We’re back this week with the second part of our guest post by Brenda Valdez. Read part 1 here. Enjoy.
They awoke to the hoot of the two owls having what seemed like a conversation, and the singing of song at the same time. Daddy and Momma Badger and RC and Momma Raccoon sat and listened with open hearts to the melody that was coming from the two owls. It was as if their eyes were seeing for the first time. As if their ears were hearing sound for the first time. Everything was new and different, yet nothing had changed in the physical world around them. After a few moments Momma Raccoon began singing along. And then RC Raccoon and Daddy and Momma Badger joined in as well. What a glorious moment! No longer did they believe the lies about the lion, that he was ferocious and demanding and cruel, nor did they believe the rumors that he was only a fairy tale. They knew he was real!
Momma Badger began to weep. This was the song she had remembered hearing sung when she was very young. He, the lion, was real. And he was her protector. She looked up from her place under the tree and for a brief second she thought she was dreaming. In front of her stood the lamb. Gentle. Peaceful and approachable. He was bidding her to come follow him. She turned quickly to see if the others were seeing him as well, but their eyes were closed and they were basking in the radiance of the son that was rising. For the dawn of the new day was already upon them. They had spent the entire night singing this glorious melody with the two owls.
They sat speechless for a time. No one saying a word. The owls had already departed, but not before telling them of a place where others who had heard this song were gathering together to learn and sing of the truth of the lion.
Momma Badger and Momma Raccoon gathered their things, and their husbands, and rushed them home. For they were eager to pack their belongings and head off to the land where others were gathering to sing of the truth of the lion.
The move to the new land did not come as quickly as the two families had hoped. But, finally a day came when Daddy Badger and his family were able to move to the new land. RC Raccoon and Momma Raccoon were very happy but also very sad, for they were not able to go just yet.
The Badgers and the Raccoons said their farewells. It was hard on both families, for they had grown very close, but there was a hope for a future date when they would be able to gather around the same meal again.
Daddy Badger and Momma Badger were excited but nervous to move to this new land. Badgers were used to grassy meadows and desert lands. But this land was full of swamps and alligators.
As they approached the new land all of their anxiety was washed away. For the closer they got, the louder the song they had heard from the two owls a year before, began to be heard. There were more gathered together singing this song than just badgers and raccoons. There were otters and mice, hawks and skunks, beavers, bats, chipmunks, groundhogs, rabbits, squirrels hummingbirds, geese and weasels, ferrets and so many more. The sound of the song traveling out from the gathering of all of the animals was unanimous and in one accord. What a glorious sight it was!
A short time passed (although to RC Raccoon and Momma Raccoon it felt like an eternity) and the Raccoon family, from the grassy meadow in the Midwest, made their way to the land of the swamps and alligators.
What a glorious time the Raccoon and Badger family were beginning to have with their new family. Yes, family. For everyone who gathered together in the land of the swamps became their brothers and sisters.
Days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months, and months turned into years. All the while, all who gathered in the swamp were singing the song of the lion.
The animals gathered in the swamp began getting word from far away lands, and lands nearby, of others who wanted to know how to sing the song of the lion. They talked of visiting these lands and of sending messengers and encouragement.
Not long after, one of the wise old owls sent a note and asked if anyone was willing to leave the land of the swamp and go with him to learn how to teach others to sing the song of the lion? For there were so many animals in different lands desperately wanting to sing the lion’s song, and his wings were growing weary of all the travel.
Many talked of going. Many desired to go, but alas it was RC Raccoon and Momma Raccoon, and Thomas the Goose who said, “We will go.”
It was to be a bittersweet farewell. For all of the animals in the swamp loved their brothers and sisters with all of their hearts, but they knew others needed to learn to sing the song of the lion.
They gathered one evening in the middle of the swamp and circled RC Raccoon and Momma Raccoon and Thomas the Goose and began singing the lion’s song once more. And while they were singing, Momma Badger opened her eyes and behold, in front of her stood the lion. For as all of the animals gathered and sang the lion was made visible.
The next morning all of the animals stood at the edge of the swamp and waived fair well to the Raccoons and the Goose.
I looked over at my Pap who was sitting on the couch beside me and saw him wipe tears away. I was sitting wide eyed waiting for him to continue. He just sat quietly and continued to look out at the distance in front of him. “Pap?” I asked softly. “What happened next?” He closed his eyes and took a slow deep breath. He then turned to me and said, “That my son, is a story for another night.” He smiled and then rubbed my head. There was something different about his face in that moment. He seemed older and younger all at the same time. He gathered himself together and slowly got up from the love seat, and took our empty plate of cookies and cups to the kitchen to wash them up.
I sat for a few moments on the couch pondering all that Pap had just told me. I could not understand why he had been crying. Maybe it was because we were sitting in Gran’s favorite room and he missed her so much. I wasn’t quite sure.
I decided to go help Pap in the kitchen, and as I got up from the love seat and walked around the end table I glanced at the picture of the Badger family on the bookshelf. I walked over and picked it up. I had never held the picture before. I looked at the Badgers in the picture, and the frame, and turned it over in my hand. It was just an ordinary wooden frame and an ordinary picture. The only thing was the inscription of the words “Precious Lord” on the front.
I made my way to the kitchen, and for the first time began to notice that dawn was beginning. I stood next to Pap as he dried the plate and cups. He looked over at me and said, ” Why not go lay down for a few minutes and try to get some rest?” I realized in that moment how very tired I was. I accepted his invitation and made my way back to the love seat in Gran’s favorite room. I first grabbed Pap’s white blanket off the back of his black recliner, and then snuggled up on the comfy cream colored love seat once more.
I lay falling into a peaceful sIeep as I heard Pap begin to hum the song he loved to sing. I closed my eyes, and there he was, the lion, as gentle as a lamb bidding me to come follow him.