Once upon a time, she was Mary who had the little lamb, innocent in her white frilly dress, shepherding her lambs to safety and protecting them. She spent days walking after those sheep, leading them to green pastures that kept them healthy and going, living the most pleasurable life a sheep could possibly live. She spent nights, late up, tending to their wounds when they got bitten by the big bad wolf, she believed in prayer and she used that alongside the gift of science to restore them to a state of soundness.
It brought her happiness to see them grow all that white cloud of fluffiness that protected them in the winter days. She wasn’t one to ever think of shearing it off as she had been many a time told to do. People thought she was crazy to take such good care of the sheep without getting anything in return. Barking mad they called her.
But why was it so wrong to take care of someone or something just for the sole profit of contentment their comfort and joyfulness brought?
Many winters and summers passed by and their wool grew fluffier, whiter and curled into itself until she was sure she could amass a fortune from shearing it all off and selling it. But her heart always ached at the thought of having them lose the source of comfort, warmth and security their wool provided them. She grew older, and Mary began to lose strength in her knees and her sight grew bleary. She still took her herd of sheep out everyday to feed on greens, but now her frail, weak body did not permit her taking them afar to the greener and more fertile lands that she’d spent all her life flocking them to.
All what her knees could afford to support was a journey from her house to the barn beside it and back each day.
She was almost blind now, having to find her way to the barn by grasping onto the rope that she’d tied between the barn’s fencepost and her porch.
However, she was still capable of identifying that her sheep were disappearing one after the other.
She didn’t need her sight to realize that the chorus of bleats that greeted her each time she opened the barn door each morning was growing softer and softer.
She didn’t need a scientist to work out the math that proved that her dear sheep were deserting their home and were deserting her for the greener pastures she could no longer afford to shepherd them to.
Her sheep no longer needed a shepherd, and at this realization, she opened the doors of the barn wider and sinking into the silky hay, closing her eyes and resting her throbbing wobbly knees, she heard the hurried pattering of cloven hooves of the remainder of her sheep, making it out of the barn, not a sound to indicate a pause in which they looked back at Mary.
Had they known how easy it is for the human nature to be selfish towards creatures such as themselves, they may have at least paused to reflect on the selflessness of this one human being.