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The Shepherd

The Shepherd by Berwick Coates

The Shepherd

While we  wos in the fiwlds one nigh’

Awl seated on the grahnd,

This bloke come dahn from aht the sky

An` spread `is wings arahnd.

‘Nah, don`t be frigh`,’ `e said.  We said,

‘You scared us `arf ta deff!’

`E said, ‘I`ve gotta bitta noos

`F ya let me draw me breff.

There`s this kid wot`s bin bawn, ya see.’

We said. ‘That`s nuffin odd.’

‘E said, ‘This one is.’  We said, ‘ `Ow?’

‘E said, ‘It`s. . . .  sort of. . . . God.’

We laughed an` we said, ‘Get away!

We`re stayin` where we are.’

`E pointed upwoods in the sky,

An` said, ‘Ya see that star?

Nah follow it as far as tahn,

Ta that pub by the square.

That stable by the public bar –

You`ll find the kid in there.’

‘Ah, flap yer wings an` fly away,’

We said.  `E said, ‘There`s mawer:

You`ll find `im bandaged up in clorth,

An` lyin` in the straw.’

Then – may I never move – we saw

A very funny thing:

Awl these uvver blokes arrived,

An` they awl began ta sing.

Right funny stuff, it was, an` all –

`Bout God . . . . an` peace on earth.

They chorused an` they  `armonised

For awl that they was worth.

Then – jus` like that – they awl was gorn.

It didn`t arf sahnd stiwl.

So, sheepish-like – ta coin a phrase –

We trooped orf dahn the `ill.

Well, we couldn`t sit there after that.

I mean ta say, could you?

We went ta look for this `ere kid.

There was nuffin` else ta do.

We fahnd the stable sure enough,

Wiv the star righ` over`ead.

This kid wos lyin` in the straw

Jus` like the angel said.

`E didn`t look like God ta me.

Then `oo am I to know?

But I`ll tewl ya this – it made a change

From sittin` in the snow.

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