Every day along the river bank brings a new challenge. All of us try to focus on peaceful happy times... the times when every thing seems to fit just right. We know it never lasts very long . . . like a ripple on the water, everything is always moving and changing.
My friend, Olivia Frog, was just reminding me of how Eleanor Goose is doing. Now poor Eleanor had a shocking experience that scared her and us--it was frighteningly terrible. In the middle of a happy playful morning swim close to the water's edge, Eleanor touched her plump orange foot down on the creek bottom only to be surprised by a very quick grab to her toes.
It was dreadful!--there was a big splash and a snap. Her sweet orange toes were held tight in something hard, cold, metallic, and very unforgiving. It would not let go, she screamed and cried--we all huddled about her. Cecil Turtle and Olivia swam deep under the water to see this monster.
It was a metallic monster with black teeth and a chain placed by an intruder. . . of the human kind.
Eleanor cried in fear, in panic, and in intense pain, it was overwhelming. I told everyone to be calm--we must be calm to think of what to do. What could we do? . . . did any of us have the strength to release her from these metallic jaws? Cecil, the strongest tired and failed.
Morning became afternoon . . . fear and pain grew. Soon darkness would come and another intruder would come and sadly take her life. WHERE was the Man With The Long Blue Apron?! It seemed hopeless, her life would be lost. We brought her corn from the corn pile and put it before her. She had no interest. Lewis Trout came by and tried to massage her little orange toes.
Alas we realized the only way for her to survive was to surrender a portion of her lovely foot to that metallic monster. It was the only way, the hope for her to survive.
We gathered about her and announced she must pull away with all her strength-- and let her precious little toes go. Eleanor was horrified! It was the only solution. Sometimes we have to let go of a part of ourselves in order to live. It is a very hard thing. Sometimes these things are obvious like this but sometimes they are very small. Well, we have to let go of our feathers, sometimes a tail, or maybe a parent or a friend. But it must be done with courage and the belief that in the end all will be well, it will happen to all of us. Eleanor refused--we had to swim a distance away and maybe let her go. She would soon become resigned to her situation and give up. Eleanor couldn't bear it--she called out to us. We kept our distance. Then suddenly with a flash in her eyes . . . and enormous spirit, strength, and courage she started to pull and pull. We called out encouragement, Olivia watched the progress under water. Then suddenly there was a great gasp--a pop, a snap, and a tear! Eleanor was free! . . . ALIVE and with HOPE. SHE WOULD LIVE! We gathered about her tight. Cecil packed her foot with mud and herbs. Tears flowed from her lovely blue eyes, she would never be the same. Eleanor was a new goose, strong, braver than any of us. She would be forever admired for her spirit, her courage, and her beauty.
And . . . Olivia and Cecil vowed they would forever monitor the water's edge for metallic monsters.
Until next time . . .