The little shepherdess

I wish to share a story about a little shepherdess who lived with her family near Bethlehem.  She was the smallest person in the whole village.  Her brothers were bigger than her and her cousins were taller than her.  Only the mice and the ants where smaller.

She was not able to help the others shepherds with their chores.  Her arms were too small to carry water from the well or gather wood for a fire.   She was too small to lead the sheep – they might kick her or knock her over.  She could not scare away the wolves – they could eat her with a single bite.

Like many other children, her ears were too small to hear her parents when they corrected her.  For a little girl she had a lot to say – but very few people wanted to listen.  For, even today, adults cannot believe that such a tiny mouth would have anything important to say.

One very dark night, she was with her father and brothers caring for the sheep in the field.  A very bright light shone in the sky.  It was an angel.  The angel was more beautiful that her mother and much stronger than her father.  The Angel said to them:  “Do not fear, I bring good news, today is born in the city of David a savior who is the Messiah, your king.  You will find the child in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.  Many other angels joined and sang a very beautiful song.

The shepherds ran to Bethlehem.  Our little shepherdess was the last to arrive because her legs were only about half the size of the others.  When she arrived, she saw all the rest kneeling down to honor the new king.  But she could not see anything important – only a man, his young wife and many animals.

“Daddy where is the King?  I don’t see him.  This man cannot be a king – his hands are rough and dirty – he must work a lot and a king never has to work, for he has many servants.  The lady – she is as pretty as a princess, but her clothes are very plain.”

“Sweetie, remember what the angel said  – you will find the child lying in a manger.”  The little shepherdess walked up to the wooden box in front of the beautiful lady and peeked over the top.  Inside was the littlest baby she had ever seen.  In fact, it was the first time she had met any person who was smaller than her.

“Daddy!  He is so cute!  But I don’t think he is a king.  Look at his tiny mouth – no one will ever listen to him – no one will ever obey him.”

Her father answered: “You are right.  Many will not obey him.  But many others will, and the more obedient we are, the more happy we will be.”

The little girl had another question: “But his ears are also really small – how can he listen to the complaints and the requests of his people.”

Her father said “He has already heard our cries and he has come to save us!“

The shepherdess thought a little harder.  “It is good that he is a King, because his hands are so tiny – he will have some servants to bring his things to him.”

“Believe it or not, sweetheart, he carries the world with all its sins.  He brings to us everything we need.”

“But Daddy, how can this little King protect us from evil men?  I bet no one is afraid of him.”

He father shook his head “The Kings of the world are afraid of Him.  He will come to judge everyone – the good and the bad.  He will punish every evil deed, he will reward every good deed.”

“Daddy how can I serve the little king?”

Her brother interrupted “You could be quiet and let the baby sleep!”  She hit him as hard as she could.

Their Father responded “If you want to serve the King, first – don’t hit your brother, stop bothering you sister.  Listen to your mother and help her when she asks for something.  Do not lie.  Pray to God every day.  If you do these things, you will make in your heart a beautiful throne for the little King.”

The little shepherdess answered: “Daddy, I am so happy to be the servant of such a wonderful king.”  And like the others, she bent her little knees to adore the little king!