(Credit: My five-year-old granddaughter, Kira Isabel, gave me the idea for these specific animals chasing each other.)
Once upon a time, at the edge of a dark forest, a cottage was built. Chase and his momma lived in this simple cottage made from hay and stubble. Momma worked hard to keep the house clean, the laundry washed and the garden free from weeds. However, truth be told, there wasn’t much for a five-year-old boy to do.
“Momma?” Chase asked one boring, summer afternoon while lying on the ground looking up at the clouds. “Why don’t I have any friends? More than anything in the whole wide world, I would like to have a friend.”
“Tis true,” Momma said with a clothespin in her mouth. Shaking out a blue bed sheet, she added, “We don’t have any neighbors and that’s a fact. Why don’t you pray and ask Jesus for a friend?”
Right before going to bed, Chase knelt at his window looking outside towards the heavens. “Jesus, I sure could use a friend or two. It’s mighty lonesome-like around here without anyone to play with. Thanks, Jesus!” With a heart full of faith, Chase went to sleep.
Hunley, the hound dog, loved running through the forest at night, howling at whatever he could find. On that prayerful night, Hunley took off for the forest at full speed, the moon shining brightly on his escapades. He bolted through the clover patch, he waded the creek with a splash, he jumped over a dead log, he ran around the bend and…
“Ooooooooooow, ooooooooow,” Hunley howled.
“Huh?” said a startled brown bear, licking honey from his paw. “Now cut that out, would ya!” he demanded. “I don’t like loud noises.” With that, the bear ran away with Hunley howling at his heels.
The bear fled through the cornfield as fast as he could lumber. He ran over the bridge, down through the hollow and over a tall hill with Hunley right behind him and…
The bear ran right into a deer eating tender leaves from a tree. “Huh?” said the surprised deer.
“Ow,” said the bear, “that hurts! Get your antlers away from my nose.”
“Get your nose away from my antlers,” growled the deer.
The deer took off running through the forest with an angry bear chasing him and Hunley nipping at the bear’s heels. The deer sprinted around the lake, through the meadow, and down to the barn with the crazy bear right behind him. Hunley was still howling just for the joy of the chase and…
The deer tripped over a sleeping pig who was cooling himself in the luxurious mud. Down into the mud went the deer. Down into the mud went the bear. Down into the mud went Hunley the hound dog.
“Huh?” yelled the pig. “What do you think you’re doing? You made a mess of my mud!” said the pig while bonking the deer upside the head with his curly tail. That’s when the pig, looking behind him, noticed the deer’s antlers aimed right at said curly tail.
“Yikes!” said the pig as he crawled out of the mud. The pig waddled through the barn door and out the other side. He ran into Momma’s garden, stopping long enough to scarf down a carrot or two. He ran under the clean sheets hanging on the clothes line. He couldn’t see where he was going because of the sheet covering his head and…
He ran into the straw wall of the cottage. The deer, who was also blinded by pajamas on his antlers, bumped into the pig. Up went the pig on the deer’s head. The bear, wearing underwear on his head, bumped into the deer. Up went the deer on the bear’s head. Hunley, too busy howling and not paying attention to where he was going, bumped into the bear. Up went the bear on top of Hunley’s head.
Chase woke from all the noise. “Huh?” he said with a yawn.
Peeking out his window, he saw the dog, the bear, the deer and the pig piled high looking back at him. “Thank you, Jesus, for sending me some new friends,” he said with a grateful heart.
The moral of this story: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8
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