Friday 23 May 2014

Guest writer Lockie Young. The Lone Shepard.

This is Lockie Young's third visit to the Scribbler. You will be hearing more from this talented writer as he wraps up the sequel to his YA novel, Ryan's Legend. Watch for it at Morning Rain Publishing. His website is posted below.
The Lone Shepard
A long, long time ago in a far away land there lived a young shepherd boy named Ewan. Now Ewan was a good boy, who lived with his grandparents in the hills just east of the Stone Wood. He tended his sheep and was very diligent, as there were many wolves in the hills. The wolves lived in the Stone Wood, which was rumored to be haunted. The wolves would venture into the hills and kill the sheep, if not for the very brave boy who protected them. Now you may ask, how can a mere boy defend against a pack of wolves? The answer may astound you. You see even though Ewan was just a boy, he had in his possession a very strange weapon indeed. It had saved his life many times, and the lives of the flock he protected.

One day, one of the sheep wandered away from the hill, where the flock was grazing. Ewan, who kept a very keen eye on his precious flock, noticed the number of sheep was down by one, and as he gazed off in the distance, toward the meadow that gently sloped toward the Stone Wood, he saw his quarry.  He noticed the faintest of white disappear into the haunted forest. Gathering all his courage, Ewan rushed to save the poor woolly creature from a certain death, should the animal venture too deep into the place where only Devils and Trolls dared to go.

At the edge of the great forest, Ewan stopped to gather his breath, and his courage, before venturing forth into the unknown, for neither he nor any of his kin had ever set foot into the Stone Wood. Oh he knew full well the possible consequences of such a foolhardy quest, for it was told and retold many times around the open fire pits late at night, when the shadows were long and fear was ripe. No one ever returned from that unholy place.

Ewan gulped down his fear, and tramped it deep into his soul, as he ventured into the dark, dank foliage. The leaves were so thick; the sunlight did not penetrate such gloom. There was even a bitter stench, that left its acid mark on the poor shepherd’s tongue. With eyes big and round as saucers the brave little boy headed further into the wood. All at once, off to his left, he heard the scared bleating of a sheep. He followed the sound and soon he saw the poor trapped animal. It had wandered into a bramble so thick, it could neither go forward nor backward. It was so scared, and so pitiful, that the boy ran instinctually to its rescue. Without a thought for his own safety, Ewan carefully and skillfully removed the thorny sticks and twigs that stuck fast to the thick woolen coat. Soon he had freed the desperate young sheep from its trap and in shepherd fashion, slung the young lamp around his shoulders, and carried on his trek out of the forest. Before too long he saw sunlight shinning through the leaves and knew he had finally, once again, reached the edge of the Stone Wood. With jubilant heart the young boy ran the rest of the way, and once well into the meadow, he set his rescued lamb back down to earth. But before he let the creature go, he noticed a rather stout stick sticking out of the thick wool. He wiggled and pulled the stick free, and upon closer inspection, he saw that it was a very strange looking stick indeed. It wasn’t exactly crocked as it was curved. The wood was rock hard and hollow. What a fine whistle this stick will make he thought, as he stashed his prize into the pocket of his frock.

The sun rose high in the noon day sky, and the hill side was quiet, as the lazy sheep grazed on the rich grasses there. Ewan took the strange curved stick from his pocket and began to look at it more closely. He blew into one end and a low tone emitted from the other end and he knew at once it was as he expected. The stick was indeed hollow. He decided to try and make a hole in the strange, almost polished wood, so he took out his knife and began doing just that. His sturdy blade easily cut into the wood, and after each hole he made, he would try his whistle. Soon he discovered that he could make musical notes, and he decided his whistle was not a whistle at all, but was turning into a beautiful flute. As he played he noticed the sheep laying down as if to bed, and the more he played the quieter it got until the only sound was the magical notes from the flute. Soon everything around him was fast asleep. Even the birds were nestled in the trees with their heads tucked neatly under wing.

It was then, on a hill side long, long ago that a young shepherd knew he had an enchanted flute. Oh this was indeed a glorious day, for the young boy realized that he could also use his magical flute as weapon against the many animals that threatened his flock. He would never have to worry again if his sturdy staff would be enough against the hungry snarls of the wolf pack. He would never again fear anything, as long as he could play his magical flute.

Ewan played his flute for hours, practicing different songs, and different tones. And the gentle breezes carried the magical tunes past the meadow and into the town. It carried the tunes into the Stone Forest and beyond, into the city, and long before the sun set that day, not a soul was awake, but for one lonely shepherd, one brave and very lonely shepherd.

Thanks for the story Lockie.You can keep up with Lockie at

Next week, join me for the monthly 4Q Interview when we have 4 questions for Christian Brun, a poet, artist and seasoned traveler. An interesting guy!

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