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"If 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

The 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 reply.

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.


A Wolf.


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.

 

 

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