The Wakefield Second Shepherds’ Play ctd.

Daw wants to give the baby a sixpence, as the custom is. Mak, feeling what is about to happen, tries to dissuade him from the cradle “Don’t, he’s asleep, you’ll wake him” etc. Daw says “I think he opens his eyes, I’ll just give him one kiss”. When he uncovers the cradle, he sees much to his surprise a sheep. Mak and Gill are in denial, saying “It’s our own son”, “He’s just had a broken nose”, “he’s been bewitched” and “he’s a changeling, left here by the elves”. But all this won’t help them, as the shepherds recognize their own sheep by the earmark. Daw demands putting them to death and burning down their house (this is Middle Ages and capital punishment for theft is very real), but Coll, again probably the most soft-hearted of the shepherds, suggests they should punish Mak just by throwing him in the blanket.

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