Updated on September 7, 2015
I was resting against the stone wall in the shade of the old oak, three of the lambs curled beside me when I heard the noise. The jingle of harnesses, the clomp of hooves, and the unmistakable sound of wagon wheels on the rutted road. It had been a while since a wagon had come our way.
Perhaps the Lord of the manor was back from Londontown. It wouldn’t do to have him find me sleeping with the sheep when there was work to be done.
I waited until the wagon passed to poke my head above the wall. My unruly hair fell forward across my face. Pushing it back to the side, I tamed it with the tattered straw hat my aunt had made for me when I was small. It was time for a new one.
It wasn’t the Lord’s coach, at all. I rubbed my eyes to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. It was a bright orange wagon with a green door and trim around the windows. It had an arched roof decorated with flapping flags. A man wearing a short, colorful cape with tassels drove the team of grey horses.
I hopped up and whistled for Sheep. He looked up from the flock on the other side of the pasture and then bolted toward me.
“Come on, boy.” We hopped over the wall, leaving our flock behind, and trotted along beside the wagon.
“Hello, there,” the man looked down at me and doffed his hat. “You must be the welcoming committee. Whom do I have the pleasure of addressing?”
“What’s your name, boy? Name.”
“Peter, who do I have to befriend to settle my wagon and entertain the town for a fortnight?”
“Oh, this isn’t a town, sir, barely a village. A hamlet is more like it.”
“Well then may only stay a few days. But, you’re missing the point.”
“Who gets the purse so that I can tell some stories and make a living here?”
“Ooh, that’d be old Perkins I suppose. Never heard of no one charging money to tell a story before.”
“That’s because you never heard a real good story, I’ll wager.”