Once upon a time, long, long ago, there lived a little brown bunny. He had long ears and a big bushy tail. His mother called him Fluffy. He lived in a hole on the side of a hill with his brothers and sisters. When he was little, he spent a lot of time in the nest that his mother had made from soft grass and fur. Now and then he would wander out of the nest to a bright light at one end of his little home, but his mother would urge him back to the nest.
As he grew older, his mother warned him not to go out of the nest without her or his father.
“You must be careful of wolves and eagles” his mother warned.
She told him how some careless bunnies had been carried off by wolves and eagles. So, during the day, she told him to stay in the nest until the light went away. Then, under cover of darkness, his mother would lead the little bunnies out to eat the cool, sweet grasses that grew on the hillside. At any sign of danger, he and his brothers and sisters would scurry back to the safety of their little home.
As little Fluffy grew older, his mother would let he and his little brothers and sisters go out to the light at the end of their home. As he stepped out, he was surprised to see how bright and beautiful it was. He looked at the olive trees, tall cedars, and little cactus flowers. He saw many beautiful flowers and berries. As he looked around, he saw a funny animal looking at him. He had a long, curved tail and grey fur. Fluffy had never seen such an animal.
“What kind of an animal are you?” he asked. “Oh,” said the little ball of fur; “I am a squirrel and my name is Henry.”
Fluffy and Henry became good friends. Henry would climb trees and tell Fluffy of all he could see from on high. Fluffy and Henry also became friendly with the birds. There were gold finches, red cardinals, sparrows, hummingbirds, woodpeckers and robins. The birds liked Fluffy and would sing songs for him, and also sound an alarm if a wolf or eagle were about.
Fluffy’s mother would not let him wander far from the nest, even though there seemed to be better grass further from home. Toward evening, he would sit by the entrance to his home and watch the sunset. The birds would say goodnight and fly into the trees. Henry would climb a tree to his little house. As it grew darker, the stillness of the evening air would be broken with the sound of a cricket, followed by a tree toad, until the whole night stillness would be drowned out by a symphony of sounds.
One evening as Fluffy was sitting outside his house, something unusual happened. He noticed the birds and all the animals hurrying over to a distant hill. They came from all directions; foxes, squirrels, deer, rabbits, field mice, chipmunks, donkeys and all you could name. They seemed to be in a hurry! Fluffy tried to find out where they were going, but they were all too busy to stop and chat with him. Finally, he asked his mother if he could go, but she refused. He did not want to disobey his mother. How he wanted to know what that was all about. Finally, he became tired and went to bed.
Several nights later, the same thing happened again. This time, even Henry went along; but again, his mother would not let him go, even though he begged her. The next day Henry came by, and Fluffy asked him what he saw; was there any danger?
“We went to see the King,” Henry replied as he scurried up a tree. Fluffy also wanted to see the King, so he told his mother about what Henry said. There was now a lot of talk in the animal community about this. Fluffy’s mother went to visit Henry’s mother, who had also gone to see the King.
So, the next evening, Fluffy and his whole family decided to go to see the King beyond the distant hill. Fluffy spent the afternoon cleaning his fur and washing his face. Fluffy was so excited as he hopped over the grass to the hill, for he had never seen a King. As he approached the hill, he saw that it was a garden surrounded by olive trees. He stopped suddenly. Just before him stood a large rock, and all the animals were gathered around the rock in a big semicircle. The birds sat in the branches that hung low over the rock. Some of them had brought flowers for the King. But, there was no King. Fluffy sat down and looked around; the other animals were very quiet.
Fluffy was disappointed. He came so far just to see a rock – where was the King? He noticed a tired man in a grey robe walking up the hillside, obviously a gardener, but no King. After a while, the gardener came near and sat upon the rock.
The animals were delighted!
“Who’s that?” he asked Henry.
“Why, it’s the King!” Henry replied.
Just then, the birds started singing. Those who had brought flowers flew down from the olive branches and placed them at his feet. The King smiled and appeared to understand the animals. They watched him for a long time, and the garden grew so peaceful. Fluffy then understood why all the animals came to see the King. He was overjoyed! Finally, a large deer turned away; and as if it were a signal, the animals bid farewell and left for their homes.
After this, Fluffy would go to see the King whenever the animals came by. But, one day, he noticed that the animals were going to see the King but were very sad. Fluffy joined them, but as he reached the garden, he noticed that the King was not sitting on the rock, but was kneeling beside it. He was in agony; His face dripped with sweat and blood and He was very sad.
The animals were also crying! The big deer had tears running down his face, and the birds did not sing. Fluffy was also sad. After a while, the animals were startled to see an angel standing by the King. They did not know what to make of this.
Suddenly, they heard noises as a large group of men bearing torches and carrying spears came toward the garden. The animals fled in fright.
This was indeed a sad day!
The animals returned to the garden, but the wolf remained to see what would happen to the King. He witnessed the crucifixion and followed the people to a garden tomb where they laid the King. The wolf slept at the entrance to the tomb. The wolf was startled one morning to see a bright light emerging from the tomb and the King coming out of the tomb in splendor and glory! He hurried back to the garden to tell the Good News to the other animals.
The animals sorrow turned to joy as the wolf related what had happened to the King.
Unlike humans, animals are fully aware of the promises made by Jesus of a coming Kingdom completely different than our present situation. There will be no more killing, Love will prevail, and the shedding of tears will be a thing of the past.
We too need to rejoice about the events that the wolf had observed.