The first scene opens with three shepherds on the moor, complaining about their miserable lives. Mak the thief then enters, puts a charm on the shepherds and steals a fat sheep. Mak comes back home with the sheep and his wife, Gill, hides it in a cradle, covered with blankets. Mak returns to the shepherds and lies down with them. The young third shepherd has dreamt that a man has stolen one of their sheep, while Mak pretends to have dreamt that his wife has just given birth to a baby. When the shepherds discover that their fat sheep has been stolen, they suspect Mak and go to his hut. Mak and Gill try to keep the shepherds from approaching the cradle, but one by one they come to pay their respects and thus discover the sheep, so they toss Mak in a blanket. Back on the moor, the shepherds fall asleep. An angel appears announcing the birth of their savior in Bethlem. They march off to worship the babe and, once in the manger, they offer their simple gifts to the child.