the Master had to leave and go far away to his father. before he went on his journey, the Master instructed the shepherd to take good care of his sheep. alas, the Master was gone for a long time and the shepherd became abusive. he twisted the rules and decided that only those sheep with white wool would be welcomed by the Master and could go with him when he returned. those with rainbow-colored wool like our narrator had were to be cast aside and left to fend on their own.
this was quite a heartbreaking fable of abuse, isolation and prejudice. there were religious undertones but the story was not preachy in any way. that was not its intention. its message was simply about unconditional love, acceptance and being true to oneself. the rainbow-colored sheep were abandoned by the shepherd because they were just different and being different did not entitle them to anything - food, care and shelter.
for such a short story, this one packed a lot of punch. the emotional aspect was so stirring and palpable that if only it were possible to do so, i would have stepped inside the story and gathered all the sheep (regardless of their wool's color) and be the kind of shepherd they deserved to have.
"My pain is unbearable. My tears are unending."
"I miss the love and approval of my brothers in the flock."
"This division has torn me, and I know that my Master would never have approved. He loved me, I know, so why don't they?"