Sunday, 21 December 2008

Heavenly Host.

"Keep your eyes bright tonight boy there's something strange afoot, might be wolves, we can't be too careful."

"Yes master."

The boy set off, staff in hand, to watch over the flock. He wasn't very old but he knew what to do and it wasn't long before he had found a good place to settle himself with his back against the rocks for protection and a clear view of the surrounding countryside. The sheep nudged each other nearby as an azure darkness fell across the land. It would be cold tonight and tiny, pinprick stars had already begun to puncture their way through the icy heavens. The boy watched his breath freeze in front of

Bedouin campfires lit a trail across the vast plane of desert before him, men and boys just like him in the business of protecting and watching over the animals in their care.

In the distance a steady stream of traffic continued even though the hour grew late. Caravans, families, solitary riders on camel, ass, donkey, relentless and weary. If he listened intently, he could hear the sound of bells coming from harness and rein. The Inns at local towns were full to capacity, yet the travellers still came in their droves looking for anywhere to rest after many days on the road. People were letting out their stables and goat sheds in order to accommodate the masses. His master declared that he would never again behold such a gathering in his lifetime.

Sometime later, one of the other boys brought him a hunk of cheese with some bread and a skin of wine. When he had finished, he pulled the rough blanket around his shoulders and rested his head on his knees. It wasn't long before his eyes grew heavy with sleep.

He awoke to the sounds of animated discussion nearby. Fearful of being discovered asleep while on watch, he quickly jumped up to see what all the excitement was about.

"Look, look at the sky!" They called in amazement.

He scrambled up the ledge of rock behind him to get a better view.

The deep Sapphire blanket of the universe had produced a new diamond of light. Like a crown it dazzled and glinted through the darkness of night, announcing, declaring it's absolute right to be present within the empyrean realm of the cosmos. Never before had the heavens brought forth such majesty, such power.

The boy stood motionless, clinging to his staff. His heart felt no fear only wonder at this beautiful sight and at that moment, despite his tender years, he somehow intrinsically knew that his world would never be the same again.


  1. I like this. The realistic detail coupled with just the right amount of opening-up made for a nice read.

  2. Yes, I thought I would try a slightly different slant on the traditional story. Thanks.


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