Once there was a shepherd. Every night he counted and gathered his sheep. He was sure never to overlook any of them.
One night, he saw some wild sheep had joined his herd. He hoped to acquire the newcomers.
It snowed that night. In the morning, the shepherd couldn’t take his sheep out of his lodge. Instead, he had to feed them inside. He gave a small amount of wheat to his own sheep. But he gave more of the food to the wild sheep. He thought the extra wheat would discourage them from leaving.
It snowed for several days. During that time, the shepherd’s sheep ate very little. The wild sheep, however, ate very well.
At last, the snow melted, and they ventured outdoors. As soon as he opened the door of his hut, the wild sheep started to run away.
“ Wait! This is how you repay me? After I treated you so kindly, why do you run away?” the shepherd asked. His voice was full of hatred.
The wild sheep stopped and turned toward the shepherd.
“ We’re leaving because you fed us better than your own sheep,” one of the wild sheep replied. “ You tried to deceive us with your ridiculous plan. Yesterday you treated us kindly, but tomorrow you might be different. If more wild sheep joined your herd, you would treat us as inferior sheep.”
As the wild sheep ran away, the shepherd understood his offence. He knew this awkward situation was his own fault. He had not been a satisfactory caretaker. He was a fake friend to the wild sheep. Because of this, he had neglected his own herd
Here’s another song, this one from the prominent New Zealand singer and songwriter Dave Dobbyn. This is Dobbyn’s brilliant version of a poem by another great New Zealander, James K. Baxter . The powerful auto-biographical song touches on two themes Baxter returned to over and again – Catholicism, and alcoholism. Have a listen, read along […]
The Avalanche Randy was a forest ranger. Because of his job, he was secluded in a cabin in the wilderness. One day, the radio reported, “Convection in the atmosphere is causing a lot of clouds to form. A serious storm . . . ” Suddenly, the radio went silent. The signal was lost. He went […]
The Dragon An evil dragon lived in a castle in the remote southern mountains. One day the monster landed in a town. The dragon commanded the people, “Give me food now, or I will eat you!” The dragon lifted its wings so that its lungs could be completely filled with hot steam, and breathed it […]
Here’s another song, with lyrics, included for no other reason than that I love it. That, and the lyrics are clearly sung and easy to understand, and for the sheer poetry in them. I especially like this couplet; The supply of an Empire where the sun never set Which is now deep in darkness, but […]
This is from Leonard Cohen’s posthumous album Thanks for the Dance,produced by his son, Adam Cohen. The album was released on November 22, 2019. It features tracks recorded by Leonard Cohen during the sessions for his last album before his death in 2016. First heard on Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast Broken Record. I can’t leave my […]
The view from my Nha Trang apartment’s terrace floor, early afternoon. What the hell am I doing lolling about there when there’s work to be done? I’m trying to rebuild some muscle by stair-climbing in between jags tapping away at this keyboard. I think it’s probably shrivelled a little after a long time without any […]
A legend of the flowers , by Anonymous. From The Turquoise Story Book by various. This is a librivox recording. All Librivox recordings are in the public domain. For more information, or to volunteer, please visit librivox.org. Reading by Matt Berrard. A Legend of the Flowers, by Anonymous. Australian. Adapted. Long, long ago the great […]
Chapter 31 of The Book of Stories for the Storyteller. This is a librivox recording. All Librivox recordings are in the public domain. For more information, or to volunteer, please visit librivox.org. The Book of Stories for the Storyteller, by Fanny Coe. The story of Pegasus [ adapted * ] by Fanny E. Coe Long […]
Story eight of The Best American Humorous Short Stories by Alexander Jessup, editor. This librivox recording is in the public domain. Story eight, The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (1865 ) by Mark Twain. [From The Saturday Press, Nov. 18, 1865. Republished in The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches (1867), […]