The Old Shepherd’s Tale

Christopher Nye

Paintings by Henri Sørensen

Heirloom quality hardbound, dust jacketed, large format


This story brought tears to my eyes, it is so poignantly beautiful, the perfect compliment to the festival of Christmas.

An old shepherd shares the stable with his animals on the night Mary and Joseph arrive and give birth to the infant Jesus. Miraculously, the stable fills with angels and with light, and the ox, the donkey and the cow are able to speak to each other and to the old shepherd. Each animal gives a special gift to the Child – the donkey (speaking for all donkeys) offers protection and safe passage into Egypt; the ox shares his strength with the Child, strength enough to become a carpenter and eventually carry a large cross; the cow offers the nourishment of her milk, that the Baby may become a strong man.

The shepherd goes on with his life of tending these and other animals, but when able to do so, shares the miracle of that night with those who do not know of it: a man beating an ox to make it labor harder, runs to find a second ox to help the first when he learns of the ox’s gift to the Child; the shepherd buys starving donkeys, grazes them back to health and then sells them to a good home; the forgetful milkmaid never again leaves the cow unmilked once she learns of the cow’s gift.

The shepherd sees the greatness of these beasts — and shares that vision with us in this story that goes straight to the heart. For all ages.

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