The Shepherd Boy
He rose to meet the morning sun
From his bed made of winter hay
Another day of work not play
Was written in his book of life.
Muck out the horses at crack of dawn
Milk the cows right afterwards …
Gather the eggs and take them in
For his master’s breakfast table.
Foundling, he lived out in the barn
He ate the scraps his master left,
Took the sheep out to the lawn
He’d never known another life.
One day as he lay out in the grass
He saw a fair damsel coming near
With flowing tresses and bright smile
She pulled up her horse to talk.
“Oh shepherd, bring to me some water
For I’m so thirsty I could swoon!”
He ran to the brook with his own cup
And brought to her the refreshing drink.
“Now shepherd tell me what is your name
For I wish to remember your gentleness!”
“I know not what my name may be,
My master just calls me bastard or kid!”
He was fair, his eyes vivid sky blue,
As tall and thin as a willow tree,
His kindness and soft-spoken ways
Touched the heart of the lady fair.
The lady sent her agents thence
To the master to make enquiries
Of the babe that he’d found out near his fence
Many long years before.
” ‘Twas spring and the laddy was asleep
Near the fence out with the sheep
I took him in, gave him a home
In my barn where he still sleeps anon.”
“I know nothing of his family,
He was about three when I found him
No one has come to look for him
But he had this pin upon his breast!”
The agent looked upon the pin,
His eyes opened wide as he looked at it,
For the symbol of the pin he knew well,
‘Twas the stem of his master’s clan.
Excited he rode to the castle near,
Where his master’s family were visiting.
He met his lord and told the tale,
Of the young man found out on a dale.
The damsel with her father flew,
Upon their horses out to the fields,
To meet the poor gentle shepherd boy
Whom the lady had met the day before.
Alas the story is quickly told
Upon an evening many years ago
A brigand had seen the lad in the grass
And had carried him away for gold.
The master of the Owen clan
Had an envious brother, Joss,
Who wished to remove his brother’s heir
Kill his brother and usurp his throne.
Brother Joss usurper failed his goal,
Losing his life in the battle hence…
But the lad was lost or so they thought
Until the maiden had asked for water.
She and he were of the same age,
Her twin had been the lad carried off.
The lord looked on the lad and smiled
At last he recognized his long-lost son.
“Lad, now come you with me, verily,
You are my lost son stolen long ago …
You’ll return today into my home
Which is where you were meant to be!”
The farmer looked upon the scene
Thinking of problems he’d now to face:
Who’d muck the horses at the crack of dawn
Who’d bring to him his breakfast eggs.
Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menarerie – Fairy Tale Prompt #11