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Shepherd Boy

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the production of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

Copyright 2017 J. Jon Francis, Smashwords Edition
All Rights Reserved


Life in the mountain pastures of Greece was good. My father herded a combined flock of goats and sheep, like his father before him. I had accompanied them both into the mountains as soon as I was old enough to keep pace. It became my profession when Papou died. Papa and I would drive the herds together to the lush, green mountain pastures in the spring and not return home until late fall. While in the mountain pastures we were responsible for the safety of the flock, rotating the pastures upon which they grazed, perform animal husbandry as new animals were born, and to make yogurt and soft cheeses.

We farmed for a large landowner who was benevolent, not just to his shepherds, but to all who farmed for him. Upon our return to the valley he would greet us with warmth and enthusiastically listen to the details of our months in the mountains as we calculated our share of the herds and cheeses.

We would trade almost all of our share of the brine soaked cheese immediately. There was a large weekly marketplace in the town adjacent to our landlord’s estate. After the market we would drive our share of the goats and sheep back home. There they would provide my family with milk, yogurt and cheese; any extra amounts were used for trade in our local, much smaller, marketplace which convened once per month on the day before the full moon. When we returned to the mountain pastures the following spring we would leave the animals with my mother and siblings. The women and children left at home would use them to support the household in our absence. They would sell the majority of the animals for sacrifices and/or meat shortly before our expected return and have the pens ready for the new animals. It was an arrangement that went back as many generations as anyone could remember.

In the mountain pastures we had a pair of structures which were built long before my memory, as well as that of Papa’s and Papau’s. They were rudimentary and practical, made from materials easily found at hand - stacked field stone, earth and woven branches with a roof of thatched grasses. There were always minor repairs to be made every spring upon our arrival, but the buildings were almost as much a part of the landscape as the meadows, streams and mountains. One building was for the production and storage of cheese the other was a smaller version that was our home whilst there. It was much smaller and not used often. We cooked over an open fire of dried dung outdoors and slept on the ground covered in our chlamys, or blanket cloaks or took a pallet blanket from the shack. Outside you caught an evening breeze which alleviated the summer heat and allowed us to keep a better watch over the animals should trouble occur. The only time the shack was used was during heavy rain. There was a spring-fed stream nearby that provided drinking water for us, the animals and the production of cheese. It was shallow, not deep enough in which to swim, but we had a wooden bucket with which to douse ourselves for bathing. The sheep were herded into a fenced corral downstream most nights. There was a narrow fenced corridor at one end of this structure where the goats were milked each morning before being driven to a pasture to graze.

Papa had been ill over the previous winter and had slowly recovered some of his strength, but had still not regained the vigor required for the long days of physical work our profession required; and so this year I would be on my own. I did not mind. I liked being busy. Each day I would have to get up with the sun and check the flock for animals that may have been attacked in the night or had injured themselves. Most wolves had been hunted from the mountains but there was always the chance of a feral pack of dogs. The balance of the day would be spent milking, making cheese and packing it in brine. Once every ten days I would meet Papa, or another family member, at the grazing range closest to our village. There they would bring me a basket of food supplies from home and news from the village before I had to drive the flock to higher ground. The bread would only last a few days before it had to be dipped in water to soften it, but most of the other stores would easily last over the next ten days when I would receive more. There was always cheese and yogurt should I run low of other staples.

At nineteen I should have been thinking about marriage, but such thoughts rarely entered my mind. There would be time for that later, many men waited until they were thirty. For now my family needed me to provide and I took pride in that. But I was also being selfish. The freedom of life in the high pastures took my breath away at times. I was rarely lonely. I was too busy and I truly enjoyed my time alone. The vast space, the green pastures, it was as though I was the first man.

I had little in the way of needs and possessions. I had a chlamys, a short exomie or one shouldered tunic, two soft, long, wool rectangles that I wore as short kilts, a single belt, two loincloths, a walking staff for protection, leather sandals that I only wore going up and down the mountains and a leather satchel in which I carried my knife. I rarely wore the exomie unless it was unseasonably cold. The chlamys I wore in the mornings if there was wind, and at night as a blanket. Most days I wore one of the kilts with the belt.

The loincloths were a waste of time. Most days were hot and there was much to do. I wore my short kilt belted high and a breeze often caressed my genitals unexpectedly throughout the day. Many days I wore nothing at all so my entire body bronzed in the summer sun. I liked the look of envy from other boys when I swam nude in the ocean back home. I would be evenly darkened from head to toe. I liked being nude. I was tall and my body was as well sculpted as any soldier. I received many admiring glances in my home village. Papa often said I was tall and well-muscled because I ate so much cheese and meat; a luxury not afforded to most families.

I did not have much body hair. I had heard stories that many men in the cities shaved or plucked theirs. This was not the fashion in the country where it would have been impractical and vain. Villagers only mentioned the practice derisively. It was considered unmanly and pretentious. My calves had a smattering, but anything on my thigh was so fine and light that they appeared hairless. I had a narrow spray under each arm and a tiny curly patch around my penis. The rest of me was bare: my buttocks, back, chest and abdomen. I liked my lack of body hair; I felt the smoothness accentuated my muscles. The hair on my head was cut very short when I left for the mountains and then grew back to its big, loose, dark curls by the time I returned home. At home I shaved once a week. The only place I accumulated any amount of whiskers was above my lip. The rest were scattered along my jaw and never amounted to much. I rarely shave whilst in the mountains. Beards were the hallmark of manhood, but my scattered growth was unattractive and only succeeded in making me look younger. Papa encouraged me to shave to stimulate growth. So far it was not working.

My first month alone in the mountains went by without incident. The days were as long as I expected. I enjoyed the physical labour and the solitude. I thrived on regimen and my day was broken into blocks of labour and relaxation throughout. I milked and made cheese in the morning while it was still cool. Then I leisurely drove the herd to one of a rotation of pastures. If the destination was distant or a particular travail I packed food in my satchel and spent the night with the herd. Every day I would make lunch from my provisions and stretch nude in the sun. I made a point to masturbate in each pasture during the summer.

This was not difficult to do. I masturbated at least once a day, usually twice and often more frequently. Masturbating was part of my daily regimen. Every evening as I prepared to sleep in whatever pasture the herd occupied, I stroked myself. I loved the feeling of the soft, green grass against my naked body. There was something primeval about performing the act in the mountains. Alone in the dark with the stars so close, naked as the gods made me, I would run my hands over my body. My nipples would rise as my penis hardened. I loved the feeling of my muscles flexing under my skin. If there was a breeze I would get goose bumps. On my back, I would spread my strong legs that were tired from the day’s efforts. I would run my hand from my chest, down my abdomen, and wrap my fist around my erection. I rubbed my foreskin back and forth over the head until I felt the familiar tingles that signaled imminent orgasm. I would roll up on one hip as I ejaculated, giving my seed back to the earth. I often wondered how many blades of grass I had personally fertilized.

If I was spending a hot day near the stream and time permitted, I would sit naked in the cold, spring water and please myself. The water was very shallow and barely lapped at my testicles. I would prop myself up with one hand and spread my bent knees. Both the water temperature and position were slightly uncomfortable and yet the orgasm was always intense. It was in this position that the acolyte found me on a sunny day one moon into summer.

I was lost in my pleasure when a shadow blocked the sun. My eyes were closed and it was as though a cloud was passing over. I opened my eyes and scuttled backwards in shock. Someone was standing beside the stream. I could not see who. The sun was behind his head and formed a halo that made it too difficult to see. For a brief moment I wondered if it was a god. I jumped to my feet concealing my erection in both hands.

My eyes adjusted quickly and I saw that it was just a youth about my age. He had hair similar to mine, big loose curls, but it was almost white blonde compared to my jet black. My eyes are the darkest of browns while his were blue and twinkled with good humour. He was wearing a short, exomie of good quality white fabric that was pinned at the shoulder with a large bronze brooch that had been worked into the face of Zeus. His chlamys was tied loosely around his neck and he carried a leather satchel that was much finer than my own. He wore no sandals.

I stumbled out of the stream and turned my back to him as I snatched up, and fumbled to make a kilt out of, my rectangle of fabric and belt. My erection was dissipating but still poked at the front of the short garment, threatening to lift the hem. I was forced to hold it down with one hand in order to turn and face the intruder.

He remained in his original spot and was smiling broadly as he glanced at my groin.

“My friend, there was no need to leave your bathing. I am very sorry to interrupt. I merely wanted to ask if I could share your stream.”

His Greek was well spoken and he had the affect of someone who was fortunate enough to have received an education. I was unable to read or write, but I could add and subtract numbers well enough.

Dumbstruck, I simply nodded. He soon discarded his satchel and chlamys. He unpinned his brooch and the exomie fell to his waist revealing the entirety of his upper body. He was in good physical shape, though a different build than mine. I was taller and the muscles in my arms were longer and well defined. He was shorter and his arms muscles were rounder more full and concentrated. His chest was the same. Plump looking muscles with pinkish nipples. My chest was a greater expanse and the muscles were more like squarish sheets and did not protrude as much. My nipples were smaller and brown. His abdomen was shorter than mine and the muscles there were not as defined. If possible, he was more hairless than me.

He undid his belt and the exomie fell to the ground. He did not pause or turn his back to me before untying his white loincloth and letting it drop as well. His lower musculature was comparable to his upper body. Where my thighs were long expanses of individual muscles, his were more round and powerful looking, but with less definition. His penis was not completely flaccid, but not fully engorged and sat in a scant nest of pale pubic hair. The hair down there was darker than the sun bleached curls on his head. This hair was honey coloured and wispy compared to my dark curls. His penis matched the rest of his body. It was short and thick. The skin was very light in colour and the pinkish head was peeking out. With even my brief glimpse at his organ I could clearly see fine blue red and coloured veins webbing under the pale skin. The skin there had not had much exposure to the sun.

He stuck out his hand to clasp wrists and I hesitated a moment before I slowly raised my right hand to his while my left hand remained holding back the semi-erection in my kilt.

“I am Antonius of Lamia,” he announced.

“Spiros of Divri,” I answered.

Lamia was the large town near our benefactor which held the market we traded our surplus at the end of every summer.

We released wrists and he stepped into the stream. From behind there was more roundness. His hips were narrow and yet his firm buttocks jutted out in two full mounds. They were white and creamy, obviously not exposed to the sun on a regular basis. The line demarking the tan on his lower abdomen and back was quite even and must have been cause by leaving his exomie unclasped from his shoulder. The tan line below his buttocks was as more gradual transition. There was no fat on his body.

He contorted his face as he lowered his buttocks in the cold water. His penis became even more stubby. His nipples hardened and he blew out his breath as he settled into his position on the smooth stones. I absently passed him the wooden bucket I used to douse myself. He took it from my hand.

My mind was in turmoil. I was not embarrassed to be seen nude. Nudity was not an issue for men in my society. Soldiers did their training nude. All men had their swimming spots at lakes, rivers and the ocean where they swam nude and were seldom bothered by the prying eyes of women. Many farmers often worked their fields nude as did many fishermen in their work. The summer sun in Greece was oppressive and men wore as little as possible. My papa and Papou often worked nude and I followed their lead without modesty.

Nor was I overly embarrassed to be seen with an erection. It was frowned upon to sport one in front of a female or in public, but spontaneous erections were not infrequent where nude men gathered. Jokes were made, but there were no societal ramifications. My father had made me the butt of a joke the first time he saw my erection. He had laughed and said I must have been visited by Priapus, the god responsible for watching over livestock. Priapus was always depicted as having an enormous erection. It was fashionable in the cities to have a small penis and large penises were considered vulgar. Here, in the country, there was no such stigma and Papa had told me that I would father many grandchildren for him with such an ample gift from the gods. I appeared slightly over average in size when flaccid and few outside my family knew my secret.

Masturbation was not a taboo either. Papa had discussed the pleasures we would receive from our bodies long before my brothers and I achieved puberty. There were images of gods, demi gods and humans masturbating on temple walls, statuary and pottery. Boys my age were encouraged to masturbate to relieve sexual tension and defer marriage. There were many boys who shared the experience with each other. I was not one of them. I enjoyed the act alone.

I had always enjoyed being alone. This was why I loved the solitary pursuit of shepherding. My family home was outside the village to accommodate the livestock and so I had never had a close male friend growing up. I was the oldest child in the family. Two sisters were born next before my parents had more sons. The age difference was too great for us to be especially close. I certainly was never close enough to another male to masturbate with him.

I think it was the unexpected nature of his arrival that had disturbed me. Like someone jumping from behind bushes to purposely startle a passerby. Still I found his presence made me uneasy. And it was not just because he had caught me playing with myself. I would be glad that he would be gone after he bathed, I had a nervous feeling that I would never again feel as blissfully unguarded there as I had before his uninvited arrival. I hoped he would not be here long.


Antonius did not stay in my little stream long. After dousing himself a few times and rubbing under his arms and crotch he stepped out of the stream and donned his loincloth. He did not bother with any of his other clothing. He washed his exomie in the stream and draped it over a small bush to dry in the glaring sun. I stood awkwardly on the side of the stream unsure what to do or say.

“Shall we share bread?” He asked as he finished washing his garment. “I can contribute.”

I shrugged a shoulder.

Together we started a fire. Antonius provided dried salt fish from his satchel and gathered wild greens for a soup. I provided olives from my hamper and fresh cheese. We sat on the ground and ate in relative silence, only commenting on the food and weather. I felt coarse and uneducated in his presence. There was an aura of worldliness and wealth about him.

“Do you see many people up here?” Antonius cast his astonishingly blue eyes directly into mine as he spoke. The blue seemed to radiate light and his eyes were framed with thick blond lashes.

I shook my head. I wanted to speak as little as possible, afraid my words would show my lack of education. I was not ashamed of my profession or family. I did, however, feel sorely for my inability to converse easily with anyone with whom I felt was my social superior. Not that Antonius was acting superior. He seemed to respect my reluctance to speak and asked few questions when gently trying to engage me in conversation.

“You are truly closer to the gods here, Spiros. I envy you.”

I was taken aback that he would envy anything about me. I looked around at the mountains and pastures. He was right and had spoken words I had often thought to describe this place. Even colours seemed different here, the green of the grasses, the blue of the sky. Everything seemed clearer, brighter, more in focus. I nodded and smiled then looked down at my hand as I pulled individual blades of grass from the ground.

“I am on a pilgrimage for Zeus,” he announced.

I instantly remembered the brooch that had held his short toga that had been emblazoned with the face of Zeus.

“I am going to go higher into the mountains to pray and fast for three days,” he smiled at me again. “Hopefully he will speak to me.”

I felt I needed to say something, “Are you an acolyte of Zeus?”

He paused, tilting his head from side to side in thought before answering. His blonde curls caught the late afternoon sun.

“Yes and no. I am not a true and pious devotee of the temple. My father and tutor both insist on a religious component to my education. They both encouraged my decision to make a spiritual pilgrimage here.”

This confirmed my suspicion that was educated. Instead of making me feel more nervous in his presence, the way he spoke to me was putting me at ease. He was not arrogant, he was matter of fact and certainly not condescending. I found myself changing my opinion of his departure. I had initially hoped it would be immediate. Now I felt stirrings of disappointment that he would be leaving.

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