The Shepherd

The Shepherd is a 1975 novella by Frederick Forsyth about an airborne pilot trying to return home on Christmas Eve in an aircraft that is failing. Then a mysterious aircraft appears to help guide him to a safe landing.

This audio version is a CBC Radio One production, read by Alan Maitland. CBC Radio has broadcast this story on Christmas Eve annually since 1979.

It is Christmas Eve, 1957, and there are cozier places to be than the cockpit of a de Havilland Vampire fighter plane. But for the Royal Air Force pilot who has just taken off from West Germany, this single-seat jet is the only way to make it back to England for Christmas morning. His flight plan is simple; the fuel tank is full. In sixty-six minutes, he will be back in Blighty. But then the plane begins to fail.

First the compass goes haywire, then the radio dies. Lost and alone above the English coast, the pilot is searching for a landing strip when the fog closes in, signaling certain death. He has given up hope when a second shadow appears—a Mosquito fighter-bomber of World War II vintage. The plane is a “shepherd,” guiding the Vampire to a safe landing, and its appearance is a gift from fate, a miracle out of time—but for one lonely pilot, the mystery has just begun.

  • Last modified: 2013/12/24 14:18