Honour of the Shepherd


He seeks little but sustenance, a warm bed, a kind word and a loving touch, but this honourable friend repays these simple favours a thousand fold.

Noble, handsome, intelligent and caring, he looks me in the eye and knows my thoughts.

He loves me unfailingly, unreservedly and eternally.

He trusts me totally and without compromise. He would protect me and mine to the detriment of his own life. His life rests in my hands.

I'm humbled by his love.

His warm brown eyes are a wonder in their own right; trusting, knowing, open and honest.

He shows me his soul through them; happiness, joy, fear, expectation, disappointment and dedication. That I could reflect these emotions to other humans so well; he educates me so.

He's patient, ever watchful, sensing and feeling for emotions, interpreting them as he sees fit; he's rarely wrong. I long to be so perceptive.

Alert as always, even during the slumbering times, sharp hearing seeking to understand and interpret strange sounds, determining whether they warrant a warning or not, his noble head rises from sleep at a distant but unfamiliar sound, soft brown eyes intent, ears and nose seeking threat; he turns and questions, seeks reassurance that all is well, before turning over, sighing deeply, and returning to a slumber of simple dreams.

Until the next time.

He plays like a child; gently, full of fun, simply. No complexities exist for this honest and fine beast; he seeks no subterfuge, deceit or animosity. Throw a stick or a ball, and time without number it will be returned, accompanied by a wagging tail and an expectant and eager look, seeking a repeat performance. He needs but simple pleasures to return an unmatched dedication and commitment.

That we humankind should be so honest, open and faithful, needing so little from life in return for these fine virtues; alas, I think not.

Oh Friend, you humble me so at times; I feel I should aspire to your simple ways and be appreciated thus; alas, mankind works not in such a manner, yet still, I who should be the superior, bow to your wisdom and thank you for showing me your way. Without knowing it, you make me promise to match your honour in return. Thus shall I aspire above my peers in humankind, but more so, show you my love and dedication as you have shown yours to me, and seek to reflect those virtues and wisdom to my kin.

Les Cowan, Edinburgh, November 1997