There was a shepherd who kept himself invisible from his sheep because the sight of him was so horrifying, more horrifying than a wolf, as to kill the sheep that saw him. The invisible shepherd knew there were some among the wild sheep in the wilderness who
would join his fold if he went about it the right way. He took pity on these sheep because they were skinny and attacked by wolves, always arguing with eachother and lonely, but they did not believe that he existed because they could not see him. They did not dislike the shepherd—for someone that does not exist cannot be disliked—but they disliked the shepherd’s ewe lambs who insulted them for not believing the invisible shepherd existed, for staying in the wilderness instead. They thought all the tame sheep just congregated on an abandoned ranch that had no shepherd, and that somehow they took care of themselves. In fact, not all of the tame sheep on the ranch knew of the shepherd directly—certainly the ewe lambs did not know him—but believed the other sheep that he existed.
The invisible shepherd had one tame sheep who kept wandering off farther and farther because he did not trust the other tame sheep, least of all the ewe lambs, that the shepherd existed, and he wanted to be with those wild sheep, whom he considered very wise for doubting the shepherd’s existence. This sheep loved truth most of all. The shepherd did not want any of his beloved sheep to become wild, but he knew the sheep would keep wandering off until he learned for himself the difference between being a wild sheep and a tame sheep. He knew he would end up having to save the tame sheep and thought it would be good for the wild sheep to see him saving his tame sheep so that they would believe he existed and join his fold. Then he would feed them and protect them from wolves, and they would learn how to love and would not be lonely. So the invisible shepherd allowed this wandering sheep to go into the wilderness to be with the wild sheep.
After a while of having nothing to eat and being attacked by wolves and fighting with the wild sheep, the shepherd came looking for him, and the tame sheep gladly went home with him. The wild sheep saw the shepherd save the tame sheep, though they didn’t see the shepherd, and they believed that he existed, but the shepherd left them alone so they would not fear him. When the tame sheep was home, he missed the wild sheep and worried about them being hungry and lonely and attacked by wolves, and he wished they were with him and the shepherd. So he asked the shepherd if they could come live with them, and the shepherd, wanting this all along, said they could, but only if they wanted to. So he and the shepherd went and found the wild sheep, and those who wanted to go home with them began to follow them home, and some of the rest began to follow the wild sheep home, too, and they all had food and safety from the wolves, and they learned to love—even the ewe lambs—and were never lonely. The wild sheep who chose of their own free will to stay in the wilderness remained hungry, lonely, and attacked by wolves—but those who went home did not mourn for them, though they pitied them, for the wild sheep who remained in the wilderness were getting what they wanted—nothing more.