Certain Poor Shepherds: A Christmas Tale by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Jonathan Bartlett
A dog, a goat, and their flock follow the sight and scent of a star in a beautifully illustrated, keenly observed Nativity story.
The story begins on a cold upland pasture where coarse grass and scrub cedar grew. The hour was midnight. The day was the first of winter. And the year of our Lord was not 1900 or 1600 or even 100. It was 0. On that night a white goat, Ima, and a huge, gray short-haired sheepdog, Lila, were keeping watch over a small flock of young sheep.
Bright and dazzling, a star appears behind the cedars on the eastern skyline. It is big and powerful, and it has a pure, clean scent, like something halfway between honey and water. Lila, the sheepdog, and Ima, the goat, are compelled to follow the star on a journey to a humble manger in Bethlehem, a journey beset with danger, adventure, and love. In a story alive with insight and grace, best-selling author Elizabeth Scott Thomas brings us a striking portrait of the Nativity story from the captivating point of the view of the animal kingdom.
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas is the best-selling author of The Hidden Life of Dogs and several other successful works about anthropology and animal behavior. Her book on cat behavior, The Tribe of Tiger: Cats and Their Culture, was an international bestseller. She lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
Jonathan Bartlett earned his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. His work has been featured in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Atlantic, among many other venues. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Certain Poor Shepherds: A Christmas Tale 5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
I received this book from a friend for Christmas 1996. Found it in my library recently and re-read this charming and poetic look at the time of the Nativity through the eyes, ears and hearts of two creatures through whose voice we get a new perspective on this Holy Season. it is not for anyone who has a narrow view of the Creation, the role of animals in it or a strict adherence to only biblical text on this subject. If you, in your heart, have a love of animals and the spirit of adventure you will find this small treasure a gift to enjoy and share at every Christmas. It could be read by or read allow to children of any age. The prose is lyrical and the images crisp and either harsh or delicate as the scene dictates. I highly recommend this brief narrative and the other works of this author. A nice contribution to the family library and a great holiday gift for friends and family. Thankful to my friend Rod, who loved this tale enough to share and knew how it would delight my senses.. .
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