A young child and her godfather (both atheists) are sitting outside one cloudy summer day,

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A young child and her godfather (both atheists) are sitting outside one cloudy summer day, watching the ducks swim by in a nearby pond. The girl has a passion for lollipops, and has finished her first one, hunting in her pocket for the second, final lollipop - grape flavored, her favorite, saved for last. She unwraps it and offers it to her godfather, "Do you want this?" A faint rumble of thunder echos around them as he thanks her, but turns it down. It is only natural for a three year old to imagine that everyone else shares her every feeling, including a love for grape flavored candy of all kinds, and her sudden desire to relinquish her most prized possession at the time is endearing. The breeze dies down, as it often does before a warm summer rain, but the most wonderful goddaughter in the world is shivering. "What's wrong?" "I'm scared," she manages to say, "It's going to thunder... it's too loud... it scares me!" The sky crashes at full volume, and her hands fly to cover her ears, abject terror manifest in every movement and sound she makes. "Listen!" she hears her godfather whisper in her ear, holding her close, "What do the ducks hear? Do you see them over there?" Calmed some by the hug and sound of a familiar voice, she glances silently in their direction. "Hold on to my hand while we listen for the thunder, and watch for lightning! Soon the rain will come along with them. This is even better than fireworks, when a BIG storm comes along, and we can both watch from inside." A curious look upward: "Do the ducks have a home to go to?" Considered from a perspective outside of herself, the thunder is ignored except for an excited laugh every so often when a spectacular roar shakes the trees. The sky darkens. Talking together they walk towards home, away from conquered fear, as the first raindrops splatter the path before them.


E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank