Filename: RC5009.TXT AUREA'S TRIP AN EASTER STORY Aurea was the youngest member of the Ang

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Filename: RC5009.TXT AUREA'S TRIP AN EASTER STORY Aurea was the youngest member of the Angel choir, and this was to be her first visit to the planet Earth. She wasn't at all sure she wanted to go. "I don't think I will be happy around human beings," she said. "I've heard that they say nasty things to each other and fight each other and that they're mean and cross." "That's only sometimes," said Lunea, who had been in the Angel choir for two years and knew a lot of things about a lot of planets. "Sometimes they can be very nice. Most human beings deep down inside WANT to be good. But they have to work so hard at being good that they don't always do it." "But it's EASY to be good," protested Aurea. "It is for us," agreed Lunea, "but not for humans. Each human being has a side that wants to be naughty. Being good won't be easy for them till they learn to listen just to the side that wants to be naughty. Then they'll be more like us." "I still don't want to go down there," said Aurea. "I'd rather wait till they stop listening to their naughty sides." "Their naughty sides won't show so much now," Lunea assured her. "They're usually pretty good around Easter." "Easter?" asked Aurea. "What's Easter?" "You'll see," said Lunea, who refused to say another word on the subject. And so the Angel choir rehearsed and rehearsed, and finally the day came for the trip to Earth. Aurea still didn't want to go, but there was nothing she could do about it. Lunea told her she had to go, and the choir director himself told her she had to go. The choir director was a mighty angel, indeed, who could be very stern when he had to be, and Aurea knew it would not be a good idea to argue with him. There were so many, many singers in the Angel choir that, when they reached the Earth's atmosphere, they spread out in all directions around the planet. Aurea and Lunea were with a group that took positions above the ancient city of Jerusalem. Many things were written in the air around Jerusalem about what had happened there during its long history. Much was written about wars and wicked and powerful people. But much, too, was written about good people who worshipped God and tried to live according to His laws. Especially, it was written that the mighty Archangel, the Christ, had once lived in that country in the form of a human being and had then entered into the Earth to be the great Spirit of the Earth. It was written that every year since then, Christ had come back into the Earth to give it life, and that every year, in spring, He left the Earth to go home for a while to God the Father. Because Aurea was an Angel, she could read and understand all those things in a flash and see how they happened. Aurea, of course, knew about Christ. Every Angel in the solar system knew about this glorious Being, Who was the most powerful One in God's Creation, except God Himself. But she had not known about how He once lived on Earth, or how He entered it and left it each year. "Then Easter is the time when Christ leaves the Earth. And we are going to sing for Him when He starts His trip home to God," she said eagerly. Lunea nodded, smiling. "Now aren't you glad you came?" she asked. "I AM glad, I AM!" said Aurea. She had never seen Christ, although she felt the presence of God but had never seen Him. She was getting very excited, but it would be another two days before Christ was ready to leave the Earth, so she had to wait patiently. Meantime, Aurea looked down upon Jerusalem curiously. The city was full of people from many parts of the Earth, speaking many different languages. "How do they understand each other?" she wanted to know. "They don't always," answered Lunea. "That's part of their trouble. When they learn to love each other more, they will understand each other better. That's one thing Christ came to teach them." Aurea nodded. She had seen it written in the air over Jerusalem. "Why are the people so sad?" asked Aurea then. Churches were draped in black, and many people seemed to be in mourning. "They are sad because they remember how Christ was crucified. But they don't understand that, only because this happened, He was able to go into the Earth and give the Earth His life. When they understand better, they will stop being sad and will give more thanks for what He has done for them. Most of them have no idea that He comes back to them every year in this way." "But how could they not have any idea of that?'' wondered Aurea. Lunea sighed. "Poor human beings. They can't see all the beautiful things that they can touch, and many have a hard time believing what they can't touch or measure or take pictures of. But some human beings are starting to get more sensitive, and to feel things that they can't see. And some are starting to see the beautiful things we see." All that day and the next, in curiosity and amazement, Aurea continued to look down on Jerusalem. The people were all so different-each one busily bustling about his own affairs. Some went to the holy places very reverently, and others just to look and stare and point at what they saw. Some people seemed not to know or care about Christ at all, but were very busy making money, or buying things with money they already had, or finding nice ways and not-so-nice ways to have fun. Some, looking stern, were carrying guns--"guarding the pilgrims and the holy places," they said to those who asked. Aurea shuddered when she saw the guns. "See," she whispered, "I knew they were going to fight each other." "They're not fighting now," said Lunea soothingly, "and maybe they won't fight. Besides, there are better things to watch. Look over there." "Over there," was a place called the Garden of Gethsemane. Here, Aurea could see right away, Christ, when still in human form, had spent a lonely night of prayer just before His Crucifixion. A church had been built in that place, and now many people had quietly gathered there together and stood or knelt silently. Each person was praying to God or thinking of Him in his own way. A beautiful golden light had spread throughout the church and surrounded it--a light that the people could not see but that Aurea and Lunea and the other Angels could see very well. It seemed to Aurea that, even though each person was thinking his own thoughts, they all were somehow bound together in that light, just as the singers in the Angel choir were bound together when they sang different notes of the same chord. "Those people don't seem so different from each other any more. Not like the ones in the city do," she said. "They look more like they belong together. They look very beautiful that way, especially with the light shining around them. But I don't suppose they can see that, either." "No, they can't," said Lunea, "but they feel very close to each other just the same. They feel as though they are REALLY brothers and sisters, and that is the way all human beings are going to feel all the time when they finally learn to live the way Christ taught them to." Just then, the clarion call of a trumpet sounded through the air. From all sides, members of the Angel choir began to hurry to their places above the city. "Come on," said Lunea, "that's the summons. We must be going to sing very soon. Hurry!" Aurea and Lunea were almost the last ones to take their places. The choir director looked at them severely, but his expression became gentle when he saw Aurea's eagerness and excitement. "You will see a great wonder here today, Aurea," he told her. "It is one of the great wonders of all God's Creation. And you, too, have a part to play. When it comes time for you to sing, sing with all your heart." "I will," Aurea assured him. It was Sunday morning, the hour before sunrise, when the choir began to sing. Softly, gently, sweetly, the music wafted above the city, where lights already were on in many dwellings. The stars of the vast heavens were still bright but slowly, as the Angels' soft, sweet music continued, one by one they faded away. Finally only a few, here and there, were left to remind those who looked upon them of the millions of other worlds that exist in the Universe. There was more activity in Jerusalem than usually takes place in the hour before sunrise. From all parts of the city, people were seen leaving their homes and hotels, all heading in the same direction. Some riding in buses and cars, some walking, some even riding on donkeys, they were gathering together in the Garden of Gethsemane. Aurea, watching, did not have much time to wonder about this, because something else was happening INSIDE the Earth that the people ON Earth didn't seem to notice. A light was ascending from deep within the Earth, approaching ever more closely to the surface and brightening the very ground upon which the city of Jerusalem stood. The music of the Angel choir grew louder and more powerful as the light came nearer. At the same time, heralded by a fanfare of trumpets, a sublime procession made its way to a place directly in front of the Angel choir. Aurea was so lost in wonder at the magnificent procession that she almost forgot to sing. There were mighty Archangels, the lords of vast Kingdoms in the Solar System who talked directly with God and were far greater than the Angels with whom Aurea worked and sang every day. There were the resplendent leaders of the Angels, too, who radiated such auras of glorious color--rose, gold, lavender, translucent blue, pale green--that their brilliance was impossible to describe. These sublime Beings, Aurea knew, were the Great Ones of the Hierarchies, before whom she and her friends among the Angels stood in awe. Now they had come together, radiating such a display of light and color that, Aurea thought, even the Sun could hardly be more bright. She marveled that the people on Earth could not see the radiance of these great Beings. But, evidently, they could not, for those who were gathered in the Garden of Gethsemane stood looking toward the horizon where the Sun soon was to rise, obviously unaware of the vision displayed directly over their heads. Then came a moment so stunning that Aurea gasped and, for just an instant, did indeed forget to sing. The fanfare of trumpets became louder and was echoed by other trumpet choruses throughout the heavens. The singers of the Angel choir raised their voices in a mighty, stirring anthem that they had often rehearsed, but that had never before so gloriously resounded through the skies. And in that very second, the light that had been rising to the surface of the Earth burst forth, and a sublime Being, illumined in white and indescribably resplendent, appeared before them. With a voice that seemed to contain within itself all the music ever com- posed, He cried triumphantly, "Consummatum est!" "It is finished!" Once again Christ had given His Life to the Earth, that all who dwell there may continue to live. Once again He was free to go home, for a little while, to God the Father. "Consummatum est!" sang the Angel choir, as the Great Ones of the Hierar- chies gathered around Him Whom they all worshipped. The morning sky now was robed, in shades of pink and pale blue, and, slowly, the Sun rose above the horizon. The people in the Garden of Gethsemane, who saw nothing of the illumined white Figure or the Great Ones who surrounded Him, sang a mighty anthem of their own. "He is risen! He is risen!" Even though they did not see the glories around them, Aurea could tell that they, too, felt the joy and triumph of this glad moment. Later--much later--Aurea and Lunea were on their way home. The great moment of triumph was over, but the exaltation felt by all who had shared in it would last for a long time. The sublime Christ, surrounded by the other Great Ones, has passed directly in front of the Angel choir, offering them His thanks for their greeting and His boundless love. Aurea was enfolded in a warm sweetness such as she had never known before. She could not talk, she could not sing. She could only look at Him and, in return, silently offer Him all the love she held in her own heart. Aurea was very quiet on the trip home. Lunea, who only two years before had herself seen Christ for the first time, understood how Aurea felt and said nothing to disturb her. Finally Aurea sighed. "It was so beautiful. I wish--I wish--," she faltered and said no more. "What do you wish?" Lunea asked gently. Aurea sighed again. "I wish that the human beings could have seen Him too. If they could only see Him once, I just know they would never fight or be mean again." Lunea nodded, "That's true," she said. "But nobody who is not worthy to begin with can see Christ. The day is coming when all human beings WILL see Him, though. And when that day comes, He will not have to go inside the Earth any more. Then He will live with the people as their King, and there will be peace and much love in that Kingdom." From far out in space, Aurea and Lunea looked back on planet Earth. It was small and lovely, and surrounded with a light that most earthlings knew nothing about. "It IS a good place, after all," said Aurea, smiling. "I'm very glad we went."--Dagmar Frahme FROLIC, THE BLUE DRAGONFLY Frolic, the blue dragonfly, hadn't time to watch the little children mak- ing clay figures by the river. He forgot all about going back to the garden. On he flew, faster and faster, beyond the fields of sweet smelling flowers and buzzing bees. Skimming low over the water, he passed right by the other dragonflies who were darting about and flew into the shady grasses growing by the sides of the pond. Here in his home, hidden within the dark reeds, the rays of the Sun shone down from the sky in great streams of filtered light. "Mama! Mama!" he cried out excitedly. "Now I know. Now I know for sure!" "Dear son," she replied, "what's all the excitement? Where have you been since the middle of the night?" "Oh, Mama, now I finally know--beyond all doubt--what I want to do with my short life as a grown-up dragonfly." His Mama smiled and listened while Frolic began to tell her all about his experience in the garden. He left the pond early in the morning while the world was still dark and crossed the river to explore by the mighty water- fall. Resting on top of the grassy knoll, he watched the stars slowly fade in the morning's first light. Nearby, a little brown bird perched itself on the end of a low branch that reached out over the water. As the bird moved carefully towards the end of the limb, its weight caused the limb to bend closer and closer down to the water until the bird was able to pick at the food on the water's surface. "What a clever bird," Frolic thought to himself, when suddenly it happened. All at once, hundreds of birds began to sing loudly and fly up out of the trees. The sky turned bright pink with streaks of silver light. It was totally awesome and so powerful that it seemed as though the whole world was turning to greet..... Then, right in the middle of his story, Fro- lic yawned and, without explaining any further, fell asleep on the blade of grass next to his Mama. The next morning, just before sun-up, Frolic awoke and realized he must hurry back to the garden. Through the tall reeds he flew, out past the pond, toward the waterfall. It was daylight now, and as he approached the flower patch he could see his friend the honeybee and slowed down to say hello. "Where are you going in such a hurry, little blue dragonfly?" asked the bee. "I've found what I want to do now," answered Frolic excitedly. "And what is that?" asked the bee. "I want to rise up like the Sun," said Frolic. "I'm going to rise up like the Sun and shine golden light on everyone," he continued. "That's a great idea," said the bee. "But don't you think you're a little young yet and inexperienced for such a big task. Think of the work." "Work...work...work, that's all you honeybees ever do. Don't you ever think of play, too?" questioned Frolic. "Work is what we do best," answered the bee. "To the dragonfly child, work is play," said Frolic. "Very well," replied the bee, "so it is. But bees like to play too. You like riddles, don't you?" "Sure I do," answered Frolic. "Can you make honey less sweet than it is?" asked the bee. Frolic thought very hard for a moment and answered. "Well, maybe you can, and then again, maybe not." "Think about that for awhile," said the bee, "while I gather more nectar from the flowers to make honey for the Queen." Frolic looked up longingly towards the Sun. With his big black eyes he could see Artie, the flying snake, on the horizon coming towards them. "Hi, Artie," he shouted from below. "Hello Frolic and Honeybee," said Artie, "What's happening?" "We're playing a riddle game," said Frolic, "and guess what else." "What?" said Artie, as he circled around and around. "I know what I want to do now," answered Frolic excitedly. "I want to rise up like the Sun and shine white light and give life to everyone. Then I'll be able to make rainbows and move clouds and smile on every living thing." "Rise up like the Sun?" repeated Artie, shaking his head and sending rhythmic waves on down his long shiny body. "Well, you are a part of all Na- ture, like the flowers opening up to the Sun and the tall limbs of the trees reaching for the sky. Why not wait until you understand more about the Sun's energy and you own, too." "Wait?" replied Frolic. "Wait for what? The feeling is greater than all you can say. It's all there is for me." "No one can stop the Spirit from rising up like the Sun," answered Ar- tie, "But watch out. Be careful that no one gets hurt. The Sun is a great ball of fire. It's so hot that it could melt your wings in an instant. There are big birds up above that may eat you, just like the jumping fish that come from below in the pond. High in the sky there is only a little air to breathe. You must learn to control your breathing...there is gravity to hold you back..." "I've heard enough," said Frolic. "No more riddles or reason. I've got to go--now!" "If you won't take any suggestion to stay low, then before you go," said Artie, "we must speak with the Ageless Turtle and listen to his wise opin- ion." "Very well," agreed Frolic, "but only for a little while." The Ageless Turtle was the most respected creature in the garden. That's because he was thought to be the oldest. No one really knew how old the Turtle was. One time his friends had tried to figure out his age and decided to call him a New Age Turtle so they could celebrate his birthday, but the Turtle didn't really care about birthdays and preferred to remain simply "Ageless." The story is that, when the Turtle was very young, he was captured by some children who put him in a box for a few days and fed him berries while they played with him at school. The Turtle liked the children well enough, but e- ver since that time he has had a special fear of being put in a box--so he stays hidden inside his shell and listens and meditates. He only comes out when the time is right and the need is great. And then he usually has so much to say that he doesn't stop talking for days and days. So Artie, Frolic, and the honeybee found a wild strawberry and took it o- ver to the Ageless Turtle, who sat warming himself in the sunlight. Artie rapped on the hard shell with the end of his tail, and then poked his head close to the shell and whispered softly, "Wake up, Ageless Turtle. We need your help." Slowly the Turtle poked his head out of the shell and blinked his eyes to adjust to the bright daylight. "Why, hello Artie and Honeybee and...oh, little blue Frolic, too. Fine day to see you all." He began munching on the juicy red strawberry. Frolic, anxious to get on with the conversation, spoke up immediately. "I know what I want to do now. I'm going to rise up like the Sun, and no one is going to stop me." The Ageless Turtle was caught a little by surprise but finished eating the strawberry and then raised his head and said loudly, "So, you want to rise up like the Sun, do you? Let me tell you a little story. One day a long, long time ago, before you were even born, I remember when a cloud of millions of dragonflies darkened the skies and gathered together to do that very thing. They began in the water, using their jet-propelled energy, and formed themselves in the shape of a great arrow to work as a heat shield as they flew closer and closer towards the Sun." "What happened?" said Frolic. "They never came back," answered the Turtle. "It is too dangerous. There are other ways of knowing. Relax and meditate on the Sun. Then you will now what it is to rise up and become One." The Ageless Turtle talked on and on, telling story after story. But Frolic grew tired of listening and was determined to do what he thought he must. So he left his friends in the garden and flew to the grassy knoll. The winds and clouds were favorable for flying. He stretched his four transparent wings to warm them up for flight. Then off he flew, heading straight up towards the midday Sun, lifting his wings higher and higher un- til he was moving at over 60 miles per hour. Frolic looked all around, watch- ing for big birds in the sky, and he could see the fertile green garden ly- ing far below. "How glorious it feels to be so high!" he thought to himself. Soon it became warmer and warmer, and each time he lifted his wings they felt heavier and heavier. He seemed to be moving very slowly now, almost as if he were losing altitude. But on he pushed. It became harder to breathe. His head felt lighter, and he became dizzy. Then he realized just how alone he was, so very high up in the wide blue sky. A little voice inside his head reminded him of what Artie has said--to try to control his breathing. But he couldn't stop now. He must be almost there...just work a little harder. With his last bit of energy he gasped for a breath, and then it happened! Totally exhausted and over-heated, he lost consciousness, stalled, and took a nose dive, spiraling downward so fast that his tiny body almosy lit up in a flame as it fell to the Earth. Fortunately, he hit the soft branch of a willow tree whose leaves cradled him until he rolled out and landed in the middle of a group of forget-me- nots. And there he lay in a deep sleep for a long time. That night the Moon was full and bright overhead, and the fairies came out to dance and sing in the shimmering white light. "Why look!" cried the Gentle Fairy. "It's a little blue dragonfly, sound asleep, and his wing is bent and broken." The fairies sprinkled magic crystal dust and Moon water from the pond all over Frolic and nursed him for days. Slowly Frolic opened his eyes and regained his senses. "It smells so sweet here," he whispered softly. "Where are we? Are we in the Sun? Is the Sun in me?" "Why, most definitely," said the Gentle Fairy. "You are here in the garden in the golden light of the Sun, and all your friends are here, too." Frolic looked up. There was his warm-hearted and understanding Mama comforting him with the smile in her eyes, and the honeybee and Artie, and the Ageless Turtle were there too. At first Frolic thought it must be a dream, but he looked down and saw his broken wing and knew now that it was not the fall that hurt at all. And with a lot of encouragement and help from his friends, his wing began to heal and he felt better day by day. It you are very quiet and listen, you can hear Frolic in the garden near the water's edge where the little children play, saying over and over to the other dragonflies: "We are the Sun, we are the rain. We are the ashes and the flame of the Spirit of Love and Light that lives within us all." --Lynne Ross ********** This article [FILE: "MAG603.TXT"] was adapted from the October, 1985 issue of the "Rays from the Rose Cross" magazine, published by The Rosicrucian Fellowship, P.O. Box 713, Oceanside, CA, 92054, USA. You may write them for a complete list of publications, correspondence course information, and other services. THE SYLPHS' SANDSTORM It wasn't that Horace was actually afraid, mind you. It was just that one doesn't mess around with grizzly bears when they are hibernating. Even the littlest Sylph knew that, and Horace certainly was not the littlest Sylph-- even though sometimes he acted as though he was. Actually, Horace was old enough to be apprenticed to the Sand Storm Squad, where he was supposed to be learning how to blow sand in concentric circles and through cracks in window frames. Harvey was apprenticed to the Sand Storm Squad too, and it didn't take long for the squad leader to realize that one of his most stupid ideas had been to apprentice Horace and Harvey to the same squad. What Horace didn't think up to make trouble, Harvey did. The squad leader already had received three delegations of irate Fairies, the Elf Commander himself, and the chief coyote from the next valley, all complaining about the havoc Horace and Harvey had wrought. Take what Harvey has said a little while ago, for instance: "Let's take a sandstorm up into the mountains and blow it at the grizzly bears." The squad leader had told them on the very first day that sandstorms belonged only in the desert, and under no circumstances were they to be blown anywhere else. Harvey knew that as well as Horace, of course, but little things like rules didn't bother either one of those two very much. When one thought about it, thought Horace, it did seem silly for sandstorms to be kept just in one place when there were so many new places where they never had been taken. What did bother Horace, though, was the grizzlies themselves. Even though he'd never actually seen one, he knew all about their bad temper. Right now they were hibernating, and to wake them up by blowing sand into their warm cave and up their noses--well, even Horace thought that was asking for more trouble than they could handle. But Harvey had said, "Wassa matter? You scared?" (Harvey, of course, would say that.) And naturally Horace had said that no he was not scared, and if Harvey wanted to blow a sandstorm at the grizzlies he was perfectly prepared to blow a sandstorm at the grizzlies. So here they were, swirling up a very respectable cloud of sand at the base of the mountain. They thought they'd better put their sandstorm together at the edge of the desert even though this wasn't standard procedure, so there would be less chance of the squad leader seeing them. Already three or four nearby cactuses had objected, but Horace and Harvey paid no attention to them. Cactuses were so prickly, they always were complaining about something. If the squad leader didn't come along, there would be nothing to worry about. Finally the sandstorm was ready to go. Horace and Harvey knew that it would take a lot of huffing and puffing tp get it up into the high country where the grizzlies' caves were. They took their positions underneath the sand cloud, took several deep breaths, and began to blow upward. This was hard, and it made their necks ache. Always before they had blown their clouds straight ahead or just a little bit at an angle. Now, however, it was straight up all the way. It took Horace and Harvey all afternoon, huffing and puffing until they were quite worn out, to get the sandstorm to the very top of the mountain and over the edge into the valley below. "Whew!" whewed Horace. "Let's rest." So they rested--Harvey impatiently cracking his knuckles and Horace almost asleep. Finally Harvey said, "OK, let's go. How much sleep do you need, anyhow?" Reluctantly, Harvey sat up, stretched, yawned, and pulled himself together. "Now we've got to sneak that sandstorm along the edge of the valley," instructed Harvey. "If anybody sees it and reports it to the squad leader before we get to the bears' caves, we'll be out of luck." So Horace and Harvey carefully moved the sandstorm along the sides of the valley. It was seen by several human beings, who reported it to the weather bureau and the radio station, but people there could do nothing but talk a- bout it. It was seen by a moose, who stamped his hoof in protest but created such a cloud of dust while doing so that he couldn't complain any more. It was seen by two young rabbits who raced home to tell their mother about the "sand monster" that was coming, but she told them that it they would stop nibbling so many nasturtiums they wouldn't see such silly things. And it was seen by the head Gnome, who considered leaving his work for a while to report the matter to the Sylph squad leader, but decided it was simply too much trou- ble to go all the way down the mountain to tell the squad leader something he would find out for himself only too soon as it was. "OK, here we are," Harvey whispered when they finally came to a boulder that almost hid the entrance to a cave. "The grizzlies are in there." Horace tiptoed to the cave entrance and listened. "I don't hear nuttin'," he whispered. "Of course not, dummy," said Harvey. "They're asleep." "But shouldn't they be snoring or something?" asked Horace. "Not everyone snores," said Harvey impatiently. "Now let's get this show on the road. Start blowing." Horace and Harvey got behind the cloud of sand and began to blow as hard as they could toward the cave entrance. Little by little, the sand drifted into the cave, first in little dribbles and then in a big cloud that settled around the bears and everything else inside. And still Horace and Harvey kept on blowing. Horace and Harvey couldn't see what was going on inside the cave, but things were happening! First one grizzly's nose began to twitch and then the other grizzly's nose began to twitch. One grizzly sneezed in his sleep and rubbed his paw across his face. The other grizzly coughed, sneezed, sput- tered--and woke up. "GROOOOWWWWWLLLL!!" he growled. "What's going on here?" "A-A-A-CHOOOO!!" sneezed the second grizzly, also waking up. "Where's this sand coming from?" "There's more coming in all--all-a-a-AHH-CHOOOO!!--the time," sneezed the first grizzly. "We better get out of here before we suffocate," said the first grizzly. The sand was now so thick he couldn't see the entrance, and he walked straight into the wall instead, banging his head. That gave him a headache and did not help his already bad temper one bit! "RRRROOOOWWWWWW!!" he roared, finding his way to the entrance at last and bounding out, with the second grizzly close behind. Meantime Horace and Harvey had been leaning against a rock near the cave door, laughing with glee. "Boy, those grizzlies are mad," said Harvey. "Listen to them roar!" "Maybe we ought to hide before they come out," suggested Horace. "They won't come out for a while," said Harvey, still laughing. "They'll get lost in the sand." "Just the same, I think it would be a good idea to--oh-oh!" Horace stared at the hairy brown bear that suddenly appeared in front of him. "A-A-A-ACHOOOOO!!" sneezed the bear, blowing rather smelly breath all over Horace. Horace tried to run away, but a large paw knocked him to the ground and held him fast. "You young whippersnapper! What's the idea of blowing samd into our cave? You're going to be sorry you ever got up this morning!" "But--but--but--" sputtered Horace, but the huge paw squeezed him even harder. "Quiet!" roared the grizzly. "Oh ho! There's another one, is there?" Horace stared as another huge, angry bear appeared, dragging Harvey along by the hair. "This one was trying to get away, but I caught him. What are we going to do with these twerps?" "Look like the Sylph squad leader's delinquents to me," said the first grizzly. "Probably should deliver them to him." "You belong to the squad leader?" asked the second bear, pulling Harvey's hair harder. "Y-y-y-yes, sir," sobbed Harvey. Scared as he was, Horace couldn't help staring at Harvey in astonishment. Harvey never cried, and he certainly never had said "sir" to anyone be- fore. "No point our going back to sleep now," growled the first grizzly. "It's almost spring, anyhow. Let's take these brats back to the squad leader. They really deserve to be eaten for breakfast, but they're not more than a crumb each and hardly worth it." And so Horace and Harvey were dragged back through the valley, bump, bump, bumpety-bump, across grass, through prickles and scratchy shrubs, through two brooks and a river. There was a good deal of giggling from the moose, the rabbit family, grandfather frog, three cows, and a raccoon, all of whom thought that two scruffy-looking Sylphs being dragged along by two fierce- looking grizzlies was one of the funniest sights they'd ever seen. The human beings were just getting out of their car after coming back from the weather bureau and the radio station when they saw the grizzlies. "Eeek, bears!" they shrieked, jumped back into the car and drove off as fast as they could. They never saw Horace and Harvey at all. Up the mountain over rocks and gravel and down the other side over more rocks and gravel, Horace and Harvey were dragged along. They were bruised and battered and their clothes were torn and their hair was pulled and their heads ached. They yelled and cried and begged for mercy, but the grizzlies paid no attention. On they plodded, dragging the Sylphs along behind them. Finally they came upon the Sylph squad leader, treading air near the treetops and scanning the air currents for signs of Horace and Harvey. "Where have those brats gotten off to now?" the squad leader was muttering to himself. Only a short time before, he had come home from teaching his tornado class to find Horace and Harvey missing and the other Sylphs totally unwilling to go out and look for them. "Good riddance!" was the general reply when the squad leader suggested that they might be lost. "Tough!" was the general reply when he suggested that they might be in trouble and needing help. Since the squad leader fully agreed with these sentiments, even though he knew they were not very nice, he couldn't really force the other Sylphs to make a search for Horace and Harvey. Suddenly the squad leader was startled to hear growling somewhere beneath him, and he looked down to see two grizzlies, each holding down a Sylph with its paw. "These belong to you?" shouted one grizzly. "Good grief!" said the squad leader, diving down. "Yes, I'm afraid they do. Where did you find them?" "Outside our cave blowing a sandstorm," said the other grizzly, with no more explanation than that. "What?!" exploded the squad leader. "Sandstorm? But your cave is over the mountain, miles from the desert!" "Ummmmm," acknowledged the first grizzly. "That didn't seem to make much difference to these two! They blew the storm right up the mountain and through the valley and under our front door. Blasted nuisance! Almost suffo- cated us before we got out! These guys have a lot of strength--or maybe it's just a lot of hot air. Anyhow, if you don't mind our saying so, you ought to harness that energy to something more useful." "Oh, I will," said the squad leader, hands on his hips, glaring at Hor- ace and Harvey with cold eyes. "I most certainly will. First of all, have they apologized to you?" "Apologized!" snorted the second grizzly. "First they thought it was funny, then they yelled and screamed. I don't think 'apology' ever occurred to them." "Well, it's going to occur now!" snapped the squad leader. "First, you two will apologize to the grizlies, and then you will go back with them and clean out their cave, and then you will blow every grain of that sand back to the desert where it belongs." "Apologize?" whispered Horace. "Clean out?" whispered Harvey. "Blow back?" whispered Horace and Harvey together, looking more horrified with every whisper. "But we can't!" protested Horace. "You can and you will," said the squad leader, in the angriest voice Ho- race and Harvey ever had heard. "Now begin!" And so it happened that Horace and Harvey, with a lot of throat clearing and foot shuffling, finally did apologize to the grizzlies." "Humph!" was the grizzlies' only reply, which Harvey privately didn't think was very polite. The squad leader seemed to see nothing wrong with it, however, and he suggested that the grizzlies drag Horace and Harvey back over the mountain the same way they had come, just to make sure they didn't try to run away. "Good idea," said the grizzlies, and the next thing Horace and Harvey knew they once more were being dragged by the hair up the mountain over rocks and gravel and down the other side over more rocks and gravel. Then bump, bump, bumpety-bump across grass, through prickles and scratchy shrubs, through two brooks and a river, back through the valley they went. Finally they were back at the cave. "OK you two, clean up this mess, and don't leave one grain of sand inside. Remember, you have to blow all of it back to the desert. Ha-ha-ha!" Both grizzlies seemed to think it was very funny, as they settled down to watch. Harvey asked for a broom. "Broom?" bellowed the first grizzly. "What do you think we are, humans? We don't have brooms! You blew that stuff in here; you can blow it out. Ha-ha- ha!" And both grizzlies doubled up laughing. They laughed and laughed and laughed all afternoon, while Horace and Harvey blew and blew blew and blew. At last the cave was clean, and all the sand piled up outside the entrance. Horace and Harvey, exhausted, flopped down on the ground next to it. "GRRRRROWWWLLLL!" growled the first grizzly, suddenly no longer laughing. "This is our front yard, not a hotel. We don't want sleeping bodies in our front yard. We don't want this sand here, either. It belongs in the desert, and you have to get it back there. NOW!" With that, both grizzlies headed menacingly for Horace and Harvey. Horace and Harvey jumped up, fast! Forgetting how tired they were, they started blowing the sand and began to work it into a sandstorm. The grizzlies stood right behind them, growling and snuffling and frightening them all over again. In less time than anyone would have thought possible, Horace and Harvey had a very proper standstorm whirling and twirling around. They stopped only long enough to take two especially deep breaths, and then began blowing the sandstorm back through the valley. In full view of everyone, it went churning along--through the midst of the meadows and the wheat fields and the cabbage patches and the peony beds. But one thing you can be sure of. No damage was done to the meadows or the wheat fields or the cabbage patches or the peony beds. Every grain of sand was accounted for and stayed right in the storm at all times. Blowing the sandstorm back up the mountain and down the other side was the hardest work Horace and Harvey ever would have to do in all their lives. E- very single grain of sand had to go up the mountain and down the other side. If even one plant on the mountainside was damaged, the squad leader would know it, too. And, somehow, Horace and Harvey didn't think it would be at all a good idea for the squad leader to find out anything like that. But, finally, the job was done. Horace and Harvey guided the sandstorm back down the mountain and with their very last breaths blew every single grain of sand back onto the desert. Then, once again, they flopped down on the ground, and this time they were allowed to sleep. No grizzlies disturbed them and, although they didn't know it, even the squad leader came by several times during the night to check on them and make sure they were all right. Next morning, still feeling a bit wobbly, Horace and Harvey reported to the squad leader. He looked them up and down strenly for a moment, then said, "Well, boys, do you want to take another sandstorm on tour?" "Oh, no," said Horace in horror. "No more sandstorms." "Please," added Harvey, for good measure. And so it came about that Horace and Harvey left the Sanstorm Squad and were apprenticed to the Light Breeze Division, where they learned gentleness and patience and how to bring refreshment and pleasant moments to plants and people, and even to grizzlies, all summer long.--Dagmar Frahme. THE MAGIC MIRROR--WHICH IS LOVELIER? Once upon a time there were three sisters, Alice, Iris, and Patsy, who were all very beautiful. They had an aunt who lived in an old English cas- tle, and one summer they went to visit her. She showed them all around the castle and took them up the winding stairs to the turret room at the top. In it was a lovely, large mirror, and she told them that according to an old story, the mirror had the magic power to answer any question if you said, "Please," very politely. The girls were much impressed with the story about the mirror, and next morning while their aunt was out in the garden, they tiptoed up to the room where it was. They all sat down on the floor in front of it, and Alice said: "Mirror! Mirror! Tell us, Please! Which is loveliest of these?" "Oho!" laughed the mirror. "You wish to know which of you is the love- liest? Loveliest in what? Tell me about yourselves. What about your hair?" "My hair is golden yellow," said Iris, "and it is curly, too." "Mine is shiny black," said Patsy, "and long and straight." "Mine is brown," said Alice, "with a little red in it." "I see," said the mirror. "Each type is lovely in its own way. The im- portant thing is that you all have hair which makes a beautiful crown for your heads. So, you are really all much alike." "But our eyes aren't much alike," said Iris. "Mine are blue like the sky, and my eyebrows are light." "And mine are black as coal," said Patsy, "and I have long, heavy lash- es." "But mine are grey with dark down lashes," said Alice, "so our eyes are all very different, aren't they?" "Yes," said the Mirror, "they are different in some ways. But all your eyes have eyelids, lashes, and eyeballs, and a black pupil that lets in the light, so you can see all the wonderful things in the world. The loveli- est thing about eyes is their power to see, and those who have the gift of sight are equal in one of life's most precious possessions." "Well, what about our noses?" asked Patsy. "Mine is long and straight." "And mine is short and turns up a little," said Iris. "Mine is round and full at the tip," said Alice. "You can easily see that none of our noses are the same." "Ah!" said the Mirror. "They appear different, but each of your noses has a bridge, and a tip, and two nostrils; and lets you smell the flowers and breathe fresh air. So, in what is most useful, your noses are really much alike." "But, see our ears," said Iris. "Mine stick out from my head, and are too long, I think." "And mine are little and close to my head," said Patsy. "And mine are round as round can be," said Alice. "Our ears are all very different." "You only look at the outside," said the Mirror. "But look inside at the workings of your ears. Aren't they all to hear with? Don't they all let in music, bird songs, and kind words? Isn't that a lovelier thing than being round or long, or big or little? In what is important, you are all very e- qual." And so they went from one feature to the other, and the mirror showed them that underneath their differences, they were all very much alike. They were beginning to understand, but still were a little puzzled. "But, how can we tell," asked Alice, "in what we are Different, and in what we are Alike? Will you, please, tell us that?" "I will tell you," said the Mirror. "You each have the same kinds of parts in your bodies, and they serve the same purpose in alll, but yet they may be different in details such as size, color, and shape. So, too, in your minds, you have the same kinds of abilities, but each person uses them differently, so one becomes an artist, another a teacher, and still another may be a fine musician. If anyone puts forth an equal amount of effort, he can accom- plish as much in his way as anyone else in a different way, because all people are equal in the opportunity to grow and express themselves." "But," said Alice, "you still haven't told us which is lovelier." "The answer is," said the Mirror, "that none is lovelier. One might as well try to say which is more beautiful, a daisy, a rose, or a lily, as to try to tell which of you sisters is more beautiful. You have seen paintings by great artists, but could you tell which was lovelier, a picture of a mountain scene, or of a child, or a bouquest of flowers? So it is with peo- ple. Each is special inspiration from God and needs to be appreciated for itself, and it is foolish to try to compare them."--Edith May Custard. End of File

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