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The Parable of the Sheepdog With a White Collar


A report came out in the newspaper that there was a bishop who was attracted to other men and who was living with another man.  The bishop claimed that he was in a ‘relationship’ with the other man even though not sexually involved with him.  The disciples had great fun joking about this improbable arrangement, but their master was sad.  He said, ‘Among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, because these are improper for God's holy people.’

Then the master told his disciples a parable.  ‘A blacksmith in this town had a sheepdog that was very well trained.  It won many medals and wore a beautiful white collar, of which it was very pleased.  The dog was very sure of itself, especially its ability to stay in control of situations no matter how chaotic things became.  Eventually, the dog took to playing in traffic.  ‘Look at me,’ the dog would say, ‘I am in control and safe even in the traffic on this busy highway!’

The master then stopped telling the story.  After a while, Peter asked, ‘Well, did the dog get run over?’  ‘Maybe,’ said the master, ‘but that is not the point of the story.’  The disciples looked at one another, wondering what the point was.  The master got up and walked away.


The next day, the disciples were walking along the road as they left the town of Abergavenny, Wales.  They suddenly smelt a foul odour and noticed a dead dog by the side of the road with a white collar.  ‘So,’ said Peter, ‘he did get killed!’  The master replied, ‘That is only a consequence to himself, sad as it may be.’  Then the disciples looked up and saw, behind a low fence, five puppies standing with their front paws on the fence, wagging their tails, and barking at the passing cars.