New stories, new songs, finding enough time to rehearse – there hardly seems enough hours in the day. Not that I’m complaining. I always look forward to sharing my stories with new audiences.
One of our upcoming shows will be at Chartwell Ridgepoint on Thursday, December 4 where they will be kicking off their SOCKS FOR YOUR SOUL campaign. What a great idea – audience members can donate new socks which will be distributed to those in need through the New Life Mission on Kamloops. Well done Tracey Thacker for coming up with such a great idea.
I have also been asked to take part in a couple of other very interesting projects. For the next two weeks I’m going to be in the recording studio doing voice overs for a book about an old bushman and a children’s CD all about teapot pirates. Both projects sound like they are going to be a lot of fun … especially for someone like me who may have gotten older but never actually grew up.
The way the days keep flying by it won’t be long before it will be Christmas. Speaking of which, we have a number of special Christmas concerts coming up as well as our annual Seniors Christmas Tour. I love doing Christmas shows. I don’t even mind singing Christmas carols. I just hope I don’t have to wear antlers again this year.
Here’s one of this year’s Christmas stories.
McMurty’s Christmas Goose
“If you love someone hold them close
and tell them you love them so.
Yes, if you love someone
hold them close and never let them go.”
Robert McMurtry stood looking out over his pastures.
Before him lay more acres of land than any one man could ever need.
He began walking the fence line … looking for sheep that may have separated from the herd. With him was Mac, a mean and miserable looking old border collie-cross. Mac disliked all other dogs, barely tolerated people, and was seldom far from McMurtry’s side.
McMurtry was a solitary sort, a sheep farmer who kept to himself and spoke to few. Somewhere along the line he had come to the conclusion that if you spend enough time in the company of a good dog you don’t need to spend nearly so much time around people.
A light snow started to fall. It was Christmas eve morning … a fact that had not escaped McMurtry’s thoughts. However, Robert McMurtry had come to know loneliness in a way that few men have.
McMurtry stopped. He stood there looking out into the distance … beyond the pastures and his property line … past the hills that stretched out beyond the purple grey horizon … to a time and place somewhere long ago. He did not notice the snow was coming down harder.
He had not notice that Mac had already turned the sheep from the pasture toward the barns. Nor had he noticed the pair of Canada geese that were pecking at the thin crust of snow on the edge of a small pond. With the sheep now heading toward the shelter of the barn, Mac turned – dutifully – to his master who still stood looking out into the distance. An impatient bark jarred McMurtry from his thoughts … his mind’s eye began to focus on the pond before him.
McMurtry was suddenly – for the first time – aware of the two geese. He could not help but wonder why they had not flown south with all the other geese that had honked their way across the skies last autumn.
He gave them but a moments thought and then headed for the barn.
When the two geese showed up in the yard a while later, McMurtry was, to say the very least, somewhat surprised if not a little amused. Must have followed him in, he thought. He could see their footprints in the snow. They had walked the whole way.
He was, however, less amused when he noticed the female’s damaged wing. At some point she had been wounded – shot. The flight feathers were fine, but the wound appeared to have healed over in a way that rendered the bird flightless. McMurtry scoffed to himself. He had nothing against hunters, just against stupid ones.
What really got him, though, was the fact that the gander appeared quite capable of flight. It had apparently chosen to remain with its mate.
When the pair followed him into the barn, McMurtry laid out several bails of alfalfa for the sheep,
and then, threw down a pail of seed for the chickens. The geese were quick to respond. Two more mouths to feed won’t matter that much, he thought to himself.
And so, on a cold and snowy Christmas eve, Robert McMurtry found himself wishing a “Merry Christmas” to two of God’s creatures that cared more for each other than a lot of people do.