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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Adventures in Harmonia: Music Theory and Dinosaurs (Part 13)


To read previous installments of this series, visit the Adventures in Harmonia page.


I spent the rest of the weekend contemplating “King” Alexander’s odd request. He wanted me to get him back to Harmonia? REALLY? How on earth was I supposed to do that? Even if I discovered what was blocking him from using the portals in the first place and then miraculously figured out how to unblock him, there was still the matter of smuggling him out of a nursing home. Sure, I could take the music box there so he technically wouldn’t even have to leave his room, but still…the nurses were bound to notice his disappearance into thin air sooner or later. Continue reading

Grandpa’s House


My grandfather passed away several years ago to cancer. Recently, my family spent some time down at his house visiting an old friend who lives there. All of my grandfather’s things were still there–dishes, furniture, books, decorations, you name it–in the same places they have been for basically my whole life. There is a familiar, comfortable feeling that always takes over when I walk into that place. It still has that welcoming atmosphere that beckons me to explore and to relive my childhood.

The house is literally in the middle of nowhere, secluded by the wonderfully wild surrounding woods. It’s like entering a fairy tale, and is still one of my favorite places in the whole world. Continue reading

Writing Reflections: The Role of Fictional Languages


I have always been fascinated by language. The way certain verbal sounds grouped together can have a universally understood meaning within a society is intriguing to me. Even as a kid I would spend time creating my own words, and occasionally “secret codes” that could only be translated by those possessing the key. Oftentimes, such codes were employed as an effective method of passing notes in class with my friends, which could not be interpreted by unwanted eyes. *Ahem.* I’m not condoning such practices of course, but alas, I admit I did not always put such efforts and talents to their best use in my youth. Continue reading

June WIPjoy: Week 3


Here are my answers to the June #WIPjoy prompts on Twitter and Facebook (and occasionally Instagram), about my current work-in-progress, “The Hall of Memories.” You can also view Week 1 and Week 2 by clicking on the links. Enjoy! Continue reading

June WIPjoy: Week 2


Click here to view week 1.


Here are my answers to week 2 of Bethany Jennings’ month long writer’s challenge using the hashtag “WIPjoy.” For this challenge, I get to share info about my current work-in-progress, a fantasy story called The Hall of Memories. Continue reading

June WIPjoy: Week 1


Once again, author Bethany Jennings has put together a super fun Q&A prompt over on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag WIPjoy. The idea is for writers to share info about their latest work-in-progress (a.k.a. “WIP”). Each day for the entire month there is a new prompt for us to answer, in which we share descriptions, information or even occasionally excerpts of stories. It’s a great way to gain new followers and potential readers, and it’s a great source of encouragement and community amongst writers. Plus, it’s a fun way to let others share in your excitement and passion and, yes…joy! 🙂 Continue reading

Adventures in Harmonia: The Exiled King (Part 12)


To read previous installments in this series, visit my Adventures in Harmonia page and scroll down.


“Can I help you?” The woman behind the desk asked when I arrived at the main office of Pleasant Oaks Retirement Center. Her name tag proclaimed her to be Tammy.

“Yes. I’m here to see Alexander Haywood. I was wondering if you could tell me where he is.”

“Sure thing, honey. Just give me a second.”

She clacked away on the computer keyboard, smacking her gum loudly. “Haywood…Hay–Ah! Haywood. Found him.” She smiled up at me as if waiting for my congratulations.

“Um…great,” I replied.

“I’m sorry. What did you say your name was, dear?”

“Oh, I don’t think I did. My name’s Stephanie. I’m a…an old friend.”

Tammy smiled still wider. “How sweet! I’m sure he’ll be delighted to see you then. According to my records, he hasn’t had a visitor in a long while. Your company might do him good.”

“I hope so.”

Continue reading

Adventures in Harmonia: Questions (Part 11)


If you missed previous installments, you can visit my Adventures in Harmonia page and scroll down for more posts.


“Hi, Ms. Stephanie!” Alyson greeted me when I opened the door later that afternoon.

“Hi there. How are you?”

“Great!” She stepped over the threshold and took off her coat. Her mother, Tiffany, followed.

“Hello. I’m going to stay today, if that’s OK,” Tiffany said.

I scarcely concealed my relief. “Of course! Come on in!”

Ha! I wouldn’t have to talk about the music box or Harmonia now. Not with the mom there. Continue reading

Adventures in Harmonia: Denial (Part 10)


If you missed previous installments of this series, you can go to my Adventures in Harmonia page and scroll down for more posts.


I waved goodbye with a numb, vacant smile–the most I could manage at the time–as Alyson climbed into her mother’s car. It had without a doubt been the most stressful and traumatizing piano lesson of my life.

We spent hours trapped in an insane and, as it turned out, dangerous world where music notes were alive and a swarm of flying, bloodthirsty accents sent us running for our lives; all of which existed, annoyingly enough, inside the music box on my piano. The very music box some old man had pawned off on me, and I had been sucker enough to take out of “sympathy.” It was supposed to be nothing more than a pretty, but ordinary wooden box. Joke was on me, I guess.
Continue reading