“Is that tall thin and dark green grass you are munching better than the short broad-leaf grass I am eating?”
“I don’t know.”
“I think I’ll try it, because it looks easier to chew-- wait, what’s that?!”
“Yeah, something is wrong, something I smell…”
“I have a bad feeling about this.”
“Me too. And I don’t know what I should do.”
“Me neither. Look, the sheepdog is running. He looks angry.”
“Maybe that is what is wrong—the sheepdog is angry. I don’t like it when he acts like that.”
“Me neither. There is always trouble when he is angry.”
“You are right. So many times when he is angry, that Wolf—“
“Don’t say it! I don’t want to even think about it. You know better than to mention—you know, that... thing.”
“Too late. Look.”
Both sheep watch as the Wolf streaks out of the woods, the fold scattering out of its way except one tiny lamb. In less than a second, the lamb is in the jaws of the Wolf, and the Wolf never breaks stride, but continues the sprint through the fold, breaking the neck of the lamb with a shake of his head as he carries it away. The Wolf makes a broad turn through the pasture as he sweeps back toward the woods.
Only a few strides before the wolf would have reached the first of the low scrub on the edge of the woods, the sheepdog emerges into view, out of the midst of the fold, leaping over three sheep huddling together, and landing in full stride directly toward the Wolf. The wolf does not even glance back. He knows the sheepdog is there, he smells him, he hears the quick breathing and a very low and quick growl—barely audible over the disturbed collective baaing of about two hundred terrified and extraordinarily stupid sheep. The wolf drops the dead lamb from his jaws to quicken his run, hoping that the trees before him will allow him to dodge the determined sheepdog.
As the wolf twist and leaps, the sheepdog sinks sharp teeth onto his right hip. The Wolf does not recognize pain, so much as surprise. He is not yet caught. It was only a nip, and it did not slow him down. He has experience with this, he knows it is a fair match, and that the nip will sting but it has done no real damage—he can always turn and fight, but still believes he has a good chance of escaping. The wolf makes it into the trees, and begins his dodging; the reversing and snapping he has learned will give him the best chance to escape, especially now that the sheep are not threatened. Often, he knows, once the sheep are not being molested, the sheepdog loses interest in the chase.
“Do you think it was something the lamb did that made God angry at him?”
“Yeah, or maybe his parents had done something really bad. You never know—but God knows.”
“Yes. I’m not taking any chances. I’m staying away from them from now on.”
“Yes, God wants us to stay away from those he obviously is angry with.”
The wolf did not make it. A small rock he did not intend to step on while trying a quick change of direction slid a mere half inch under his front left paw as he tried to gain traction. That was enough to cause the Wolf to stumble. That stumble was enough for the sheepdog to make up the distance. The first bite was on the wolf’s tail. The wolf twisted his head to return the favor, but the sheepdog knew the wolf would do just that and had already released the bite and had his mouth open, and canines exposed, mouth agape. When the wolf’s nip missed, his muzzle was immediately locked, hopelessly (unless the sheepdog made a mistake) in the jaws of his pursuer.
The sheepdog did not make a mistake. He bit down with all of his considerable strength on the snout of the Wolf. The wolf inhaled his own blood through his nose, and unable to wrench his mouth open, choked. He rolled over on his side, to try and bring his legs into play-- to push the sheepdog away. The sheepdog responded with several violent shakes of his head, ripping the fur, the skin, and the flesh of the wolf’s jowls, exposing the bone.
The sheepdog released the grip only because he knew that the wolf's flesh was about to tear loose entirely. The Wolf used that instant to try again to reciprocate and lashed at the head of his adversary. All he got was fur. The sheepdog did not even notice the yank of the hair under one ear— instead he drove his open jaws under the wolf’s own, and took hold of the wolf’s throat. It was not a nip, but a full and deadly grip. The sheepdog tasted the blood from the punctures, and waited a moment as the wolf struggled, wildly, in panic. There simply was nothing the wolf could do, and both parties knew it. With a strong and quick motion, the sheepdog reared his head, tearing muscle, sinew, and blood vessels from the Wolf’s throat.
The wolf lost control of his jaws—no longer having enough matter left to open and close them. He could not move his head. The last thing he knew was that the sheepdog’s teeth had taken hold of another large part of his torn flesh and ripped as before.
The Sheepdog released and trotted around the carcass, cautiously diving and darting about to insure the Wolf was dead. Once certain of victory, the adrenalin began to take its toll. He trotted to the nearby creek and buried his muzzle deep in the water to rinse off the smell and taste of the wolf’s blood, and some of his own. He pawed at his fur irritated by the stain he could still smell and the knowledge it would be with him for days. He took a few laps of the water in the creek and then headed back to where he could see the fold.
The fold was already settling down—most of the sheep had returned to grazing—all as far from the woods as possible.
“Oh no. “
“Over there by the woods. The sheepdog is back. He is watching us.”
“Why doesn’t God take him away from us? Why must we always be threatened by him?”
“I don’t know. I suppose the sins of some of the other sheep have made God angry at the whole flock.
“Let’s pray about it.”
“Oh God who abhors violence, deliver us from those in our midst who cause the Wolves to come so that they may live their violent lives against your will. Forgive those other sheep who have displeased you so that those of us who do your will may become fatter and more luxuriant as we know you want for all of us. In the Name of your Shepherd, we ask. Amen.”
“Amen. Have you tried the flowers? A little bitter, but pleasant, none, the less.””
The sheepdog, seeing that all was calm again, set down to rest and watch. After a while, he looked up at the sky, beginning to relax, and licking his wounds, he prayed.
God who does not wish that any harm should come to these innocents, I thank you for allowing me to do the work you have given me to do, and giving me a body that will heal from the wounds I received. Give this fold a time of rest and peace, that they may not be preyed upon by the enemy. Ultimately, Father, bring this age to a close, so that we may find perfect rest with You in your Kingdom, where the wolves do not threaten and kill. Send your Shepherd, not just to comfort, but to finally end this age of strife, of death, of pain and of sorrow. Allow us to see Him as the Mighty Warrior you have promised, as we are unable to save all of those you would have saved. Until then, Lord, we struggle on in the reasonable and holy hope of the perfect justice the Shepherd will bring.
The sheepdog’s prayers were interrupted by the shepherd’s hand patting his head.
“Hey boy. Looks like you had a busy day. You must be hungry. Here, have some of my bread and let me try and get these wounds cleaned up for you.”
Fifty yards away, between mouthfuls:
“Do your ever wonder if the sheepdog serves some purpose in God’s plan for us?”
“No. If he had anything to do with God, he would never have allowed the lamb to be killed.”
“Right, and remember, the lamb must have deserved it.”
- You may want to read : Sheep, Sheepdogs and Wolves.
- I want to add: I want to know where the family of the dead lamb will go to church. I want to know where the sheepdog already goes to church. It is so frustrating here in a land where driving a BMW means "God loves you" that I don't know if I want to growl or bleat.