you talk to the animals, they will talk to you
and you will know each other.
If you do not talk to them, you will not know them.
And what you do not know you will fear.
What one fears, one destroys"
Chief Dan George
The Lost Child
An Old Folk Tale
pure white snow was accented by the blue winter sky and the bright sun.
Cardinals called their clear call and flashed red in winter-sleeping
berry bushes; squirrels hopped about searching for long-buried treasures
making fluffs in the dry snow.
The child emerged from the cabin rubbing sleep from his eyes and
shielding them from the unexpected brightness. What a glorious day!!
"Mom, can I play outside???? please????" were the first words the child
uttered that morning.
"Sure, after you've done your chores for the day," was her sympathetic
Well, you can well imagine that the duties were performed in record time
- and the child went out to play. Since the child had slept late, and
the duties did take a while, lunch was gulped down before he was allowed
out to play.
But, the mother was wise - she knew how difficult it would be to get her
child back in, even to eat, on such an exquisite day.
Snow barriers and intricate paths were woven around the cabin (Some
squirrels were pleased with shallower snow to dig in.) Snow-angels
dotted the snow-scape and tiny butt-prints were left where the child
just sat and rested while admiring the beauty of the surroundings.
And then the child saw the bunny.
Now, the child had chased bunnies before - never successfully - but,
after all, there is a first time. And besides, how fast can bunnies run
in this snow? The child found out!
Straight ahead the bunny leapt, causing geysers of fluffy snow. Bounding
through the trees and around bushes the bunny bounced with the laughing
child close behind - fresh from a recent rest. And then another bunny
leapt sideways in surprise, leading off in another direction.
Tired of chasing impossible bunnies, the child rested, the lowering sun
warming flushed cheeks. New areas without paths or snow-angels just had
to be explored and marked with the child's trademarks - and so the task
was undertaken as the sun rapidly began to disappear below the horizon.
"Huh?" wondered the child, suddenly realizing that it had gotten dark,
and the way back to the warm cabin was unknown. Calls produced no help
as the sound was smothered by the soft snow.
A sliver of moon barely lent a light glow to the scenery as the child,
now sitting in the snow and softly crying, detected glowing eyes at the
edge of the clearing the child had claimed as his own.
The child, having been taught well, sat still, hoping the wolf would
lose interest. Hours passed. The cold began to penetrate the little
one's body, eyelids became heavy and closed.
The still-watching wolf began to move in ...
The following morning, the child's frantic parents had gathered
neighbors to aid in a search for the child they had sought in vain to
find the previous night. As the father approached a clearing, he held
the neighbor back with a signal with his hand.
What he had seen raised the hair on the back of his neck. He saw the
tracks of a child and - horrors of horrors - a wolf resting in the
clearing in the midst of those precious tracks.
They both watched without breathing and the father decided to try to
sneak closer to see if he could see tracks leaving the clearing - little
tracks belonging to a little one. As he got closer to the reclining
wolf, he broke into a dead run!! - for as he got closer, he realized the
wolf was surrounding his child with its body.
Prepared to take on death itself to save his child, he ran right up to
the pair of bodies in the snow.
"Daddy!!" exclaimed the child as it bounded into familiar arms, leaving
behind the frozen body of the wolf that had given up its heat to save
the little one in the night.