Seventeen

Behind the door, the slow swell of hillside and the smell of herbs baked by a long day’s sun. The shepherd has only a small fire, too small to keep either cold or wolves at bay. He is finding it hard to sleep.¬†Counting sheep stopped working years ago. Now he counts legs, starting with his own, then Sami’s and Dorit’s and Mor’s, and finally the old ram, Binyamin, who lost his right foreleg in a hunter’s trap last winter.

But it’s no use. Whenever he closes his eyes, he sees them again, burning and winged and full of wonder.

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