After hours of eating the sweet Meadow grass and laughing and talking with different sheep that he hadn’t seen for almost a year, Timothy began to feel a little overwhelmed. It was only the middle of the afternoon, but the day seemed so long. He wandered over to the edge of the field, and looked back at the festivities, thinking about his experiences. It didn't seem right to be here without Johnny. Or Honey, either. Glad as he was to be home, he felt a great sadness.
I wonder if I’ll ever see Honey again. She called me her boyfriend there at the end. Wow. He felt a tear and wiped it away. I hope no one sees me doing that. But what does that matter now?
Looking up, he saw a strange sheep at the edge of the field he didn't recognize. It was just standing there watching him. Probably just another wool-head who wants to hang out with the star of the party. I really don't want any more of them coming by. He sighed. I don't feel as important as everyone is treating me and I don’t want all the special attention. I should be nice though, he told himself. After all, they are throwing the party for him. Guiltily he wandered over to say hi and see who it was.
When he came closer, he realized there was something different about this sheep, something vaguely wrong. The wool wasn't quite everywhere. It had a brown belly and face. There weren't any spotted sheep he knew of, just solid white and solid black. Then he caught his breath, was it....
“I always wanted to try being a sheep,” a feminine voice said.
A voice he recognized. It was Honey in a sheep skin. “Honey! Is that really you?” Timothy exclaimed.
“I...I think so. It feels strange covered in a skin. Is this how it was for you?”
“Yeah,” he said warming up to the conversation right away. “It took me quite a while to get comfortable in it.”
“I don't think it's tied on right,” Honey complained, trying to look back over her shoulder at herself. Timothy remembered how it felt when Johnny showed up in a skin. This was so similar, and so different.
“Oh, here. Let me help. I'm actually pretty good at these things now. I've had some practice,” Timothy joked. “You know, I am so glad you are here.” But then he worried, “Man, I hope it will be alright.”
Honey looked so afraid that he rushed on, “I’m sure it’ll be alright, Honey. I finally met the Shepherd for the first time in my whole life. Actually, he was pretty nice. And he knew everything about me… about us. I’m sure he already knows you’re here.”
“You…you think so?” Honey asked nervously looking around while he worked on tying her skin. Then she gave him a perplexed look, “Timmm. Is that your real name? What am I supposed to call you?”
He blushed. “My name is Timothy. When we first met, you asked me my name. My real name didn't sound like a wolf's name. So I stuttered out 'Tim-m-m'.” He laughed, “I guess after that it stuck.”
After he had adjusted and tightened her skin, he looked at her with a new worry. “Where did you get the skin?”
“Don't worry,” she hit his shoulder. “I didn't eat another one of your friends. I found it.”
“Found it? Where?”
“Up there in the high end of the Upper Meadows. It was lying on a pile of wood next to a tent. There was no one around the tent, so I helped myself to the skin and... And then, I came looking for you.”
A tent! It was the Shepherd. He did know she was here, and Timothy was sure he had purposefully left that out for her. He smiled then, his worries melting away. It may not be easy fitting her in, but with the Shepherd with me, whom should I fear?
“Honey,” He said lovingly. “I hope I can make it good for you here. I want you to know, I'll try my best.”
“You are so sweet,” she responded warmly touching his cheek.
“I... I love you Honey.” When she was silent, he rushed on, “I know we're different… Well, OK… really different. But, I'm sure that I can be a good mate and partner for you… I mean… if you want to hang around that long.”
“Silly sheep. Didn't Mask warn you? We mate for life.” Her laugh sounded like bells to his ears.
“Wow.” He swallowed. “That's a long time.”
“You won't get tired of me, will you?”
“Get tired of you? I don't dare. If I make you mad, you'll eat me,” he laughed.
“Ohhh, you!” She scolded, but then she laughed with him.
After they tired of laughing, Honey said, “Remember that poem about wolves? There are another few verses to it that I always wanted to tell you. These verses come after what you heard, but before the chorus chant. They go like this,”
“As I lay broke upon the ground
I heard a voice of melodious sound
That called me back from Death’s dark door
And spoke to me of great amour.”
“I opened my eyes, what I did see?
That the love of my life had came to me.
The Moon’s She-Wolf had come to Earth
To bind my wounds and attest my worth.”
“She kissed me in the silver glow
And deep within I felt Life grow.
She whispered to me, ‘Oh Love of mine,
Come live with me for all of time.’”
“For the Love of a Brother Wolf is naught.
Abandoning those who the snare has caught.
But as for your mate, your comely wife,
Her love will say, ‘We mate for Life.’”
Timothy gently said, “You won't be able to do wolf things anymore. You'll have to put those things behind you, or it won’t work out any better here in the Meadows for you than it did up there up on the Mountain for me.”
“I understand,” she assured him. “I'll change, I promise. You know, being a wolf is not all that it’s cracked up to be.”
“Amen”, Timothy said. “Amen.”
The Good Shepherd stood on a hill not far away watching them with a smile on His face. He nodded. “Yes, this is going to work out well. I've found another lost sheep.”
“... 'So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed,
yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken
nor my covenant of peace be removed,' says the Lord
who has compassion on you.”
Isaiah 53:6 NIV