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Hello, Scruff! - a lost sheep

To keep on looking until we find what has been lost.

by The Revd Sylvia Burgoyne

Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1


To keep on looking until we find what has been lost.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a glove puppet or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
  • As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.


  • Scruff waves to the children. Encourage them to say, ‘Hello, Scruff!’ If this is the first time the children have met Scruff, you will need to use the following introduction. Scruff lives on a farm with Lucy Jane, her mum, Mrs B, and her dad, Farmer Brown. Lucy Jane loves Scruff. She looks after him. She plays with him and she talks to him – when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Scruff is her best friend!
  • Lucy Jane came running in to the stables. ‘Wake up, Scruff! The sheepshearer is here.’ Ask the children, ‘What does a sheepshearer do?’‘ Dad says one of the sheep is missing! We’re going to find her.’ Lucy Jane quickly led Scruff out of the stable and jumped on his back. Clip clop they went, through the sheep gathered in the farmyard, all waiting for their haircut! Lucy Jane could see her dad talking to the sheepshearer in the doorway of the big barn. She waved and shouted, ‘We’ll keep looking until we find your lost sheep, Dad!’
  • First of all, they looked in the meadow, then the orchard. They rode in and out of the trees in the wood and soon they were heading for the river.‘ Do you think that silly sheep has crossed the river, Scruff?’ ‘Hee-haw! Hee-haw!’ nodded Scruff. Sure enough, as they stopped to listen, they could hear a faint bleating sound. They splashed through the shallow water and up into the trees on the opposite bank. Then they spotted her – a lonely sheep, looking wet and very bedraggled. Lucy Jane jumped down and spoke gently to the sheep. ‘Come on, follow us. You don’t want to miss your haircut, do you?’ she laughed and Scruff joined in, ‘Hee-haw! Hee-haw!’It wasn’t long before they all arrived back at the farmyard.‘ Well done! You’re just in time,’ beamed Farmer Brown. ‘The sheepshearer has just about finished!’ The silly sheep looked around at all her friends. How smart they looked, now they were all neatly shorn. She ran up to the sheepshearer – she wanted to look smart, too! Farmer Brown gave Lucy Jane a hug and patted Scruff. ‘Thank you for finding my lost sheep. Now, let’s go in to the kitchen and find an ice-cream and  . . .  a carrot!’Take Scruff off.
  • For Church schools. Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd and we are all his sheep. He wants to care for us, but sometimes we can be silly sheep. We do naughty things that make Jesus very sad, so he told this story about a lost sheep, to teach us he will never forget us. Once there was a farmer who had 100 sheep. What special name do we give to a man who looks after sheep? Every night, he counted them as they went into the sheepfold. Can you count up to ten? Who can count up in tens to 100? One night, he was counting them as usual – ‘  . . .  95, 96, 97, 98, 99  . . .’ Then he looked around before exclaiming, ‘There’s one missing! What shall I do? That sheep might be in danger.’ What do you think the shepherd did? What might have happened to the lost sheep? He left the 99 sheep in the sheepfold and went out into the darkness, carrying a lantern and his shepherd’s crook. He looked, he listened and, at last, he found his lost sheep at the bottom of a deep ditch. He hoisted her up with his crook, then carefully lifted her on to his shoulders and took her back to the sheepfold. He was so happy that she was safe, he told his friends the good news. ‘I’ve found the sheep that was lost. Come and celebrate with me!’

Time for reflection

Quietly read the words of ‘Lost and found’ (Come and Praise, 57) for the children to think about.

Father God, Just as the shepherd cares for his sheep, so you care for each one of us. Thank you!


'Lost and found' (Come and Praise, 57)

Publication date: October 2013   (Vol.15 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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