Saturday, October 06, 2012

Sheepdog's Meadow: A short story for kids of all ages, about sheep, wolves and sheepdogs!

This week, I thought I'd post a children's story I wrote a few months ago. It's a quick read if you're by yourself and even more fun if you read it to someone!

After you've read the story, please check out the link on the left, titled, "On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs- Lt. Col. Dave Grossman- for the origins of the Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs story. On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs  is included in Grossman's book, "On Combat" and is also an excellent read. I highly recommend it!

At the end of the story, there are questions designed to involve young readers in the story and stimulate conversations about sheepdogs.

 Enjoy the story!

Sheepdog's Meadow  

By W.D. James

The sun blanketed the meadow with sunlight. The grass was greening up nicely after a long winter. I lay panting on the grass, watching the sheep graze. Sheep spend their days quietly enjoying the meadow, without a worry in the world, save for the occasional bug in the blades because that’s what sheep do.

My name is Sierra and I’m a sheepdog. I watch over the sheep, confront the wolf when necessary and protect the herd at all times. It’s who I am.

The wolves, they prey on unsuspecting sheep. Wolves are predators. They live to hunt sheep and avoid sheepdogs like me.

Suddenly, a lot of noise came from one group of sheep in the corner of the pasture. I ran that way, barking to my fellow sheepdogs, alerting them to a problem. I got there just in time to see a wolf trying to drag a ewe away from the flock. The wolf saw my brothers and I chasing him. He dropped the yearling and hightailed it into the woods.

I sniffed at the ewe, who appeared scared and was bleeting up a storm. Otherwise she seemed ok.

“They’re getting brazen,” my partner Charlie said, his muzzle pointing toward the direction where the wolf ran, as Tango arrived and started sniffing the air.

“Yeah, it’s been a long winter and they’re hungry.” I said. “We’ll have to be vigilant about watching the far corners of the meadow.”

“Always, brother!” Charlie said, as Mike arrived, wandered over and sniffed at the spot where the ewe was standing when she was attacked.

Mike was an older sheepdog. He never ran at the sound of alarm but when there was trouble, he would get there in the nick of time and usually had something to do with ending the trouble.

“That smells like Victor,” Mike said. “I’ll alert the others and we’ll keep an eye out for him. Victor is vicious, boys. He’s an old wolf. Be very careful with him.”

Mike wandered away and the rest of us went back to our places amongst the herd.

I had just found the perfect spot in the grass when I heard another disturbance. Barking a warning to my partner, I ran down to where two rams were fighting over a ewe. I barked loudly and got between the two males while Charlie nipped at their butts.

We got the rams moved to opposite sides of the meadow and headed back to our spots, Charlie barking at the rams the whole time.

The meadow was quiet for the rest of the afternoon. Charlie, Mike and I were roughhousing in the lower meadow around dusk when I saw a wolf sneaking down from the bluff. I broke away and crept closer. The wolf lunged at a ewe munching on grass by herself. I made my move.

The wolf came up with a mouthful of wool and jumped back at the sight of me running at him in full attack mode. My partners, alerted by the ewe’s bleeting, were right behind me.

The wolf took off with me in pursuit, our claws throwing up clumps of grass as we tore across the meadow. The old wolf was fast.

But not as fast as this sheepdog!

I edged closer and finally was able to reach out with my hand and shove the bad guy forward. The bad guy lost his footing and fell face-down onto the sidewalk. I grabbed his arms, shoving them behind the bad guy's back, up to his neck.

I reached for my cuffs and had him secured before the others arrived.Within seconds I was surrounded by my brothers. They had my back. They were there in case the bad guy put up a fight. That wouldn't be a problem today. The bad guy knew he was going to jail.

I rolled the bad guy onto his butt and the Sgt. said, “Mr. Victor, it’s been a long time.”

Victor said, “Mike you old sheepdog. You know how it is, can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

Charlie took Victor to my car. I called Comm Center, “Sierra one, Comm, one in custody. I need the wagon for transport. One male in custody, at the intersection, Meadow Avenue and Fence Street.”

I picked up the purse Victor dropped and carried it over to Mrs. Peterson. “Are you going to be ok?” I asked.

“Oh, Officer, thank you! I’m bruised but otherwise I’m OK,” Mrs. Peterson said. “You were right there. It’s good to know our officers are watching out for us.”

“Yes, ma’am,” I responded.

The wagon took Victor away to jail and I went back to patrol.

It was a full moon that lit up the meadow as I found my spot in the grass. Joining in with Mike and Charlie, we let out a howwwwllll.

It’s good to be a sheepdog in our meadow.

Questions for discussion:

What kind of dog is Sierra?  What do sheepdogs do?  What happens to Sierra as he captures the wolf?     What happens to the wolf as Sierra catches him?   Is Sierra a sheepdog or a police officer or both?  Would you like to be a sheepdog?

 ©2012 WDJames All rights reserved. 
         If you liked Sheepdog's Meadow, please check out these stories!                       

If you haven't already done so, click on the title for a free copy of Thirty and Two,  and a sample of  In Another Life! 

And after you finish the sample, don't forget to buy a copy of In Another Life!

Coming soon! A new Short Story!
Rog is getting tips from a very unusual confidential informant! Find out more! Coming soon!

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