Aisha’s Egypt: Little Shepherd Boy

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“Grab the camera, the sheep are coming!”
This is a wonder to behold. You can never underestimate the captivating power of a passing flock of sheep.
Well, maybe you could, but not me!
Especially if they are herded by an adorable little boy taking his duty so seriously.
You can see it in his face, the way he lightly flicks his stick to contol his herd’s advance.

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You can see it in his lively step, ready to switch his stick at any eager sheep trying to jump beyond his reach.

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Can you spot the ram, there in the middle, with his incredible, twisting horns?

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Can you see the difference in the sheeps’ bodies?
Some of these sheep still have very long, soft wool from the winter, which was not quite over yet when I took this picture. Some have lately been shorn, though, and you can see their bodies still have the nappy look of the razor’s path.
I like the way the photo shows the difference in texture between the two.

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Mostly, I like to watch the little boy, though.
As a tourist, he delights me. As a foriegner, he fascinates me.
But, as a mother, he haunts me and compassion for him floods my soul.
He marches ever onward through the dusty, muddy byways, on a route that swallows village after village
in a neverending quest for forage.

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A pile of discarded prunings, a bright patch of wayward clover,
a newly plowed field if they are lucky and receive permission from the owner.
He guides the search for anything edible, standing taller than his years, marching proudly at the head of his army,
carrying his responsibilities squarely on his shoulders.


Linking up with Jim and Corrine from Reflections Enroute for their Weekend Travel Inspiration -Develop a Sympathy. Jim and Corrine are excellent travelers and bloggers, and I totally enjoy and recommend their travelblog! Of course, just because Jim’s my brother doesn’t make me very partial… ok, maybe a little! ♥♥♥ ;^)
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;^)

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33 thoughts on “Aisha’s Egypt: Little Shepherd Boy

  1. Pingback: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Texture | Nola Roots, Texas Heart

    • Thanks! I have so many photos of the sheep flocks passing by here, I never get tired of photographing them, but this group was definitely my fav so far, thanks again!

  2. well I am not sure if I have ever seen a modern day shepherd boy – so I really appreciated this – and wow, this was so well written:

    “As a tourist, he delights me. As a foriegner, he fascinates me.
    But, as a mother, he haunts me and compassion for him floods my soul.”

    great down angles too!
    ~y.

  3. A wonderful post as you capture not only the movement of the sheep and texture of their fleece, but the movement and the journey of the shepherd boy.. One can feel his pride in his flock, his responsibility and his expertise.. You then take us deeper as your Mother instincts kick in to wonder about the boys life and his journey within it… So the photo’s take us to the images not shown.. The time spent upon the mountain or hillside as he sits with his sheep,, or further along once he has got home.. what is life like there?
    Wonderful post I enjoyed its pictorial journey and the images of imagination…

    Blessings as you have a gift here upon your blog to communicate that.. 🙂
    Sue

  4. Your photos are really wonderful, and your compassionate words about this little boy who has to be older than his years, brought a lump to my throat. I just wanted to hug him and tell him he’s doing a great job. 🙂

  5. I enjoyed the photos a lot as I’ve been reading M.L. Ryder’s “Sheep and Man” which traces the history of sheep from domestication 10,000 years ago to present. Since the Middle East has been such an important piece of sheep history it’s interesting to see things today as they have been for thousands of years.

    I too enjoyed your comment: “Mostly, I like to watch the little boy, though.
    As a tourist, he delights me. As a foriegner, he fascinates me.
    But, as a mother, he haunts me and compassion for him floods my soul.
    He marches ever onward through the dusty, muddy byways, on a route that swallows village after village
    in a neverending quest for forage.”

    Shepherding isn’t easy and you caught the essence of the life.

    • Such a beautiful comment, thank you very much, Gail! It’s really wonderful of you to visit! I too am fascinated with the ancient relationship of man and sheep.

      Sheep are incredibly interesting animals if one has the opportunity to live with them. My husband and I raised them, among other small animals and poultry, in SC. I dont know if this is covered in Ryder’s book, but my own observation and hypothesizing leads me to believe it was sheep who taught humans to farm the land.

      We know from ancient egyptian art that flocks of sheep were used in ancient times to press the seeds down in the soil after the farmer sowed the seeds, by following behind the farmer as he sowed, but anyone who ever grazed his sheep probably figured out that the grains his sheep were eating in one place, sprouted in other places after his sheep had passed undigested seeds in their poop… any observant shepherd might learn to put a seed in the ground himself after that, know what I mean?!

      I could easily be way off on this, but after having grazed our sheep for a few years on our land, our soil became both incredibly fertile and rich in variety of grasses, since we supplemented their free ranging with hay we bought by the bales, and a rich mixture of corn, millet, wheat and sweetfeed. It all ended up sprouting in our land after the first year!

      I’ve thought about this alot since then, and read about the domestication of grain in the “fertile crescent,” leading the nomadic people to become stable and leading to the growth of villages… I think the sheep played a huge role in this, don’t you?

      Thanks again for the excellent comment, Gail, I qreally appreciate your visit! ♥♥♥ ; ^)

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