The Sheep Who Hungered for Purple Grass
The Sheep Who Hungered for Purple Grass
by the reverend Charles M. Bidwell, PhD
© 2001

This is a story to convey that different people are welcomed into the realm of God's love.
It is about a lamb that was different from the rest of its flock because it could only stomach purple grass and not green grass. All the other sheep made fun of the lamb and told the lamb that the Good Shepherd would not love the little lamb if it kept doing what it was doing. It got so bad that the little lamb would go off all by itself in search of purple grass. Of course, you know it is dangerous to be away from the flock.

One day the Good Shepherd came and noticed that the little lamb wasn't with the other sheep. Upon asking where the lamb was, the Good Shepherd was told about the purple grass and where the little lamb could probably be found. The Good Shepherd went looking for the little lamb and when the little lamb was found asked why it was not with the other sheep. The little lamb explained that it needed to eat purple grass but understood that it was against the rules and if it continued to eat this purple grass the Good Shepherd would not love the little lamb. At once the Good Shepherd said to the little lamb, "Who said that I would not love you? How could I not love you, you are still my lamb regardless of what you eat!"

In this sketch, a group of green-grass-eating sheep (Gs) rave about grass and a shy purple-grass-eating sheep (P) smiles and agrees, but makes aside comments with its head down.

DRAMATIZATION (It may be done with the youth carrying their scripts with them as they move about [Readers Theatre style] but they should be practiced enough to not be reading their lines as they deliver them.)

CAST: a Good Shepherd (GS), one sheep (P), and at least 3 other sheep (Gs) but only three speak.

PROPS: caps with floppy ears attached - all covered with cotton wool, purple cabbage leaves, and parsley or green cabbage leaves

A group of sheep enter wearing caps covered with cotton balls and chat loudly about how much they like grass and how much they have eaten in the past.
A shy sheep straggles in and overhears them.

P - (in a stage whisper) - I know I should like green grass, everyone else seems to, but I don't have the stomach for it. The idea of eating it almost makes me sick. I hunger for purple grass. I see it and my eyes enlarge and my mouth waters.

G1 - Hey ewe, aren't you going to come with us to the pasture, the grass is greener over there?

P - Not just now, thanks. I'll just stay here and meditate.

G2 - Suit yourself. Do what you 'wool'.
(They all laugh as they stroll to front of the church, by the choir, and munch on green cabbage leaves or parsley.)

P - (soto voce) Oh, if only I could do what I would. I'd dash over to the spot where I've seen some purple grass. It looks delicious and I have a hunger that green grass can't fill.
(P sneaks away to the corner and munches on shreds of purple cabbage)

P - Oh dear, this is so great and I feel so good when I eat purple grass, but I can't help feeling that I'm strange, too strange for anyone to love. I've heard that the Good Shepherd considers eating anything other than green grass to be sinful. I've also heard of families who have shunned and driven out a lamb who confessed to eating and loving purple grass. What am I to do? Where can I go to feel that I belong? If the Good Shepherd cannot love me then nobody will and I might as well jump off a cliff. No one will ever love me and I will never find a welcoming family.

(GS enters and approaches Gs)
GS - How are ewe all?

G2 - We're fine, but we're worried about Nappy. He's never interested in coming to eat grass with us.

GS - Then where is he?

G1 - I think he's back in the fold.

GS - I just passed there and he's not.

G3 - He's always such a loner - the black sheep of the family you could say.

GS - That's a term for one who is acting against the group. Has he done anything to harm any one?

G3 - No, he's just wierd.

G2 - Can you imagine anyone not liking grass? I mean, it's not normal.

GS - He may be different from you, but is that a crime?

G1 - No, but we're happy without him.

GS - Well, I'm not and I'm going looking for him. He is as important to me as any of you - not more important, but AS important.
(GS goes looking for P)

G2 - Hey gang, if we don't get eating this stuff it will soon be time to go back and we'll be hungry by morning.
(they all go back to munching)

GS - (sees P) - There you are!

P - Oh dear, don't hit me.

GS - What are you talking about. Of course I'm not going to hit you.

P - But I thought you felt that eating purple grass was evil and would throw out anyone who did it.

GS - Sheep are such followers and conformists. They think that anyone who is not just like every one of them is wrong. That's not what I think or feel. Perhaps that's because I'm not a sheep. Anyway, I'm glad I found you. Eat what you need but then come back to the fold. I'll talk to the others and help them to see that not every one loves to eat the same thing and that for some, purple grass is very life-giving.

P - You mean that I can eat purple grass and still be part of the family - your family?

GS - Ewe bet. Come on. I'll call the others and we'll all go home and have a chat.
(calls to the others and they all follow the GS and P out)

Copyright © 2001 Charles M. Bidwell