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.
A discarded, once well-loved story book lies on the dusty floor of a long-abandoned cottage. A breeze ruffles the pages and reveals a brief glimpse of one of the pictures.
For a moment it looks as if something has come loose on one of the pages, or come alive, but that’s not possible, surely?
From the dusty depths of the yellowed pages, a shoot emerges, the shoot of a plant as yet unseen in the human realm.The words of stories long untold feed the shoots of new stories beyond imagination. The leaves of paper transform into the leaves of the plant. As the magic of each story grows and branches out, flowers grown of pure fantasy emerge and bloom.
The story-flower twines itself around furniture, and extends upwards towards the sunlight, where the light glinting on it catches the attention of a robin, the sole observer of the desolate scene.
The robin perches on the window ledge, and looks quizzically at the new flower, then swoops down and picks it, flying off triumphantly with its prize.
The robin flies until it reaches another lonely place, where a small boy sleeps all alone in a house. He knows no stories, as there has been nobody to tell him them. The robin drops the flower by his head, and as he sleeps, stories fill his dreams and grow in the rich soil of his imagination.
Back in the lonely cottage, the story-plant withers and dies, the words of dusty stories returning to the ground, safe in the knowledge that the seeds of new stories were growing and alive for the future.