Original image from the film, Jesus of Nazareth, Franco Zeffirelli
When Jesus was nine years old he wanted a dog. He wanted a dog sooooooo bad. But his mother hated dogs, she was bitten by one when she was a young girl and still had a nasty scar on her right forearm to remind her of that awful experience. Whenever young Jesus brought a stray dog home and asked his mom if he could keep it, the answer was always the same. "Jesus. How many times do I have to tell you? No! No dogs! And that's that!" Then she would get out her broom and shew the poor smelly creature away.
One day Jesus was taking a walk when he came upon a gang of boys throwing rocks at a little black lamb. It was the same group of boys who bullied him whenever they had the opportunity, mostly when there were no adults around. Jesus felt for the little lamb. It gave him a pain in the throat to see the lamb being tortured like that. He yelled for the boys to stop throwing rocks at the innocent creature. They ignored him of course, and called him names like idiot, weirdo, white trash from Nazareth. They threw a few rocks his way too.
Just as he was about to turn around and head home the shepherd who owned the herd from which the little black lamb had strayed, came by and told the gang of boys to get the heck off his property or he would kick their butts. They fled. The shepherd's name was Moe Finklestein. He was a big dude. Moe saw that Jesus had been crying and assumed it was because of the bullies, but he didn't want to humiliate Jesus even further so he acted like he was clueless and said, "What are you crying about, kid?" Jesus wiped his nose on his sleeve, looked up at Moe, and said, "The little black lamb."
Moe scratched his head. "Don't take it so hard," he said. "That lamb is worthless. First of all it's black, secondly, it's a runt, and third, the rest of the herd despise it because it's not like them. Even its own mother doesn't want it. No one passing by on their way to Jerusalem will buy it for a sacrifice, they only want the whitest lambs I've got. I just came out here today to get it and slaughter it for dinner tomorrow. So don't waste your tears little buddy."
Jesus felt like throwing up when he heard that. He said "How much do you want for it, Mister?"
Now Moe, he was a pretty discerning guy, even though he didn't look like much of a scholar. "Well, I'll tell you what. Are you any good with a saw and a hammer?"
Jesus' eyes lit up. "I sure am," he said. "My dad's the best carpenter in town and he's teaching me everything he knows." Of course, Moe already knew that.
"Well then," said Moe, "Howsa bout you coming over to my place on Monday morning, 7 am sharp. I got a shed that needs some mending and the Mrs. has been wanting a new table for a long time. In return, the black lamb is all yours. Deal?"
"Deal," said Jesus. He and Moe high-fived it and then he picked up the little black lamb and ran home with it lickety split. He couldn't wait to tell his mother of his good fortune and ask her "pretty please" could he have the little black lamb for a pet. "Maybe it's only dogs she don't like," he thought, hopefully, joyfully.
Mary was hanging the wash when he got there. Jesus put down the little lamb, it bleated and walked slowly over to her, licking her hand as she reached absentmindedly into the basket for another garment to hang. She was startled out of her reverie. She had so many reveries, she was always looking off into the distance deep in thought, sometimes Jesus had to say "Mother" a gazillion times before he got her attention. "Jumping Jehoshaphat," she said. And then she knelt down by the lamb and nuzzled her nose against the black fur. "I had a little lamb like you when I was just a wee girl."
"Can we keep her, Mother?" asked Jesus. "Can she be my very own little black lamb?"
"Jesus" she said, using a school teacher's voice, pretending to be stern, "what have I told you about sharing?" And then she laughed. Jesus laughed too. And hopped around on one foot singing "Zippity Doo Dah".
Mary asked, "What are you going to name him?'
Jesus said, "Duh. Blackie. What else?"