Tuesday, November 25, 2008


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The image is courtesy of The Gutenberg Project.

As this is the season for being thankful and expressing gratitude, I have a true story of gratitude that always makes me smile when I remember it. I shall begin the story as one of my grandsons always began his when he was three or four years of age:

One piece of time many year ago, our entire family was camping on the Colorado River in Texas. As we lay under the moonlit trees on our camp cots that first night, the pitiful crying of a small lamb kept us awake.

The next morning, Uncle Glen, a Texas rancher, found the lamb that had kept us all from our sleep. One of her ears was so infected that it was swollen and draining. One could tell she was in great pain. Glen, whose father had been a veterinarian and trained Glen in taking care of animals, had his animal first-aid kit with him. After asking permission from the farmer who owned the lamb, Glen applied medication to her ear. The medicine gave instant relief and began the healing process. Glen applied the treatment several times throughout the day and said he would continue the treatment until the ear was healed. That night the lamb was quiet.

The next morning, I awoke before anyone else. I looked across the grove toward Glen's camp cot. There, next to his cot with her face near his, stood the little lamb quietly waiting for Glen to awaken.

The little creature followed Glen wherever he went. When he left with the men in his boat, she was watching from the shore. When he returned with his catch, she greeted him from the water's edge with her lamb sounds. She watched him eat and went down to the river to watch him bathe. She stood by his cot and watched him fall asleep each night and she was there to nuzzle his face in the morning when he awoke.
I had never seen so much love and gratitude expressed by a small creature.

What I learned from Uncle Glen and the lamb that summer was how to give and how to receive.

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