Once upon a time, there was a furry little critter. As I walked down the streets, the furry little critter walked with me. At first, I had ignored it, not knowing what or whose it was. As it followed me, scampering around, barking for my attention, running ahead and running back, I grew accustomed to it. It was about the size of small dog or large cat, but was neither of these. It could bark and purr, sit, roll over, and beg, and seemed to love rubbing around my ankles. It seemed harmless, so I let it accompany me along the way.
After a while, I reached down to pet it. It bit my hand. I was stunned! I was angry. I stomped my foot and told the furry little critter to go away. I yelled at it, kicked at it, and stomped away. The furry little critter sat on the sidewalk and cried.
Stupid, furry little critter, I thought. How dare it sit there and cry when IT bit ME! I’d ignore it, walk away! I’d learned my lesson!
But it looked so sad.
And, when it saw me looking back at it, it hung it’s little furry head. I walked on, telling myself to keep walking, but the noises were so pathetic! I looked one more time, and it seemed to beg my forgiveness. It wagged its tail. It crawled toward me. I walked away, but I didn’t stomp my foot or yell at it again. Soon, it began to play at my side, and eventually, it began to bark happily and run around in a most amusing way. It ran up to me, and began to do tricks, begging for my attention and forgiveness. I relented, reached down and began to stroke its head, thinking, “Poor thing’s probably been mistreated, probably thought I was going to hurt it. Its just scared and lonely. It didn’t mean to hurt me.” About that time, it bit off my hand.
Well, now, I was REALLY mad! “Stupid, stupid animal,” I stormed! “STUPID ME,” I raged! I picked up a rock and threw it at the furry little critter and kicked with all my might. “Go away, you vile creature! Get away from me!”
I walked on for quite a distance before I heard the sound of little paws behind me. “Go AWAY!” I yelled, and threw another rock. However, a while later, I could hear it again, following, but out of distance of my rock throwing. I decided to ignore it. Next time I looked, it was still back there, walking with its head down, looking as though it had lost its best friend. “I’ll not fall for THAT again,” I said to myself. “No, siree! I don’t CARE about that stupid furry little critter.”
As I strolled along, it ran ahead of me, and sat on the side of the road. I ignored it and passed on by. Again, it ran ahead and laid down. I continued to ignore it. It rolled over, tummy up, in a position of submission. I walked right on by it. It passed me again, carrying a stick. It laid the stick in my path and then sat waiting. I kicked the stick away. The furry little critter got it and ran ahead, placing it on the path again. I picked it up and threw it as far as I could away from the path. Soon, it appeared again. It barked joyfully and ran circles around me before depositing the stick in my path again.
Well, it was just so darn cute, against my better judgement, I reached out to pet the furry little critter one more time. It bit my arm off half-way to my elbow.
HINT: Thoughts can be furry little critters. Though harmless looking on the surface, some thoughts can be dangerous. Guilt, fear, anger, bitterness, “what it”-- all have the ability to harm us deeply if we allow ourselves to be deceived by them into allowing them to walk along with us on our way.
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