Children’s Story – The Little Lost Lamb

Judy did not know Bootsie was lost until she went upstairs to get ready for bed. Bootsie was Judy’s favorite doll. Bootsie was a fleecy, little lamb with soft, white wool all over. Every night for several years Judy had tucked Bootsie under the covers beside her and pulled his soft, little body against her cheek before she went to sleep. But tonight she couldn’t find him.

“Mother, have you seen Bootsie?” Judy called down the stairs. “Did you look under the bed?” her mother answered. “He must be somewhere in your room.” But they couldn’t find Bootsie anywhere.

“Judy,” said her mother, “you were up at Mrs. Garland’s house this afternoon playing with Ann. Did you have Bootsie with you?” “Oh, yes, Mother; I believe I did.” “Do you suppose you left Bootsie at Ann’s house?” her mother asked. Judy could not be sure, so her mother phoned Mrs. Garland.

“No,” said Mrs. Garland, “Judy did not leave Bootsie here. I remember distinctly that she had him in her arms as she started home. She also had two story books and her roller skates. It was quite an armful. Do you suppose she dropped him on the way home?”

“Judy,” said her mother, after she had finished talking with Mrs. Garland, “can’t you sleep with one of your other dolls tonight? We will see if we can find Bootsie in the morning.” Just then Judy heard the sound of rain on the roof, and the tears came to her eyes. “Oh, Mother,” she said, “if I lost Bootsie on the way home, then he’s out there in the rain. He’ll get cold and wet. Please let us go find him. I can’t go to sleep without my Bootsie.”

“If you love Bootsie that much, we will go try to find him.” A few minutes later, with raincoats, overshoes, umbrella, and flashlight, they started out in the rain to look for Bootsie. “Judy,” her mother said, “you try to remember exactly which way you walked home from Mrs. Garland’s.”

“I came the short way down the hill through Mrs. Garland’s back yard,” said Judy. So together they walked up the hill in the direction of Mrs. Garland’s house, toward her back yard. About halfway up, beside a rosebush, they found Bootsie. Judy all but cried for joy as she gathered her little lamb into her arms. Back home a few minutes later, she carefully wiped the cold rain from Bootsie with a towel, wrapped him in a nice, warm blanket, then tucked him under the cover in the bed beside her.

The Story of the Good Shepherd – Luke 15:1–7

In the time of Jesus there were many men who made their living by raising sheep.

There were no fences in the pastures, and good grazing land was scarce. Often a shepherd would have to tend his flock many miles away from his home to find grass for his sheep, and sometimes one might fall behind or wander away and be lost from the flock. Each night the sheep were kept in a place called a “fold” – a closed-in space where they would be safe from wolves and robbers.

One day Jesus told the following story to the people who had come together to hear Him teach.

There was once a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One night as he brought them into the fold he missed one. Quickly he counted them again. Yes, there were only ninety-nine.

He started back to hunt for the lost sheep. It was a long journey back to the valley where the sheep had been grazing that afternoon and it was growing dark. Robbers and wild beasts might be lurking along the way. None of these things mattered to the shepherd. He was thinking only of his lost sheep. Could it have fallen into a pit? Perhaps its leg would be broken. He hoped and prayed that the wolves would not find it before he did.

Troubled by these thoughts, he hurried on. Ever so often he would pause, and over the hills his voice would roll, calling his sheep. At last an answer came, a pitiful bleat from the distance in front of him. The shepherd ran the rest of the way, guided by the bleating sounds that became clearer and clearer as he came closer. Yes, the lost sheep had fallen into a pit. Apart from a few scratches from the rocks and briars, it was unharmed.

Gently the shepherd lifted it to his shoulder. All the way back he carried it, his heart bursting with joy and gratitude because he had found it safe and sound. Back home he rubbed oil into the wounds made by the rocks and briars; then he put the rescued sheep into the fold with the others.

However before he went to bed that night, he called in his friends and neighbors to tell them what had happened. “It meant much to me to find my sheep,” he said, “that I wanted you to know about it and share my joy.

Jesus told this story as a lesson that God loves and cares for each one of us as this good shepherd loved and cared for his sheep.

Parables from Nature, by J. Calvin Reid.