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Alan Maitland reads The Shepherd

Now, there was a call for a while back for some heartwarming history for the Christmas season, so after crocodiles and pikes, it's time I went for something a little more seasonal.

Today, I'm going to be providing a link that I found to a reading of Fredrick Forsyth's story, The Shepherd, as read by the CBC's (that's the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for the non-Canucks) Alan Maitland. Alan Maitland was one of the CBC's notable radio hosts. He started work at the CBC as an announcer in 1947 and from 1974-1993 he served as co-host of the popular show As It Happens. He was a popular storyteller, gaining the nickname of "Fireside Al" for his short story segments on As It Happens and on other CBC shows. Even after his death in 1999, many of his recordings are still used annually by the CBC.

I'm going to say right off that The Shepherd isn't history, really. It's not a true story, nor is it based on a true story. Nevertheless, it is set in a historical time, discusses historical events, and it is read by one of the CBC's late great storytellers. Given that the CBC runs it every Christmas season (and Alan Maitland read it every Christmas until his retirement and later death), I feel that it is significant enough from a Canadiana perspective, at least enough for me, to be posted here. It's a flimsy justification, I'll admit, but I will risk banishment to this community's Phantom Zone if it means sharing this story with others.

Get yourself some hot cider/mulled wine/other traditional seasonal drink, sit back, and listen to The Shepherd.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 8th, 2008 04:25 am (UTC)
It is tradition in my family to listen to The Shepherd every Christmas Eve. I was pleasantly surprised to see this post.
Dec. 8th, 2008 11:58 pm (UTC)
Yeah, he's a part of my Christmas Eve tradition as well, although I traditionally listen to it alone (so no one can see my manly misty eyes), with a glass of scotch or rum, and while doing the dishes.

Yeah, its odd, but As It Happens is my doing dishes program.
Dec. 22nd, 2008 06:33 am (UTC)
The Mosquito
Just a quick post here. I was just reading a posting about the reading of the short story "The Shepherd". It features a mysterious Mosquito aircraft. My husband's mother, Dianna Converse Bixby and her husband flew one around the world in 1950. He has posted a couple of photos of the aircraft on this website: http://www.huntress.com

Take care and Merry Christmas

Mary L. Converse
Jan. 7th, 2009 11:08 pm (UTC)
oh my gosh. You've got one southern neighbor here very jealous of such a great tradition. This was so awesome and eerie and yet heartwarming at the same time...and the ending....wow. Thanks so much.
Dec. 21st, 2010 02:51 am (UTC)
the shepherd
Unfortunately, the link is no longer there. However, you can see a video of the Shepherd made by "shockingguy" on YouTube (at least I _think_ it is YouTube: just google shockingguy and Shepherd under Videos and you'll get it. The _fi_ isn't too _high_ but it works.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


It Is Time For History

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