... 13 like sheep and lambs that a little shepherd had when I met him.
It was Christmas. I was returning my home, tired but satisfied. I delivered all my presents. All except one. There was no way to find that little boy. I remember him well. He lived in Naples when I had seen him for the first time. At first I was surprised he didn't attend school. And then I realized why. He spent his time guarding the entrance of a park.
He warned some shady characters with a slight whistle when police was approaching. Oh, yes you have understood perfectly. He worked for mafia. Young as he was he has already taken the wrong path of life. Disguised as a janitor in the end I was able to convince him to go back to school. Then who knows what may have happened. It was enough to distract me for a moment and take care of someone else ... he was no longer in Naples. I had not seen him since that Christmas. He may have been confused among adults to escape to my research.
But back to our little shepherd now.
I had noticed him from my sled in the sky. He was counting his sheep. One, two, three ... eleven. Twelve? ... a lamb was missing. The little shepherd was beginning to get nervous. It was evident. He was turning around his sheep making wider and wider circles. His technique could be good. Seeking missing lamb and watching all the others closely. His sheep had to be really valuable for him.
I said to my reindeers not to make a sound. So I was able to approach as much as possible. From the sky I could see well what he was looking for. A lamb that was immobilized in front of the sharp teeth of a wolf. Oh damn these wolves! And how many were there? Then I looked better. That was not a wolf but a dog. One of the many stray dogs that, at that time, demanded its meal. The lamb was an easy prey but it was easy for me to draw this little creature out of trouble. I did make a gust of cold wind that swallowed the dog and sent him away. A faint bleat came out from the lamb finally but it was enough to be heard by the ears of the little shepherd. In one bound he was beside it. He lifted it up and brought it back to his herd.
I could almost hear his satisfied sigh. I saw his little, round face, all brightened. I have lost nothing - he seemed to say. Because you have to know, dear children, that the shepherd was a child, just like you. Who knows what adventures took him to guard sheep in the cold rather than stay warm in his bed counting the hours to open Christmas presents?
Ah the Christmas gifts ... maybe I could deliver the last package. In the end I had chosen a gift for the child of Naples that could have been ok for the poor shepherd too. Gift never seemed more appropriate to me.
I waited until he fell asleep and then I put the package near his head. What a surprise he would have had a little later ... yeah but how curious you're. I'll tell you what was in the package on December 25. My promise!
By the way, we are Italians, to translate better the stories. Thank you :))