Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)
TITLE: A Mountain Memory
By Robin Walls
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The deer, munching on orange rinds and dried apple slices that hung from the lowest branches of a nearby tree, stood silent and still outside the northern facing window. They listened to mingled songs and laughter drifting out into the night as it was swallowed up by snow and darkness.
Near the front door sat a little green VW bug already covered with a heavy blanket of snow. The owner of that old car was in the middle of such delightful fun and fellowship, he never noticed his slowly disappearing vehicle.
A tiny jack rabbit dared to exit his small comfortable burrow and darted out among the deer to catch the scraps of fruit that lay scattered at their feet. Had he slowed in his quest for a fraction of a second, he might have noticed the warm glow that spilled out from the windows of the church. He might have seen grateful faces and helping hands serving one very young preacher second helpings of apple cider and shortbread cookies.
A young elk passed closely by the scene and paused in curiosity at all the animals surrounded in a soft glow of amber light. He scratched his pronged head against the bark of a nearby tree instead of observing the young preacher as he prayed with the small flock of humans gathered inside. Hands formed a human circle around the preacher and mouths moved in silent prayers of thanksgiving and petition.
And then, doors flew open and deer scattered to the dark protection of thick forest and underbrush, the rabbit crouched at the entrance of his burrow and the elk raised his head in wonder. The humans gathered around the white mound at the doors of the church, as the preacher stared in wonder at the place where he had parked his old car. All the mittened hands, young and old, scraped and brushed, until the mound turned green again, like the melting snow of spring revealing the mountains anew. Hugs and gentle love enveloped the young man as he broke the lock of ice on the door and climbed inside.
The clickety-click, click frightened the animals deeper into the forest. Through thick trees, the people were seen pushing the little green car across the snow; the preacher tucked inside with a face of focused concentration. The car rolled down the narrow road, all the flock behind pushing and laughing and then, a clutch popped and the roar of an engine. The young preacher stuck his head out the window, smiling and waving on the way back to his home over forty miles away. And slowly, the lights of the church were extinguished and the flock of humans moved away from one other, walking toward their own burrows, already in hopeful anticipation of the young preacher’s next visit.
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