The Shepherd Boy and His Playmate

Once upon a time there was a shepherd boy named José who was 7 years old. Every day he would leave home early in the morning to take his sheep to pasture. He would go with them to a canyon where he could keep watch and they could not escape his sight.

On that slope he met another boy and became good friends with him. Every morning, when he would leave home he would take extra food and clothes. One morning his aunt, with whom he lived, realized food and clothing was missing and she asked him: “Who are you taking those clothes and food?” With great joy the boy said, “I am taking it for my friend who plays with me while my sheep are grazing.”

Books you might consider:

Carol Rose,
Giants, Monsters, and Dragons: An Encyclopedia of Folklore, Legend, and Myth (W. W. Norton & Company, 2001)

Catherine Allen,
Foxboy: Intimacy and Aesthetics in Andean Stories (Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture) (University of Texas Press, 2011)

Every morning now José got up early so he could meet up with his friend. He left the house with a smile on his face and that pleased his aunt. The two boys played and played. While they were playing the sheep would procreate and the people of the community began to see that the flock was getting bigger.

José was an orphan boy. He did not have a mother or a father and has lived with his aunt since he was very small. Her curiosity about the friend grew and one day she decided to follow him without him knowing it. She wanted to know who this friend to whom her nephew took food and clothes every day and why he would come home so happy and smiling.

She saw that he left the flock of sheep in the canyon and then climbed up the slope towards a rock in order to play with his friend. The aunt followed him up to the rock and saw her nephew sitting by himself next to the rock with a wooden cross on which there was the face of Jesus. The image was so clear that it amazed her.

José realized suddenly that his aunt had followed him there so she came close and asked, “who do you play with?” José answered, ”with my friend.”

As sunset approached the aunt decided to return home with José and his sheep. Impressed and with out any words, the aunt decided to ask the boy nothing more.

The next day, just like every other day, José went out expecting to play with his friend but he found no one. Sad on not seeing his friend, he stretched out by the rock hoping his friend would come so they could play. From waiting he got tired and fell asleep and did not return home.

It was now dark and his aunt was very worried. She went and got people from the community to go with her to search for José. When they got to the rock where she had seen him playing alone the day before she only found a very fine and soft scarf.

Everyone was worried about the boy who had disappeared without a trace. They continued to look and when they did not find him began to speculate that he must have gone to a better place to play with Jesus Christ.

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