Here is a Christmas Story written by a good man.
He writes under the handle of ‘Old Mack’.
Mack’s original story won the Christmas 2006 Writing Competition sponsored at the craigslist writer’s forum.
The Nativity from a Shepherd’s Point of View
By Ron McKinney © 10-9-2002
Jeremiah and his nine year old son Jason were exhausted, hungry and cold, after driving their flock of sheep all the way from the forests of Phœnicia to the hills of
Judea. Though their journey was but 120 miles, it had taken months of long, weary days in all weathers.”Can’t we stop and spend the night here, daddy?” Jason asked. Jerimiah, now in his fiftieth year, said: “Yes my son. Have your dingo round up the sheep while I gather camel dung for our fire. Slay a lamb, and bring it here.” Jason bedded their flock near a spring, killed and skinned the lamb with fleece the color of gold. His dog dined on the blood and offal.Jason returned to the knoll, presented the golden fleece to his father. Jeremiah built a fire on the hillside. Jason skewered the carcass on a pole and they roasted it. “We may have to use this fleece to barter with the Jews in
Bethlehem. I wish there was a hot spring here in which to bathe and relax. Every muscle in my body aches.” Jeremiah complained. The roasted lamb satisfied their hunger and spring water slaked their thirst. Jeremiah felt a keen sense of pride. His boy was obedient, worked hard and never complained, but these past few months on the trail, he had been repeating rumors he’d heard about a nomadic Chaldean claiming to be a prophet.
Some fellow called John was dunking fools in water, brain washing them with messianic notions. Jason told the tales well. Perhaps he would become a tribal story teller, the most valued member of their clan. Reclining on their fleeces on knoll, a chilly wind blew through the
Sorek. Father and son huddled in their robes and skins, gazing at the myriad stars in the black dome of the sky. Jason knew the seasons and navigated by the stars. He reminded his father that this was Winter Solstice.
“Ahura Mazda has bestowed on us a glorious night. In less than a month we shall be camped on the shore of the
Dead Sea where our flock will grow fat and multiply.” Jeremiah replied.From their bed on the eastern slope they fancied they could almost see their destination, a mere four leagues east of
Bethlehem, down the Wadi at Taãmirah. If only we can avoid the camps of the invaders, Jeremiah thought. Just then a supernova exploded in the sky above their destination, making the landscape bright as day. The light roused their sheep. They bleated, milling in panic. The dingo howled stampeding the sheep. Jeremiah and Jason hastily crammed fleeces into their packs and ran after the flock. Jason tapped his dog with his crook to get it moving. The flock, the dog and Jason raced toward the bright star in the sky. Thus they arrived in
Bethlehem.They penned their flock near a manger where several rich camel jocks were lavishing gifts on a newborn Jew lying in the straw. Ahura Mazda, the light of the world, shone brightly on this tableau. Jason ran to the shed to see the show. Jerimiah asked a magician the price of admission. The magi rudely snatched the Golden Fleece from his hands and placed it over the infant. The lady who’d born the child, still sobbing, said: “Now, you scroungy heathen kneel before your King.”
But the bright star burned out. Jerimiah, Jason and the rest of the crowd were left in the dark, wondering what in the name of Ahura Mazda they had just witnessed.
More oldmack stories are available for reading at