Deception

Once upon a time, there was a flock of sheep. This motley group had many individuals who wanted to be the shepherd. Each had their own idea of how to spend a fine spring day. “Follow me!” they bleated arguing with one another. “I know the way to the good grass, the deep water. Follow me!”

One day, the shepherd hovering over the flock decided to teach his sheep a lesson. “I know what they want to do,” he said to himself. “I will allow them to do it. Then they will see that I am the Good Shepherd. That my ways are right. That my way is the only safe way!.” And so the Good Shepherd sat down behind a rock, where his sheep could not see him. He turned his back on the sheep and left them to their own devices.

“Let’s go,” Sherry Sheep said. “Let’s get out of this boring place.”

“No, Sherry,” said Dull Dale. “We should stay with the shepherd. He wouldn’t want us to leave him.”

But the sheep would not listen to Dull Dale. Instead, they followed blindly as Sherry led them out of the pasture, and through the woods to a dark pond. The sky darkened as black clouds covered the sun. The wind began to blow, and the sheep grew cold in spite of their thick white coats.

“Drink here,” Sherry said, pointing with her face to the dark pond at her hooves.

“But the water is not clear and clean, like the stream in our pasture,” said one rather unimaginative sheep. “Maybe we should go back!”

“Silly sheep,” Sherry replied. “We don’t need clean, clear water. This water is just as good. You’ll see. Drink.”

And so, one by one, the sheep lowered their mouths to the pond.

Moments later, one of the sheep lifted her face, looked at Sherry and said, “My goodness. Sherry, your coat is no longer white and fluffy. In fact, your coat is black and the hair is not curly.”

“And your snout is growing longer,” said another.

“And your teeth are turning into fangs!” said Tommy Tearful.

“In fact,” said Samantha, “You look a lot like a wolf!”

And she was right. All the sheep who drank from the pond no longer looked like sheep. Instead, they now looked like a pack of wolves.

“Forget that,” growled Tommy. “Let’s get some food.”

“I have an appetite for Mutton,” said Sherry. “Let’s go look for some dinner.” She led the other wolves back toward the Good Shepherd’s pasture. “Finally, we can have real meat for dinner!”

As they approached the pasture, Sherry said, “Let’s get Dull Dale! We can seperate him from the rest of the sheep and then attack! He will make a great dinner!”

“But what about the Shepherd?” asked Samantha.

“He isn’t watching,” Sherry growled.

And so together the stubborn group of “sheep/wolves” snuck back into the pasture. With stealth and silence, they surrounded poor Dull Dale. Then with cunning, they moved him away from the Shepherd and killed him. Together, they made a tasty meal of old Dale.

“What have you done?” shouted the Good Shepherd, running toward the sheep. “Why have you killed my beloved Dale, and eaten him for your dinner?”

“What do mean?” Sherry said. “We were only acting as a flock. You are always wanting to act in unity!”

“Flocks don’t eat their members.”

“Eat? We didn’t eat anyone!”

“Why do you have blood on your snouts? Why is Dale’s body lying lifeless here?”

“We didn’t do anything!” They objected in unison.

And the angry but Very Good Shepherd chased all of them out of the pasture. As the last sheep went out, the Good Shepherd placed a tall fence between the sheep and the pasture. “You evil sheep have turned into wolves. And now you will not be allowed in my pasture ever again. Healthy sheep follow their shepherd. If you will not follow me, you will not live in this place of blessing. You have chosen.”

“Now, be gone!” He turned his back on them and returned to the pasture of blessing.

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