Rocky and Playful
Rocky raccoon was enjoying a scrumptious meal in the creek bed down my Nerenough farm. Dining on salamanders, fresh water clams, and crawdads he was enjoying the best the creek had to offer. Between bites of a clam he noticed his possum friend, Mr. Playful, coming down to get a drink of water.
Even though it was night, Rocky, could make out his friend by his shape and distinct odor. Rocky splashed the water playfully then watched his friend freeze in fear. They both held still like statues until Rocky called out, “I know it’s you, Playful. You’re just playing possum.”
“Don’t do that, Rocky. Now I’m all tense. How can you stand to eat those crawdads and salamanders?”
“I’m hungry. It’s easy food. I’d hunt at Nerenough farm but I’m afraid I’d get shot or the dog Bowser might get me. I prefer hunting in the day, but I know I’d be easy prey for dogs or coyotes.”
Playful waded across the creek to Rocky, “I like the night better, too. I can sense food just fine with my nose and whiskers. If I’m out during the day I can get eaten by foxes, dogs, and coyotes. Life is hard, strange lights appear on roadways in the night. Terrible noisy beasts blind my brothers and sisters with lights and then run over them. Life is not fair.”
“How can I find a good meal if I’m forced to hunt only at night?” wailed Rocky.
Rocky, I’ve been visiting a cave up at Nerenough farm. It’s completely dark inside. I go in and get a great meal from the mushrooms growing inside. I see a small light from time to time but it’s not enough to blind me. C’mon, I’m going there to eat right now.”
Rocky tasted the mushrooms, then said, “The farmer, Mr. Jones, is growing a fine crop. These mushrooms are superb. You hit the jackpot. I can eat my fill every night or day because it’s always dark in here.”
Abruptly, the door to the cave opened. Mr. Jones and Bowser, his big Labrador, stepped into the cave. Bowser immediately began barking hysterically in the direction of Rocky and Playful.”
Playful moaned, “He smells me. We’re dead.”
Mr. Jones screamed frantically trying to control Bowser, “Bowser, come here. Don’t damage my new crop over there. Come here. What are you barking at?”
Rocky nervously looked at Playful. Playful was in a comatose state, unable to move. It was impossible to reach him. Looking at Playful, Rocky mumbled, “This is our last meal, buddy. Here I was afraid to go out in the light because I might get eaten. So for my sin of timidity, I get eaten in the dark.”
Mr. Jones collared Bowser, “I smell it, too. There’s a skunk in here. Let’s get the spot light and gun and then we’ll take care of him.” Grabbing Bowser by the collar, Mr. Jones scuffled out of the door with Bowser frantically trying to claw back into the cave.
After Mr. Jones and Bowser left the cave, Rocky deepened his penitence as he prayed reverently for forgiveness. In the midst of his prayers, Rocky felt a cool breeze across his whiskers.
Rocky screamed, “Jumping frogs, they’re gone. Run Playful, they’re gone and the door is open. They left the door wide open.”
Back at the creek bed Rocky began washing himself. Playful started to gnaw on some grass then pushed over a small log. They were both quiet and contemplative.
Finally, Possum broke the silence, “I’m sorry. I almost got us killed.”
Rocky responded, “Whether I hunt in the dark or in the night there are going to be problems.”
“How are we to choose?”
Just then an owl landed on a branch across the stream.
Rocky looked up, “Mr. Owl, we were almost killed over at the Nerenough farm. We have tried hunting in the dark and in the light and we have found danger in both. Can you help us to decide when we should hunt?”
The owl hooted, then spoke, “It is God who decides the best for everyone. We must let God decide. Follow God’s direction and you will do well.”
Playful said, “There are problems everywhere I go. I’m going to pray for guidance.”
Rocky smiled, “Me too. I’ll try and be content whatever my circumstances.”
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