Replete, you admire the view.  Shepherd’s interest in you last night had further warmed you towards him. A familiar heehaw causes you to look down. Sausage’s hooves paw the ground. You can’t call him that!  Saddled he is ready to go.  Refreshed and ready, your rucksack packed, you leave, confident it will arrive at your destination.  On the back of Shepherd’s note, you write your thanks.

The barn’s double doors are open, empty except for the donkey.  Sergi, sounds similar to ‘Sausage’ – the donkey won’t notice. You pat his neck saying ‘Good morning, Sergi. Where are we off to today?”  He nuzzles your neck, but you imagine his eyes have narrowed in suspicion.  Today, without aid, you haul yourself on to Sergi’s back and are off at a trot. There’s the gate Sergi entered last night, further along are Shepherd’s windows fronting the cave.  He and the sheep are nowhere to be seen.

Sergi heads for the tree line far below. Nearer it becomes obvious there’s a stone wall and tarmac road separating you from it.  A distant hum grows.  To open a gate, you dismount, let Sergi through and struggle with the metal loop to secure it.  A blaring horn, tyres skidding and a thud bring your instant attention.  Your mouth opens, your eyes widen!  Sergi is lying in front of a red sports car. You run across the grass verge.  The car reverses allowing you to kneel between Sergi’s legs.  Blood is soaking into his saddle blanket. His eyes are closed.  From deep within you cry out, ‘No!’ “Hold on Sergi.” About to ask the two young men in the car for help they accelerate past shouting abuse. Panic adds to fear. You yell to the sky, “Oh God help me!”

“I lift up my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?  Psalm 121 (AMP Classic)

Who do you turn to when all else fails?

Episode 28