This is a story about a dog named Nici who is looking for a human to take care of him, and in return, Nici will treat this person with devotion. It all starts on Christmas Eve, where in the sheepfold, Nici along with his beloved puppies and other dogs were waiting for this fierce winter night to end. In search of protection, a little boy also joined their company. The boy is the son of Nici's owner, and for both of them, the dog is ready to give his life. And then, snuggled up warmly, they listened attentively to Nici's stories, thereby distracting themselves from the eerie howling of the snowstorm. Nici tells about his thorny path of life, his dedication to the shepherd's calling, and his faith in people.
The book Nici's Christmas Tale: 1157, written by Jean Gill, helps to see the whole range of feelings that a dog can experience. I liked that Nici, even despite the difficulties, remained a balanced and responsible dog. And even after the bad attitude toward him, he did not stop believing in people and serving them. The author wants to convey to the reader all the beauty of such an ancient and respected profession of a shepherd and the role played by dogs in this matter. I respect that, especially since I always appreciate books that carry the idea of oneness with nature. Since the whole story revolved around people and sheep, I could not fully enjoy the development of Nici as a character. In other words, Nici was an observer and he reacted but did not lead the plot. This is why I would have liked less details and more Nici in the dynamics. The ending of the book was a kind of cliffhanger, and since Nici's story ended in an interesting place, it left me wondering what will happen next. I hope further events can be found in other books of the Troubadours Quartet series. My overall impressions of the book are positive, and I never cease to be amazed at how brave and loyal a dog can be and how its unconditional love should be more appreciated by people. Nici shows by his example that you should believe until the end that there are kind people with a pure heart, who are ready to become your friend regardless of who you are and what mistakes you carry with you from the past.