This is an old joke kids used to tell when I was young. Like most widespread jokes, I have no idea where this one originated. This is, more or less, how I’ve always told it.
The shepherd’s dream of a new life washed away with the coming of a nasty storm. He’d been sailing across the sea with his flock and his sheep dog when the rough waters hit. The ship capsized and most of his sheep drowned that night.
But all wasn’t lost. The shepherd managed to swim to the shore of a nearby deserted island, and the next morning he was overjoyed to discover that one of his sheep and his trusty dog had made it as well.
Time passed, and though the shepherd had the necessities–fresh water, coconuts, fish–he still found himself growing lonely. A man, you know, has certain needs, and the shepherd’s needs just weren’t being met.
Well, one day it occurred to the fellow that he was alone. Truly, utterly alone. No one was likely to come save him anytime soon. What did the laws of the civilized world mean to him anymore? He’d heard jokes about shepherds and their sheep before, and he’d always discounted those jokes as silly notions, but as time passed, well, the thought of him getting together with his sheep didn’t seem so outrageous. And honestly, who would know?
One night, a particularly lonely night, he made up his mind. He shimmied his pants down to his ankles and crept up behind the sheep.
Ruff! Ruff ruff ruff! His sheep dog went crazy, barking mad, intent on keeping the sheep safe. The shepherd cursed himself for training the dog so well, and pulled up his pants before scurrying back to his lean-to.
The next night, the same thing happened. He slipped his pants down again and tiptoed up to the back of the sheep.
Ruff! Ruff ruff ruff!! The shepherd jerked his pants back on and stumbled away from the sheep. That rotten dog, he thought, fuming and pacing.
On the third night, as luck would have it, he saw a ship sailing by on the horizon. Overhead, the clouds were thick and dark. Thunder rumbled, and the waves grew frothy and violent. The distant ship tossed about and finally sank. Just like the shepherd’s had so long ago.
That night, by the moonlight, he saw a lone survivor swimming to shore. She had long, blonde hair, and she came out of the ocean with water dripping like tiny diamonds from her body. Her white shirt was soaked and clinging to her ample chest.
The shepherd thanked all that was good and ran down to the shore. “Oh my God,” he said. “I’m so glad you’re here.”
The woman, shocked and breathing hard, gasped out a reply. “What? Why?”
The shepherd pointed. “Could you please hold that dog for a second so I can get to that sheep?”