Image: Night Sky, Snæfellsnes, Iceland by Conor MacNeill

‘At the beginning of the Christmas season, if possible on the first Sunday of Advent, Benedikt would pack food, changes of socks and several pairs of new leather shoes in a knapsack, and with these a small oil stove with a can of kerosene and a small flask of spirits.

Then he would take the way to the mountains, the desolate mountains of Iceland, where at this season of the year nothing was to be found but birds of prey, hard and cruel as winter itself, foxes, and a few scattered sheep, lost and wandering about.

And it was for the sake of these sheep that he went forth, animals which had not been found at the regular autumn in–gathering. They too were living creatures of God and he felt a kind of responsibility for them.  His aim was simple enough – to find them and bring them safe and sound under shelter before the great festival should spread its benediction on the earth.’

From The Good Shepherd by Gunnar Gunnarsson.  
Translated by Kenneth C Kaufmann
©1940  The Bobbs-Merrill Company.

This post, chosen by Anna, is the first in our “Advent calendar”, taking us through to Christmas. You can see all the posts here.

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