Sheep’s-eye Nativity

Mikey was a lamb. Not just any lamb, Mikey was the eldest, the first lamb of the entire flock. He was special, and he knew it. His mother had told him that one day he would go to the temple, to make right all the wrong things and keep the flock safe. Mikey didn’t know how that worked, but he was proud to be the one who would help everyone else. As the first born lamb, he got to sit with the shepherds by the fire, he liked to listen to them, even though he couldn’t understand their human talk. One evening, sitting warm in the firelight, Mikey noticed something very unusual. One of the stars started to grow, as he watched it grew into an angel. The angel spoke to the shepherds, then the sky was filled with angels, singing the most beautiful song Mikey ever heard. When the music ended, the shepherds picked Mikey up, and carried him away from the flock to the town.  Mikey was confused, as the shepherds had never left the flock before, not for anything! Something very important must have happened. They carried Mikey past the palace, past the houses of noblemen, through the back streets to a dark room. Mikey smelt animals, and a new smell, the smell of a baby human. Mikey’s eyes adjusted to the light, and he saw a man and a woman, he wondered where the baby human was. Mikey was hungry, he stretched out his neck to nibble some hay from a nearby feeding-box, and was surprised to see the baby lying on the hay, wrapped in strips of cloth. As the baby looked at Mikey, an understanding filled him, without words he knew that this baby was like him, the first born, the leader of a new flock. Mikey also knew that, like him, this baby would make right all the wrongs of his flock, to keep them safe. The baby was called Jesus, and he grew up to call himself “the Good Shepherd”, perhaps he remembered his early meeting with Mikey, the special lamb.