal cracker.”

“But there is corn in this building right here, just behind the door. I know it’s in there.”

Sophia wouldn’t give up. No matter how hard the shepherd tried to reason with her, Sophia wouldn’t budge. “I’m not going to bed until you pour out some corn and that is all there is to it,” she said.

“If you don’t do what she says we could be out here all night” whispered her friend Rose. “You know how stubborn she gets sometimes.”

Finally the shepherd agreed, deciding a little corn wouldn’t hurt anyone. The news made Blanche jump straight up into the air. “It worked, it worked! We’re getting corn!” she shouted.

“Oh my goodness, I’m so excited! I can’t believe it worked,” said Dorothy as she kicked up her heels.

“Give us the corn, give us the corn, give us the corn,” they all cheered as they danced around the shepherd.

“Yes, yes, I will, but you must get ready for bed like good little sheep.”

“Oh, we will, we will,” they said as they raced into the barn.

They gobbled up their bedtime snack then settled down for the night, bellies full, thinking about how wonderful the day had been. Sophia quietly chewed her cud, beaming with pride over what she had accomplished. She had heard of a breed of sheep called Leadersheep, part of the primitive flocks in Iceland. They were said to be the smartest of all sheep.

“Well, maybe not all sheep” she thought with a grin.

Read more about the adventures of The Golden Girls at www.frontporchindiana.blogspot.com.

Published on Dec 23, 2011

Grit Magazine

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