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Asher was up early again. The sun had just passed the horizon. He had run out the door, watching the pathway for his grandfather to return home.

Asher had been begging his grandfather (he calls him Saba, which is grandfather in Hebrew) for months to go with him to watch over the sheep in the fields through the night.

Saba would tell him that he was not old enough or that he couldn’t take Asher home if he changed his mind and wanted to go back home.

Later, when Asher and Saba were at the table in the morning, his grandmother (he calls her Savta, grandmother in Hebrew) had given him another honey cake, and then she said, "Asher, you are growing; that is your third honey cake this morning!"

"See, Saba I’m getting bigger! Can I please go with you tonight to help with the sheep?" Asher said to him with pleading eyes.

Savta looked at her husband with a nod and smiled. "He could be a help in keeping the little lambs close to the fold."

Saba sat silently for a moment, then responded, "Asher, if I let you go with me, you have to take your heavy robe; it gets cold at night."

Asher said quickly, "I will, Saba; I’ll get it right now!" He started to get up.

"Wait! I wasn’t done, Asher. If you change your mind, I will not bring you back. Do you understand?" Saba said firmly.

“I won’t change my mind, Saba; I promise!” Asher answered.

“Wait, listen! Asher, I wasn’t done,” Saba began again. “You must obey me the first time I tell you something. You can't ask me why. There are many dangers out there and I must know you will listen and obey; it is to keep you safe. Do you understand?” Saba said, looking at him, with a little worry on his face.

“I promise Saba,” Asher said with a smile.

Saba explained to him that he had to sleep for a while. They would leave at sundown. Saba got up and went into his room to rest.

For the rest of the day, Asher was excited that he was finally going with Saba to the field and watch over the sheep.

Savta checked the heavy robe that Asher would need. She mended some seams on the sleeve. Later, she prepared a bundle for them that had food and another blanket.

About midday, Asher waited at the table for his fruit, cheese, and bread. Savta said smiling, “Are you hungry again!”

Asher said to her with a smile, “You told me, I was growing!”

While Asher was eating the plate of food, Savta reminded him, “You understand, going with Saba you are going to learn and work. It is not play time. That is why he has waited until now to take you.”

Popping a few grapes in his mouth, he looked at Savta and said, “I know I’m going to be a helper to Saba. He is going to show me how to be a shepherd."

“But Savta, I have a problem. I don’t have a shepherd’s stick. How am I going to help?” Asher asked with a worried look on his face.

Savta, trying to hide her smile said, “I think that Saba will know what to do.”

For the rest of the afternoon, Asher was constantly going outside to check where the sun was in the sky, waiting for sundown.

Saba, finally, came out of his room, rubbed his beard, then ran his fingers through his hair. Asher came running up to him asking, “Is it time to go? Is it time to leave, Saba?”

It Happened in Bethlehem

SKU: It Happened
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