The Second Story

The Shepherd


As you know, the eastern and western borders of the little kingdom of Vàldovar are marked by great mountains so tall that their peaks are covered in snow all year round.
   On the lower slopes of the Eastern Mountains lies the beautiful Province of Estberg. There, streams of sparkling water run from the high mountains, between the grassy slopes of hills that in spring and summer are covered with a rich profusion of wild flowers of every imaginable colour. Upon these hills graze the Estberg sheep, which produce a wonderfully soft fleece of the purest white. The sheep spend all spring, summer and autumn on the hills.
    When the first snows of winter begin to fall, the shepherds and shepherdesses go to the hills and ring tiny golden bells to call the sheep, which they then lead down into the valleys where they can be kept warm and safe until the following spring. As they do so, the shepherdesses sing a song, and their pretty voices echo from hill to hill. This is the song they sing:

On Estberg’s lofty slopes
Where perfumed blossoms blow,
There graze the fleecy sheep,
’Til falls the drifting snow.


As Autumn gold
Turns Winter cold,
The gentle sheep all know –
No more to roam,
They must come home
To valleys far below. ...