(Merry Christmas from the Wahes)
Every Christmas I’m reminded by the presence of the Lord in my life and one story that seems to always show up in my heart is a story I heard read years ago by one of my youth leaders as a kid, by Martin Bell, titled "The Way Of The Wolf." You can find the rest of the story here and order the book here. It’s a wonderful Christmas reminder of the presence of God in our lives during this season of Advent.
"It is a good thing that I can hop, he thought, "because the snow is very deep."
Then Barrington dug and dug. Soon he had gathered together enough dead leaves and grass to make the squirrels’ nest warmer. Hop. Hop. Hippity-hop.
He laid the grass and leaves just under the large oak tree and attached this message: "A gift. A free gift. From a member of your family."
It was late when Barrington finally started home. And what made things worse was that he knew a blizzard was beginning.
Hop. Hop. Hippity-hop.
Soon poor Barrington was lost. The wind howled furiously, and it was very, very cold. "It certainly is cold," he said out loud. "It’s a good thing I’m so furry. But if I don’t find my way home pretty soon I might freeze!"
Squeak. Squeak. . . .
And then he saw it-a baby field mouse lost in the snow. And the little mouse was crying.
"Hello, little mouse," Barrington called.
"Don’t cry. I’ll be right there." Hippity-hop, and Barrington was beside the tiny mouse.
"I’m lost," sobbed the little fellow. "I’ll never find my way home, and I know I’m going to freeze."
"You won’t freeze," said Barrington. "I’m a bunny and bunnies are very furry and warm. You stay right where you are and I’ll cover you up."
Barrington lay on top of the little mouse and hugged him tight. The tiny fellow felt himself surrounded by warm fur. He cried for awhile but soon, snug and warm, he fell asleep.
Barrington had only two thoughts that long, cold night. First he thought, "It’s good to be a bunny. Bunnies are very furry and warm." And then, when he felt the heart of the tiny mouse beating regularly, he thought, "All the animals in the forest are my family."
Next morning, the field mice found their little boy, asleep in the snow, warm and snug beneath the furry carcass of a dead bunny. Their relief and excitement was so great that they didn’t even think to question where the bunny had come from.
And as for the beavers and the squirrels, they still wonder which member of their family left the little gift for them that Christmas Eve.
After the field mice had left, Barrington’s frozen body simply lay in the snow. There was no sound except that of the howling wind. And no one anywhere in the forest noticed the great silver wolf who came to stand beside that brown, lop-eared carcass.
But the wolf did come.
And he stood there.
Without moving or saying a word.
All Christmas Day.
Until it was night.
And then he disappeared into the forest.