On the edge of a clearing, in the bright sun, there was village filled with happy, laughing children who played all day in the sun-filled meadow and slept under the starry sky at night.
The children loved the animals of the forest and invited them into the village to play games, share dinner and sleep under the stars.
The fish of the stream, the birds of the sky and all the creatures great and small were embraced by the children and called “friend”.
They swam with the fish in the ponds built by families of Beaver. They played hide and seek with the cottontails and raccoons. They stroked the soft fur of the bobcat kittens and rode upon the backs of the large, strong wolves. They were taught by the bear cubs to climb the tallest of trees.
The bees led the children to the sweetest smelling flowers and the fireflies made twinkly light at the dinner table where they dined together every night.
The children and the creatures lived together happily for many full moons ~ until one horrible day when an Ogre found the clearing and the village on the edge of the forest. The Ogre was large. He cast a dark shadow over the village. His feet were heavy and shook the ground with every step. His voice was loud and angry. He stomped through the once happy village and took all the things he wanted.
He tore the roofs off the huts and broke the long table where the children and creatures gathered each night.
The children and the animals were so were so afraid of the ogre, they all hid in the shadows as he tore their village to pieces.
The ogre saw the fear in the faces of the children and the creatures and laughed a deep, sinister laugh. Satisfied with his evil efforts, he turned and marched out of the village, leaving nothing but a pile of rubble.
The children cried and huddled together for a day and a night, scared the ogre might return.
The second day, they worked together to clean up their village. As they sifted through the broken chairs, tables and beds, a flock of blackbirds flew overhead, making a shadow fall over them. The children screamed and hid behind anything they could find ~ so afraid the ogre had returned.
The children decided to move their village deep into the forest so no ogre would ever be able to find them.
They walked deeper and deeper into the forest where even the sun did not reach. When they got to the heart of the deep, dark forest they stopped. They felt safe hidden in the shelter of the tall trees – surrounded by thick ferns. They slept that night on the thick mossy forest floor.
But, there were all kinds of new and different noises in this part of the forest. Trees would fall, and the earth would rumble as the earth can sometimes do. These new noises and the noises of the animals moving through the brush, made the children think the ogre had returned.
So, the children decided to build a castle to keep them safe. They spent all their time building tall walls and heavy gates to keep them safe from ogres, and when the castle was finished, the children were safe on the inside and their creature friends were on the outside. But, the children finally felt safe.
They lived inside the walls of the castle ~ ever vigilant; listening for the sound of the ogre’s heavy feet. When they would hear a new noise, they would add another heavy gate just to be sure they were safe.
The children missed their animal friends and the sunny meadow where they once played. But they were too afraid to leave the safety of the castle in the deep, dark forest.
The animals missed the children desperately and waited for them to come out from behind the tall, tall walls and heavy gates. They tossed stones against the wall to get their friends’ attention. But, the children thought the ogre had found them and huddled together in fear.
There were no more sunny days spent swimming with the water animals. No more playing with bobcat kittens or bear cubs. After a while, the animals gave up trying to see the children. They went back to the clearing at the edge of the woods and went about their lives without their friends. Soon, there were baby animals who had never met the children and didn’t learn how special children are, or that children and animals make wonderful friends.
The moral of this story is…
You can miss out on a lot when you see ogres everywhere.
Not everything that sounds like an ogre is an ogre.