Gembala yang Tahu di Mana Harus Mencari Dombanya

Suatu senja, terlihat seorang laki-laki berjalan menelusuri jalan setapak di tengah padang rumput tandus yang luas. Sejauh mata memandang, tak banyak kehijauan yang terlihat. Hanya rumput dan ilalang kering yang terlihat tumbuh dengan liarnya di daerah itu, saling tumpang tindih, berdesakan, bersaing dengan bebas untuk menyebarkan tanah cengkamannya tanpa ada batasan. Kalaupun ada pepohonan, pohon-pohon itu terlihat lusuh, kering, layu, mungkin karena sudah lama tak dikunjungi oleh air hujan. Hujan memang langka di daerah tandus itu. Sebagian besar isi dari pohon-pohon itu hanyalah ranting-ranting saja. Namun, laki-laki itu terlihat tekun mengamati sekitarnya, seperti mencari sesuatu.

Seorang laki-laki lain, berpakaian rapi dan bersahaja, sedang mengendarai sepedanya melewati padang itu juga, tapi dari arah yang berlawanan. Saat bertemu si pejalan kaki, pengendara sepeda itu menyapanya.

“Apa yang sedang engkau cari, kawanku?” tanya si pengendara sepeda.

“Saya, tuan?” jawab si pejalan kaki, terpengarah karena tak menyangka akan disapa oleh bapak itu. “Saya hanya seorang penggembala domba, tuan, jadi siapa lagi yang akan saya cari selain domba saya?,” jawab orang itu ringkih.

“Hmm…saya datangnya dari arah yang sedang anda tuju. Sepertinya dari tadi tak terlihat seekor dombapun di daerah ini, kawan. Ini daerah tandus, rumputnya sedikit. Domba-domba biasanya tak suka datang ke sini. Yakinkah anda sudah mengambil arah yang tepat?” tanya si pengendara sepeda lagi.

“Oh, tak apa,” jawab gembala itu. “Saya tahu saya berada di jalan yang tepat untuk mendapatkan domba saya,” kata si gembala.

“Baiklah kalau begitu,” kata tuan sambil perlahan mulai berpaling untuk pergi. Ia terlihat sedang memikirkan sesuatu. Tiba-tiba kemudian ia membalikkan badannya lagi dan bertanya, “Tapi kawan, mohon maaf, saya tidak mengerti. Bagaimana anda bisa begitu yakin untuk mengambil jalan ini? Kan sudah saya katakan tadi kalau tidak ada tanda-tanda seekor dombapun yang terlihat dari arahku tadi. Dan juga, tidak akan ada yang menarik baginya untuk datang ke daerah ini.”

“Yah, yang satu ini memang agak unik, Pak. Lain daripada yang lain memang. Tapi saya yakin dia lewat sini,” bersikeras si gembala.

“Tapi bagaimana anda bisa tahu itu? Bahwa dia lewat sini? Itu yang saya maksud,” tanya si tuan lagi.

“Karena saya mengandalkan penciumanku.”


“Iya, tuan. Inilah tempat kesukaan dia. Jangan tanya saya mengapa dia menyukai padang tandus ini, tapi saya tahu, kalau dia nyasar kemungkinan besar dia akan nyasar ke sini.”

Lanjut si gembala, “Samar-samar saya juga mencium bau domba saya, jadi saya tahu domba saya itu melewati jalan ini.”

Tak bisa membalas lagi jawaban gembala itu, bapak pengendara sepeda cuma bisa terdiam sebentar. Sementara itu, si gembala pamit untuk melanjutkan pencariannya.

“Tunggu sebentar, kawan,” panggil bapak itu. “Bila memang demikian menurutmu, maka ambillah ini,” sambil mengeluarkan sebotol air minum.

“Jalan di depan penuh rintangan, kawan. Kering, tandus, dan anda akan haus. Maka bawalah persediaan sederhana ini. Tapi minumlah sedikit demi sedikit, jangan langsung semuanya, karena jalan setapak ini masih panjang. Dan di depan sana anda tidak akan menemukan jalan setapak lagi. Mungkin anda harus membuat jalan setapak sendiri. Di ujung jalan itulah rumah saya. Dalam perjalanan pulangmu sesudah menemukan dombamu, singgahlah untuk beristirahat sejenak di rumahku.”




A Valentine Short Story

This short story was my attempt for writing fiction in a form of short-story prose. I originally wrote them into two parts and published them within few days apart on my other blog. Enjoy it.

Part 1:

Sunday morning on one February day…

Sun has been up and about for about an hour by the time his eyes reluctantly open on that gray morning, and as soon as he tries so, the knocking in his head starts too.

How long have I been sleeping? God, the pounding, what’s with this pounding? I feel like I’m getting hundred days older every time I wake up in the morning.

All of those thoughts seem to add more to the pounding. Grudgingly, he starts to stir and see if there’s any other protest from different parts of his body. Goodness gracious, none. He knows he has to wake up. Has an important job to do today, his only job, a yearly job. A job that is a source of everyone’s envy. Huh! Sure, he thought. For once after doing this job for many years, he’s actually considering how nice would it feel to have a replacement today.

What is wrong with me today? Did I have something unusual before I went to bed? What did I have, anyway?

Shaking his head now, he finally pushes himself out of bed. One leg first, then the other, rolling now to one side, then literally…out of bed, as in falling off. But at least he’s out of bed.

The getting out of bed is the hardest part, and he got that taken care of at least. The rest is easier. He doesn’t need that much time to get ready for his job. Just some basic things to do. Comb? Nope, not even needed. Clothes? Well, just some basic minimum on that one. Breakfast? Optional. Shower? Now that would be tricky, so he prefers not to. In a weird way, it’s better for him not to shower. He’s better off that way.

Five minutes later, he’s out the door, with his equipment. Time to go to work. Whispering to himself,

My job, make me proud today!

As he starts his day, he finds himself whistling and humming a song under his breath. Look at him! He’s actually feeling excited. But he always feels excited in the beginning part of his job. Whether he finds himself exhausted later on or not is another story. It is an exhausting, but also a fun job. It carries an important meaning to him and he’s proud of it of course. After all, he’s making a difference in people’s life.

He finally gets himself a nice position where he can have a good view. This job requires a grand view, it requires patience to find a perfect place. And a perfect place truly makes the difference.

All right, man. You can do this. Let’s get it over with. I can’t wait to have a drink after this.

He takes a deep breath. Then takes his aim.



Part 2:

Meanwhile, at a different place on that same morning…

The phone has been making a noise ever since it woke her up about an hour ago. As usual, it’s what happens when there’s an emergency at work and she’s being called in. Whenever there’s an emergency at work, it always causes a havoc on her private world too.

Sometimes all I need is a peaceful morning to wake up. Why is it so hard to have that?

“Freedom, here sweetie! Where are you? Time to eat.”

Between getting herself ready and preparing meal for Freedom, her 2-year old beagle, her hands are definitely full. And at the same time, work continues to bug her with the damn text messages. Letting out a deep and long sigh, she can only hope that the day won’t turn out any tougher.

After doing the quickest shower anyone could possibly imagine, she’s on her way out, leaving Freedom staring from behind the window. Something is odd in Freedom’s stare. She has to take a double take and stare back at him. The dog tilts his head a bit now to the right, but keeps the eye contact. And no barking. She is hesitant now.

What’s wrong with him? Why is he staring at me like this? He’s never done this before. Not even a sound?

“Oh well. I’m sorry, can’t stay and play with you. Gotta go, bud.”

As she’s locking the front door, she takes a peek through the window.

Damn dog is still sitting at the same place! And still staring at me too! How odd.

But she has no time to investigate. Mixing between jogging and walking, she takes the usual route to her workplace. Streets are not that crowded that morning. Well, rightfully so because it’s a Sunday morning. Half of the town is probably still laying comfortably underneath their blanket, snuggling. That’s okay, she thought. It’s the price of working in a health field. Practically on call every day. She knew the consequences when she took this path some years ago.

Right when she’s about to turn at the next block, she feels that someone’s just brushing her right arm. At least she thinks that way. She also hears something hitting the pavement. Looking down by her feet, oddly she can’t find anything that could have made that sound she just heard.

Well, that’s weird. I knew I heard something fell. I’m positive about that.

Looking up now, she then looks for the person who just brushed her arm, but then realizing something odd. There’s nobody around that stands about less than 5 feet from her. There are people around, but they stand to her left, waiting for a bus. She could have sworn that the person who brushed her didn’t go to the left but straight forward.

That person can’t be walking that fast? I only looked down for a second. Where is he?

Feeling very puzzled now, but she quickly brushes the thought away and continues to walk. People are waiting for her at work as soon as possible, so she can’t waste time.

She arrives at work 10 minutes later and goes straight to her station to start with the preparation. Being an experienced emergency unit nurse, she has to work fast and be efficient on the floor, so wearing comfortable shoes, nice warm socks, and comfortable clothes underneath her nurse outfit are important. Not wasting time too much time with changing, she is out on the floor within less than 15 minutes since she entered the building.

The whole emergency unit is already bustling with doctors and nurses, and also paramedics who brought the victims in from the multi-vehicle accidents in the near tollway. Thanks to one drunk driver, many people are hurt and a few are fighting for their lives. She’s a bit confused at first about where to start, but she’s not standing there for too long. A holler from behind her quickly snaps her back to the present moment,

“Hey, you! I need help here! Do you mind go sleep somewhere else and bring me another nurse if you’re just going to fall asleep there?”

Great! Good fucking morning to you too, doc.

So, there goes the wish for a better day. She’s about to assist the most foul-mood doctor in the whole hospital, but also the most senior and best one. The morning can’t get any better than that for her.

As she’s approaching the patient’s bed to assist, she suddenly feels a strong need to sneeze. And so it comes out. A wild one! The strongest sneeze that she ever lets out, as if there’s a surplus of energy from the deepest part of her body pushing that big gushing of air out of her small framed body. Everybody around her is turning to look at her now, including the patient. Embarrassed now, she looks up from behind her hands that are covering her mouth, and…oh. Something catches her attention and at the same time, she feels a slight stirring inside her chest. It’s as if…but words are escaping her mind now.

She finds herself staring straight into the sharpest stare she ever set eyes on.




Taking a deep breath, he stirs from his hiding position.

Finally. Got that one done. But damn, that was tricky. Does she always have to walk that fast? Can’t believe I missed my first aim. I need to practice my aiming more. It’s getting rusty.

And I can’t believe I have to follow her all the way into inside that smelly building. Geesh, never never never will I go into that damn building again. Too many enemies there.

Stretching his arms out, he feels a bit relieved now. One down, but many more to go. Long day is still ahead so he has to hurry before the day is over.

And then he’s done for now, for this year. Until next VALENTINE.


The End.



This author would like to thank the following picture meme that has inspired this short story.