Gift Of The Old One

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sheeplady, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. sheeplady

    sheeplady Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    New York State
    GIFT OF THE OLD ONE

    The young couple had made their usual hurried, pre-Christmas visit to
    the little farm where dwelt their elderly parents with their small herd of
    goats. The farm had been named Lone Pine Farm because of the huge pine
    which
    topped the hill behind the farm, and through the years had become a talisman
    to the old man and his wife, and a landmark in the countryside.

    The old folks no longer showed their goats, for the years had taken
    their toll, but they sold a little milk, and a few kids each year, and the
    goats were their reason for joy in the morning and contentment at day's end.

    Crossly, as they prepared to leave, the young couple confronted the
    old folks. "Why do you not at least dispose of "The Old One". She is no
    longer of use to you. It's been years since you've had either kids or milk
    from her. You should cut corners and save where you can. Why do you keep
    her anyway?" The old man looked down as his worn boot scuffed at the barn
    floor
    and his arm stole defensively about the Old One's neck as he drew her to him
    and rubbed her gently behind the ears. He replied softly, "We keep her
    because of love. Only because of love."

    Baffled and irritated, the young folks wished the old man and his wife a
    Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness stole through
    the valley.

    So it was, that because of the leave-taking, no one noticed the insulation
    smouldering on the frayed wires in the old barn. None saw the first spark
    fall. None but the "Old One".

    In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry
    flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a cry of horror and
    despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he raced to the
    barn to save their beloved goats. But the flames were roaring now, and the
    blazing heat drove him back. He sank sobbing to the ground, helpless before
    the fire's fury.

    By the time the fire department arrived, only smoking, glowing ruins were
    left, and the old man and his wife. They thanked those who had come to
    their aid, and the old man turned to his wife, resting her white head upon
    his shoulders as he clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandana.
    Brokenly he whispered, "We have lost much, but God has spared our home on
    this eve of Christmas. Let us, therefore, climb the hill to the old pine
    where we have sought comfort in times of despair. We will look down upon our
    home and give thanks to God that it has been spared."

    And so, he took her by the hand and helped her up the snowy hill as he
    brushed aside his own tears with the back of his hand. As they stepped over
    the little knoll at the crest of the hill, they looked up and gasped in
    amazement at the incredible beauty before them. Seemingly, every glorious,
    brilliant star in the heavens was caught up in the glittering, snow-frosted
    branches of their beloved pine, and it was aglow with heavenly candles. And
    poised on its top most bough, a crystal crescent moon glistened like spun
    glass. Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this.
    Suddenly, the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy as he pulled
    his wife forward. There, beneath the tree, was their Christmas gift.

    Bedded down about the "Old One" close to the truck of the tree, was the
    entire herd, safe. At the first hint of smoke, she had pushed the door ajar
    with her muzzle and had led the goats through it. Slowly and with great
    dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping daintily
    through the snow. The kids were frightened and dashed about. The skittish
    yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry flames, and tucked their
    tails under them as they licked their lips and hopped like rabbits. The
    milkers pressed uneasily against the "Old One" as she moved calmly up the
    hill and to safety beneath the pine. And now, she lay among them and gazed
    at the faces of those she loved. Her body was brittle with years, but =
    the
    golden eyes were filled with devotion as she offered her gift-Because of
    love.

    Only Because of love.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY HEALTHY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    PEACE AND LOVE TO ALL, SHEEPLADY :)
     
  2. kjerckie

    kjerckie Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    NW Washington
    Beautiful story sheeplady, and my eyes are teary now.
     

  3. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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  4. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here I go again! Grabbing the tissue and bawling like a sentimental old fool!
     
  5. LittleBelle

    LittleBelle Active Member

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    :waa: that's such a beautiful story!

    Thanks for sharing
     
  6. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If I weep any more this week, I am going to have the worst sore nose and eyes!

    But it is a beautiful story, Sheeplady.

    Thank you, and Merry Christmas!
     
  7. Shygal

    Shygal Unreality star Supporter

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    Hey, the other forum posted a tissue alert with this, and even knowing what was coming, Im still teary eyed..heh
     
  8. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing it with us. :waa:
     
  9. RedneckWoman

    RedneckWoman Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it.

    I think I got something in my eye..........................
     
  10. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks for sharing a great story, and Merry Christmas to Kate and Ralph. Hope all is fine on the homefront. hugs
     
  11. Bonnie L

    Bonnie L Well-Known Member

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    Why does love make me cry? Lovely story.
     
  12. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    Because it is so rare and beautiful.. and generally.. at least in the human world... Unatainable.
     
  13. kate

    kate Well-Known Member

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    because most of us livestock owners have had an "old one" in the herd or flock, it was especially appreciated............