Friday, November 29, 2019

Skunk is a Christmas Blessing

Christmas was drawing closer that cold November day
When Story's ten marvelous puppies were born.

Story tended each pup carefully, 
cleaning her babies, 
and using her tongue to encourage each pup 
to take its first breath.

November 5th was a long, exhausting day.

But when Story had all of her puppies lined up
in an orderly fashion,
Story whispered to them:

"You are loved;
You were born to be a blessing.
A Christmas gift.
And a special person will know more about love
Because of you."

Story's puppies took this mandate seriously.
Thinking about it was exhausting,
So they rested under their heat lamp.

How were they supposed to be a blessing?
Such deep thinking made them hungry,
And they needed a snack.

Story's pups grew bigger
But they still couldn't walk.
Slithering on their bellies, 
They collapsed in a heap
Amidst the evidence of Christmas approaching.

Each day, Story watched her puppies,
Nursed them and cleaned up after them,
And continued to whisper to them:

"You are loved;
You were born to be a blessing.
A Christmas gift.
And a special person will know more about love
Because of you."

Two weeks passed. 
Story's puppies began to open their eyes
And set out to make names for themselves.

It was at this point that Skunk began to feel
He was at a distinct disadvantage.

Some aspects of life seem unfair.
It was embarrassing enough to have a faint white stripe on his back,
And now Skunk had an incredibly unfortunate name.

Skunk watched as his brothers and sisters
Set out to fulfill the words that had been whispered over them.
Ivy tried to learn to play ball in order to delight a special person.

Paddington and Cupid shared secrets and advice with one another to better themselves.

Gingerbread was a star, and she seemed to always glow with cleanliness and kindness.

Percy, Comet, Holly, and Blitzen grew more and more in the art of snuggling people.

While poor Skunk felt inferior.

He didn't shine, he couldn't play ball, and no one ever seemed to pick him at snuggle time.
His mother might have said he was a blessing and a gift,
but Skunk didn't see it.
All the other puppies seemed better than he was.
He wanted to cry.
And he wanted to escape.

He decided to try to climb out the door of the whelping box,
But his plans were crushed.

Skunk fell down in defeat.

But Skunk did not realize that he was being watched from above.
And although he was sad,
as he fell asleep, his mother's song rang in his ears.
"You are loved;
You were born to be a blessing.
A Christmas gift.
And a special person will know more about love
Because of you."

As the puppies grew,
People began to come, 
To see if one of the marvelous puppies
Would be their Christmas blessing.  

Skunk made a valiant effort at making an impression 
On puppy-searching-people,
But somehow his efforts were considered a nuisance,
And he was always seen as being underfoot.

Until one day, when a new man arrived.
This new man played new games.
"You like to be rough-and-tumble, don't you, Skunk?
You like to wrestle!
I think you are just the pup I've always needed."
Skunk became a Christmas blessing,
Just has his mother had always known he would.

Because God designs us, 
and He knows that in Christ,
we are each a blessing.
We are a each gift.
So that a special person will know more about love
Because of the one life we each live.


"Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
This is how God showed His love among us:
He sent His one and only Son into the world
That we might live through Him."
-1 John 4:7-9

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Five is Alive (a second tale for little peeps and their parents)

The summer of the Seventh Hen had passed. 

Fall passed.


Winter passed. 

Spring arrived. 

Time passes and changes many things,
But with time, some things stay the same.

The hens in the chicken palace
Still had a pecking order
And could still be cantankerous. 

Five had been pecked, abused,
and freed,
to frolic and roam,
away from the chicken palace.

The other hens envied Five.
They had pecked away most of the grass
In the mountaintop coop. 

They dug impressive holes in the dirt
to comfort and entertain themselves.

Five knew she had been hurt by the other hens,
But, in hindsight, she did not mind.
Her life was happier free-ranging on the mountain.

Five was now good friends with Max-the-Dog.

Five was also excellently acquainted
with the neighbors’ bird feeder. 

Five wandered the neighbors’ yards freely.
Five’s Farmer wondered about the wisdom of this,
But the neighbors never seemed to mind.

The neighbors’ DOG did mind.
He wanted to free-range,
Just like Five-the-Hen.
Neighbor-Dog tried to communicate his frustration
By attempting to eat Five. 

Happily, Five escaped.

Spring progressed, and a hawk tried to eat Five.
Five scurried to safety
 under the overhang of the barn. 
No hawk would want to fly under an overhang!

Again, Five was alive.

A month passed,
But life was no easier for Five.
A dog again attempted to catch Five
For a chicken dinner.

Five was exhausted.

She had been happy to leave the chicken palace,
And the cantankerous chicken sisters,
But it no longer seemed such a bad place. 

Five survived
so many attempts on her life,

But Five was afraid.

She walked into the garage

And.  Would.  Not.  Leave.

For a month,
Five was alive,
But she was not really living.

Fear and hurt can get the best of humans,
And apparently,
Fear and hurt can get the best of chickens.
Would Five ever conquer her fear,
And enjoy, again, the beauty of her mountain home?
Or would she waste away in the garage?

Old words whisper new life to human hearts.
“I have not given you a spirit of fear,
but of power,
and of love,
and of a sound mind.”

Similarly, the words and actions of the Farmer’s Son
Must have spoken to Five.
She braved the terrifying world again,
Nestled in His arms. 

Because time passes.
Some things change,
Some things do not.

Danger still lurks.

But there is no life

living in fear and hurt.

Five is alive.
And frolics again.