Historical setting: 6th Century C.E. Somewhere in the Pyrenees
Our rain-soaked cloaks are nearly dry this morning, but now our tarp is ripped and muddied, flattened into the soft earth with the hooves of many sheep trampling across it. And we seem to have made another shepherd angry with our insensitive intrusion unto his traditional pathway for sheep.
The shepherd passes by us muttering curses to pagan Roman gods. At least we know he speaks the vernacular. We’d hoped to find a person somewhere soon to make us trades and give us a night of shelter but we don’t seem to make friends easily in this way we’ve found. It’s as though all we are doing is plundering the middles of murmurs of sheep.
“So Laz,” Nic starts with his teasing tone, “You were going to tell me all about the time when you and Jesus ventured off to meet some shepherds.”
“We were kids.”
“Sure, but I’d have thought with all your ancient wisdom and experience around sheep you could offer us some useful guidance for avoiding these mistakes.”
“Well, really, we didn’t learn much back then about shepherding. We were of an age when simply seeing sheep and shepherds empowered us with attitudes of already knowing everything.”
Now we heap our muddy things onto the horses and ride back over the same sheep trail we followed yesterday through this pass. Our hopes are of finding a source of human hospitality or at least a trade of useful grain for our two tiny furs. The ermine might have enough worth to feed us for a few days. I don’t suppose the rabbit skin to be of much value.
This path will probably take us to the daytime pastures for these sheep. We are learning a few things of the patterns here, or at least we thought we were. We’ve caught up with the sheep and the shepherd now as they ford the creek we were following onto a path we hadn’t noticed when we came this way in the rain yesterday on the other side of the river. This path forks into a gated enclosure for the sheep to the left, and the right fork heads into a larger yard with several round thatched houses and a couple of open-sided shelters for the beasts. That seems it would be a better to take that path since we have already riled that shepherd.