Irish lass dressed in a long green cotton dress. Her head is made from a wooden bead. She has black yarn hair and a white lace scarf. She is holding a lamb made from wool in one arm and a staff made from wire in the other hand. There is another sheep attached to her dress. Both sheep have legs made from pipe cleaners and heads made from felt. Tag: “Bo peep—Hand made in Ireland by Mary Doyl.” To learn more about the Irish culture, read the story.
Main language: Irish, English
Construction: wood wire yarn
Height in Centimeters: 20
Height in Inches: 8
Reading Level: 4.70
It was a moonless night as I sat huddled with my arms wrapped around my knees trying to keep warm. My faithful herding collie, Rae, was sitting next to me. Over the rolling hills of Ireland, I could see the lights of my village, Tipperary. It was my turn to watch the sheep, and I knew how important it was to keep them safe. Without our sheep, my family would have very little to eat, and Máthair (Mother) would not be able to make our clothes without the sheep’s wool.
As Rae stood motionless in the dark, I could hear the sheep milling nervously around. There was something wrong and all of us seemed to sense it. Then Rae quietly growled, his tail dropped between his legs, and his black and white coat stood on edge. Not 20 feet away, two flashing beady eyes glowed in the darkness. I suddenly realized that a mountain wolf was stalking my herd of sheep. Should I give the command for Rae to attack? Should I use my rifle to shoot the hungry wolf? Or should I just wait and see if the wolf just leaves? I placed my hand on Rae and realized that my faithful dog would stand little chance in attacking this killer wolf. My mind raced, trying to figure out what to do.
I knew that if I fired my rifle in the air to frighten off the wolf, the sound would scatter my flock in all directions. Then I might not be able to find them all when the sun rose. Rae stood panting, waiting for my order. Suddenly, I had an idea. Inside my sack was the food that my mother had packed for supper. I quietly reached in the bag and pulled out four cooked mutton chops. I opened up the wrapping and a delicious odor of lamb filled the air. Immediately a growl from the wolf disturbed the quietness. I rose slowly and whispered, “Stop” to Rae. He didn’t move one muscle. I then walked in the opposite direction from where the sheep rested. The killer wolf moved and began to follow me.
I walked quite a distance with the lamb chops in one hand and the rifle in the other. I finally came to a clearing and placed the food on the ground. Still behind me, the wolf also stopped. I could hear it sniff the air as the wind blew the delicious smell towards him. I then circled back to my dog and flock. I glanced back and saw the hungry wolf eating the chops my mother had made for me. I waited until the wolf finished eating and was very relieved as I saw him lick his lips and trot away in the opposite direction.