"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers." - VoltairE

Sheep Thief

Posted by Anne Witton on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 Under: Random stuff



At primary school, we often used to have stories in assembly and there is one in particular that has stuck with me. It was a tale of two brothers in a rural community who once stole some sheep. They were caught and their punishment was to have the letters ‘ST’ for ‘Sheep Thief’ branded onto their foreheads so that everyone would know of their crime and the kind of people they were.

One of the brothers was so ashamed that he ran away to far off lands. Wherever he went, people were suspicious of him and he had to explain why he had these mysterious letters on his forehead. No one trusted him and he died penniless and lonely.

The other brother decided to stay in his community and try and make amends for his wrongdoing. He started lending a hand whenever help was needed. He looked after the sick, visited the lonely and helped in the fields without expecting a reward.

Many years later, a traveller came through the village and noticed an old man sitting on a bench watching the world go by. Everyone who passed greeted him with joy and wanted to be with him. Children ran up to hug him. The traveller was curious and asked a passer-by what the strange letters on the old man’s head meant.

“I’m not sure”, said the villager. “It happened so long ago… but I think they must stand for Saint.”

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