Just look at this! I have the place all to myself. No one crowding me or rushing me. I have the whole night to eat when and where I want, and to rest when and where I want. No pressure to conform and no one to boss me around.

And I don’t think there’s much chance they will catch me. I know how it goes. It’s always hard to keep an accurate count. All it will take is a moment of distraction and he will think he miscounted, and, after a long day out here, I don’t really think he will start another count. He isn’t going to have everyone file back past him just to make sure he isn’t off by one. He’ll just assume I’m there with the rest.

Even if he is convinced the count is off, I doubt he’ll have the energy to come back out and search. Who would watch the others while he was gone?

Even if he does discover it, he can’t prove I did anything on purpose. These things happen you know. It wouldn’t be the first time someone got lost. If he comes out and finds me, I can just act like I was so intent on what I was doing, that I didn’t even notice what had happened. I can relax and enjoy myself.

Isn’t it interesting how much darker it gets away from people? The sky will be beautiful out here. See! There’s the first star of the night….

Kind of surprising how quickly it gets dark out here! Pretty soon it will be too dark to see anything at all. Oh well, I don’t need to see to eat.

What was that!!? I’ve heard them before, but never so close…or when I was alone.

I wonder if the same phenomenon that makes it darker out here makes things louder. That probably explains it…or maybe they are just closer. If so they are pretty close.

I wonder if they need to see to eat. Probably not.

I wonder if he will really be satisfied with the count being off by one.

He usually isn’t. It seems like every few nights we have to file by him two or three times before he is satisfied. That gets irritating. Just when we are ready to get some rest, he is at us to get up and do the whole counting thing again.

But what if he doesn’t even notice the count is off?

Or what if he does and he doesn’t even care.

He always has before, I can’t think of anytime he just ignored the count. I think he will come if he knows…. But he might not even notice.

It’s probably best if he doesn’t notice. If he comes, he would just be upset, he would take everything the wrong way and blame me for what easily could have just been a mistake….

Or maybe he knows and is just leaving me here to teach me a lesson….

Or maybe he will use me to teach everyone else a lesson. I can hear it now, “Remember old whatsisface, too bad what happened to him, make sure you behave or it might happen to you.”

That must be what he is doing, he’ll leave me out here as an example.

A bad example.

They are getting louder every minute. I don’t think its safe out here. I really hope he noticed that the count was off.

What was that!!? I swear they are getting closer.

No…maybe not… It didn’t sound exactly the same…it…it sounded more like someone calling.

It’s him! He’s calling me! He didn’t ignore the count. He didn’t write me off!

I have to get a hold of myself.

Okay, let’s see, I will be standing here munching on the grass. I’ll just pretend I was so intent on what I was doing that I just didn’t notice he had left. That’s it. Ninety-nine of them slipped away unnoticed. I was so intent on what I was doing that I didn’t even notice that it was getting dark. Then, when he gets close I’ll look up as if, “Oh, Is it time to go already?”

I wish he would get closer. He sounds like he is pretty close. I should look up and see where he is.

No, wait! I have to act preoccupied.

He must be able to see me by now. I should show up in this dark field. He should be able to see me. What if he doesn’t? What if he just walks on by?

I’ll just make a little noise so he doesn’t miss me.

I don’t think he heard,

If I don’t let him know where I am, he might leave, but if I start making a racket he’ll know I didn’t lose track of time.

I’ll wait just a bit longer.

Come on, notice me. I know he’s close. He has to know where I am by now.

If I can just be patient he will come and find me peacefully eating.

Just a little longer, he has to notice.

Oh, what am I doing? I don’t care what it looks like, I just don’t want to be alone for a minute longer. He can be angry if he wants, just so he doesn’t leave me. I am going to call out to him.


“How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep,
and one of them be gone astray,
doth he not leave the ninety and nine
and go…and seek that which is gone astray.”
– Jesus

Were you part of the flock until you wandered off,
or have you never known the Good shepherd?
He is close.
Will you abandon your fear filled pride
and call out to him.

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