On Angel Wings (2014)
Rachel is 8 and for the first time on Christmas night, she is allowed to join her brothers and sisters to visit their Grandfather, Amos, as he carries out his annual ritual of a night in the hills, where he worked as a young shepherd boy. Grandfather is delighted to see the children and a special bond is established between himself and Rachel. Like her, he was the youngest and was always getting in the way, struggling to do things better, fighting to be believed in. He tells them how she reminds him of a magical night when he was just her age. Gathering his thoughts, Grandfather stirs the embers of the fire with a stick and begins his story. The sparks swirl thickly up into the star filled sky and we see Amos as a young shepherd boy on the hills. That very night the shepherds and he have a surprise visit from the Angel Gabriel. Gabriel explains that this very night, a new king has been born in nearby Bethlehem who will bring peace and goodwill to the peoples of the world, and they have been chosen to hear the good tidings because they are shepherds; and he, too, will be a shepherd, a shepherd not of sheep but of all mankind. The shepherds cannot believe what they have just witnessed so with the help of the sign from Gabriel, they travel to visit the new born king, leaving Amos behind to look after the flock. Disappointed, Amos shouts to the heavens and is shocked when Angel Gabriel returns to him. Gabriel takes him, ahead of the other shepherds, on a magical night flight, to be the first visitor to the newly born Christ child. This magical re-working of the nativity based on the book by the leading storyteller Michael Morpurgo is rich with human poignancy as we share a boy’s very special experience.