Hello, hello, so very kind of you to take time from what I know must be a busy, busy schedule to hear my little story; very kind indeed! My name is Nestor Solomon. I am an owl, of no small reputation in the land called Fulfillment which lies to the east of the river Hope, and west of the sea, Trust. You may, of course, call me Nestor. I have lived many years and seen many things, but the three stories you are about to hear are the whole of what I have learned. Hear me well.
I.
In Fulfillment, on the second branch from the bottom of the old oak tree by the pond, I happened one day to see a strange pair headed my way. It was the farmer’s dog, Old Blue (a first-rate hound, I am told), and a roly-poly pig everybody just called Oink.
Now the road by the pond is a lovely place. Each spring the wild roses climb the split rail fence as if to watch the sheep at pasture. The butterflies dance over the meadow and Contentment fills the air. This pair, Oink and Old Blue, seemed up to no good, so I listened as they talked.
“Look there,” said Old Blue, “those sheep have it made! They spend all day in the beautiful pasture just enjoying all that lush green grass. They haven’t a care. Look at me! I have to live under that noisy porch all day and stay up all night just in case someone comes into the yard. I’m expected to put out the alarm! And what reward do I get for all my labor? An old bone and if I’m lucky, a bit of fat! I tell you, Oink, it just ain’t fair!”
“What are you talking about?” insisted Oink. “What about me? I have to live down in that old swamp, and the farmer never takes notice. It gets me the way he puts up the fuss over these sheep. The way he treats them you would think they were his children. Why, every visitor to the farm doesn’t get a chance to sit down before he drags them down here to see his precious lambs! I tell you, Blue, there ought to be a law.”
Then they got an idea (and I assure you, ideas were few and far between for these two). Old Blue and Oink decided they would become sheep. Old Blue wanted to be ready to enjoy all that good green grass, so he emptied his stomach of the bone and fat that had been his breakfast. Oink quickly washed in the pond. Ready now, they climbed over the fence and watched to see how they should act.
I have to hand it to them, they were quick learners. Walking like a sheep was easier for Old Blue than for Oink. But I have to say, they both did okay. It took a little longer for them to get the talk down pat. But soon they were walking the sheep walk and talking the sheep talk. Once or twice I lost them in the flock, but then I would find them again. They were trying hard to be sheep. But something just wasn’t right.
“I don’t know about you, Oink,” complained Old Blue, “but eating grass just isn’t what it’s cut out to be. This stuff just doesn’t stick to my ribs.”
Old Blue was remembering how it was before he had become a sheep. As he thought about how good that old bone and fat tasted, he drifted over toward the fence. Then, without a word, he was over the fence and off down the road in search of his breakfast.
Oink didn’t mind the grass so much. It was the heat that got to him. Oink wondered how the sheep could stand it. He thought about his old mud hole, cool and wet. And then I saw that he, too, was headed for the fence. But Oink had made a friend, a little lamb named Naive. They had talked at length. Oink has made the mud hole sound so good that when he left, Naive went too.
Down the road, past the trees, and to the swamp they went. Oink was running by the time they reached the mud hole. SPLASH! Oh what a delight, what wonderful mud! Oink nestled in till only his eyes and the tops of his ears and the pink of his nose could be seen.
Naive had taken the plunge as well, but with some very different results. The mud caked his lovely wool, and the smell — oh, it was enough to make him sick! In a minute he was up and out of there. Naive wasted no time getting back to the pasture where he belonged.
Yes, I saw it all from the second branch of the old oak tree by the pond, and it has taught me a lesson that you shall now hear. It is grand indeed to be one of the Master’s sheep. For He loves them more than words can tell, enough to die for them I’m told. But, it is sure that we can never become sheep by pretending. The way to become a sheep is to be born a lamb. Then, even if we follow a pig right into the mud, like Naive, we will not stay long — it would not be our nature, you see.
Now the ancient wisdom has it and I know that it is true.
Whoever would be the Master’s child has but to ask,
and he will be made brand new!
II.
In Fulfillment, on the second branch from the bottom of the old oak tree by the pond, I happened one day to see Darold Duck, Frisky Squirrel, and Fleetfoot Fox at play.
I say they were playing, but as usual, Frisky and Fleet were having all the fun while Darold just sat and moped.
Disgusted, Darold crossed his wings (as was his custom) and mumbled, “You guys are really lucky! I would give anything to be able to run like you. Everytime I try, I get to wagging so much from side to side that my behind gets to moving faster than my front, and then I’m sent a-tumbling.”
“Aw, stop your complaining,” said Fleet as he rushed by.
“Yea! Knock it off!” chimed in Frisky, from way up high in the Maple tree.
“Easy for you to say,” Darold answered indignantly.
“You can run almost as good as Fleet, and you can climb. Man! You can climb better than anybody. Look at me. With these big ugly feet — I can’t run or climb. I try, I really try but I guess I’m just not good for nothin’. The harder I try the worse I do! I’m stupid; I talk funny; I’m fat …”
Darold was so busy feeling sorry for himself that he didn’t notice that Fleet had stopped running and Frisky had come down out of the tree. They were both down at the edge of the pond. And something was terribly wrong! They were jumping up and down, yelling and pointing at something in the water. “Oh, my goodness!” thought Darold. “It’s a little baby mouse. And he’s in trouble — big trouble!”
What sent chills up and down their spine was an ugly rippling wake drawing near the little mouse. It could only mean one thing. Beelzebub, the wicked snapping turtle had seen the little mouse. And he wanted to make him his meal!
Darold couldn’t remember starting to run. All he knew was that someone, somehow, somewhere, had to save that mouse. All at once he was in the water. He felt like he was flying! It had never occurred to him that he could swim. But, oh, man, could he ever! His body was just right for cutting through the waves, and those feet — those great big beautiful feet — worked like they were made for the water. Not a moment too soon Darold sailed past the little mouse who jumped upon his back and away they went.
As they pulled up to shore, Frisky and Fleet were beside themselves with joy. And, with a new respect for their friend. What is more, Darold had a new respect for himself. Nature had not tricked him; he wasn’t a misfit; he was what he was supposed to be, and he was somebody special!
Yes, I saw it all from the old oak tree by the pond, and it has taught me a lesson you shall now hear. God makes no mistakes. He puts His creatures together in special ways because they are special to Him. He orders His creation, every part of it, just so in order that everything will work together for good!
Now the ancient wisdom has it,
and I know that it is true.
God made a special work
when He made a special you!
III.
In Fulfillment, on the second branch from the bottom of the old oak tree by the pond, I happened to see Wiley Weasel. And, as usual, he was up to no good.
Wiley was busy hiding several eggs. Ill gotten gain, no doubt. It would be his plan to return later and eat them. All of which is most sad, but this time I had to laugh. This time Wiley was “hiding” the eggs in the chicken coop! In his greed, he had been in such a hurry that he was pushing the eggs through a hole right into Rosey’s lap! Rosey, a plump motherly hen, was the best sitting hen on the farm. She would see to it that no harm came to these eggs.
Rosey took them to her nest and that was that; they were her children. But what Rosey didn’t know was that one of these eggs was an eagle’s egg. Wiley had taken it from a nest high in a pine, way up beyond the foot hills in the high country.
On the day that the eggs hatched, Rosey was filled with a mother’s pride. It is true, she had never seen a chick as scrawny as her one new son. But, no matter, Rosey loved them all. The scrawny chick, the eaglet (though no one in the coop knew), earned a reputation right away as being an independent and rather wild character. Rosey named him Dreamer.
Dreamer’s childhood was for the most part uneventful; life in a chicken coop is not all that exciting. But from the beginning he felt he was destined for greater things, somewhere, deep inside, there was a longing to break through to a bigger realm; a calling to something more.
Dreamer tried to be like everybody else — he really did. He would watch as they picked a bit of cracked corn out of the dirt, but for all his effort, it just didn’t seem like the right thing to do. One day he said to Rosey, “Mother, I believe there is more to life than scratching in the dirt. Sometimes, when I look into the sky, I feel like that’s where I belong. I believe; I wish — I wish I could fly!”
“That will be quite enough of that young man,” scolded Rosey. “I named you right, Dreamer. But you had better get your mind back down in the dirt where it belongs. Don’t you care what the others think? They already say your bit is strange. And as for the sky — it is evil! It is the place of the Hawk! The less you think of it the better.”
Dreamer did his best to behave himself, but the longing was always there. And each day it seemed to grow stronger and stronger. Sometimes he would stand for hours just staring into that great expanse of blue, his heart would swell within him; he knew there was something more — there had to be more!
Then one day, I watched him as he paced back and forth along the fence. All at once he stopped, he looked straight up, and then he began to climb. The higher he went, the more his little heart would pound. Until finally, Dreamer made it to the top! There he stood with the wind rushing past his face as he saw a world those below knew nothing about. “Eat your hearts out down there,” he said. “Old Dreamer has made it to the top.”
But then he noticed that the longing was still there — he was being called yet to even greater realms! The thought came to him in a flash. “Fly Dreamer. Spread your wings and launch yourself into that great big beautiful world.” Dreamer turned to look below. There they were, safe and sound.
What was Dreamer to do? On the one hand, he wanted to go back where it was safe, but then again, something kept telling him to go for it — to fly! It was the hardest decision he ever had to make. Finally, his mind made up, he opted for the sky. Everything proper, all common sense, said he would fall to the ground and break his foolish neck. But he didn’t fall — he flew!
Yes, I saw it all from the second branch of the old oak tree by the pond, and it has taught me a lesson that you shall now hear. God has made each of you for great and marvelous things. We must never settle for less than His best.
Now the ancient wisdom has it,
and I know that it is true.
God intends for you to be a King.
Don’t you stop until He’s through.
Now, the ancient wisdom never lies:
it always rings out true.
God in heaven has a plan:
a plan that involves you.
It starts with you becoming his child,
an act of simple faith.
And then because He is all wise,
you know there’s no mistake.
Every day, in every way, He works
to make you whole.
You as his son, a ruler, king,
and prince.
In His plans’ noble goal!

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