The Thorn Bush and the Lamb


There once was a little red squirrel,

Adam was his name.

He stole an acorn

From the Oak

And ate it without shame.

‘Twas the dead of night, the story goes,

Black as a raven’s wing.

Lightning flashed!

Thunder crashed

From storm clouds gathering.

 

The wind began to howl.

Sharp rain pelted the ground.

Scared and alone,

Adam fled,

No shelter to be found.

He climbed a hill, bare and bleak,

But halted in dismay.

Glistening fangs.

Sharp claws.

A great Wolf blocked the way.

 

Adam ran–O, horror!

The Wolf pursued behind.

Hot breath steamed

On Adam’s tail.

“Help!” he squeaked in fright.

No answer met his cry.

To the crest he rushed.

The Wolf snapped,

But Adam leapt

Into an old thorn bush.

 

Sharp fingers cut him,

Their victim to ensnare.

With glowing eyes,

The Wolf peered

Into the thorny lair.

Through a gap in the clouds,

A single star shone bright.

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!”

It whispered to the night.

 

Shivering and bleeding,

Adam looked to the skies–

Behind the clouds

A host of stars

Blinked their sleepy eyes.

What seemed to Adam first to be

One voice from one star,

He now perceived

Not one, but many–

Chanting from afar.

 

Their voices slowly rose

From whispers to a song:

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!

It will not now be long.”

“The Law is plain,” said the Wolf,

“Inscribed on the old Oak tree:

‘The guilty shall

Not go unpunished;’

The thief belongs to me.”

 

Out of the waning darkness,

A small, white Lamb emerged.

Amidst the storm,

Its feeble bleat

Scarcely could be heard.

“Run!” warned Adam, but the Lamb

Bowed its downy head.

Teeth snapped,

Claws slashed.

And then the Lamb fell dead.

 

Lustily, the great Wolf

Licked his red-stained maw.

With wicked grin

He prowled nigh,

Blood dripping from his jaw.

“A tasty treat,” declared the Wolf,

“But my appetite

Demands a morsel

More, or two.

You’ll make a fair bite.”

 

As Adam shivered in his cage,

Beneath the Wolf’s cold gaze,

The rain stopped,

The wind calmed,

The thunder rolled away.

Adam wept; what hope had he

To see the break of day?

Long claws

Reached inside

And slowly crept his way.

 

Suddenly, a beam of light

Streaked across the sky.

Shining through

Stem and thorn,

It filled the bush with light.

Squinting through the brambles,

Adam spied the Moon’s bright face.

Grinning wide,

The Moon looked down

Upon his hiding place.

 

“Hush, small one,” whispered the Moon,

“Fear not night’s dark sway;

The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!

And soon ’twill be the day.”

“How can you speak thus,” said Adam,

“And what does it mean?

‘The Sun is coming!’

What good is that

To a wretched squirrel like me?”

 

With a warm smile, the Moon replied,

“Why, do you not yet know?

My face but

Reflects the light

From the Sun’s bright glow!

“We wait for him,” said the Moon,

“And ever through the night,

We bring the hope

Of one far greater,

With the promise of his light.”

 

E’en as the Moon thus spoke,

The Wolf began to howl,

For the light

Singed his fur

And burned him where he prowled.

The Moon joined the stars,

Together singing out:

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!”

It turned into a shout.

 

“Quiet!” cried the Wolf

As he shook his shaggy head.

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!”

The call began to spread.

The waking birds joined the chorus,

Across the sky it rang:

“The Sun is coming!

The Sun is coming!”

Every creature sang.

 

Enraged, the great Wolf charged

Into the bush of thorns.

He snapped and snarled,

But far away

Rang out the sound of horns.

Knowing that his time had come,

Adam closed his eyes.

“Too late

It is for me

To see the Sun arise.”

 

But ere the Wolf could reach him,

A loud roar rent the air.

Upon the hill,

Majestic and strong,

Stood a golden Lion fair.

“What can this be?” declared the Wolf,

Scarcely believing his sight.

Behind the Lion,

Low in the sky,

There glowed a distant light.

 

The Lion laughed and answered,

“Your power is undone.

I am the Lamb.

I am the King.

I am the risen Sun.”

The Lion leapt across the hill

His prey to devour,

With mighty roar,

He slew the Wolf

Therein the dawn’s first hour.

 

Frightened and unsure,

In hiding Adam lay.

For surely he,

Lawbreaker,

The King would also slay.

“Fear not, child,” urged the Lion,

“You need not hide from me.

For ’twas your debt

I paid in full,

That you may be set free.”

 

“Come and ride with me,”

The Lion gently said.

“The night has passed,

The day has come,

And home lies just ahead.”

Adam climbed the Lion’s back.

A strange thing met his sight–

A little bud

Amidst the thorns,

Bathed in golden light.

 

Even as he watched,

A sweet scent reached his nose;

The bud opened,

Red petals bloomed

Into a fragrant rose.

Together, squirrel and Lion departed

‘Midst birdsong and bee’s hum.

The rose smiled

And softly said,

“Behold, the Sun has come.”

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