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.