Sammy, the floppy-eared Rabbit.
Once upon a time, there was a rabbit who was called Sammy. Now Sammy didn’t have any friends, because every time he tried to make friends, they would just tease him about the size of his floppy ears. They drooped all the way down to the floor, in fact, Sammy’s ears were so big that when he hopped around, his ears would cover his eyes so he frequently bumped into things on the road. Sometimes he would hop along without a care not looking, just listening to the world around him.
Sometimes he would end up in a faraway place, a long way from home and he wouldn’t know how to get back, that was until he covered his eyes again and listened.
One day he was just hopping along, listening to nature all around him. The buzzing of the bees, the flapping of the birds, and the rustling of the trees with their leaves blowing in the breeze. When suddenly he heard the sound of someone crying. A small voice far away. He stopped, moved his ears from his eyes and looked around, but he couldn’t find where the sound was coming from. Suddenly he had a thought, he covered his eyes with his ears and listened. He then hopped and hopped and hopped to where the sound was coming from until he was right next to a child’s crying voice. He moved his ears once more and looked.
There at the side of a hill was a little girl, dressed in rags, who seemed very thin and who was shivering.
“Hello there”, said Sammy, “are you alright, can I help in any way?”, he asked. The girl looked up. “I don’t know”, said the girl, “I’m cold, thirsty, and hungry, and I’m also lost, I just want to go home”, she said bursting into tears again. “Oh, that’s terrible”, said Sammy “Here, I have a large scarf, why don’t you wrap this around you and keep warm?” said Sammy, taking off his scarf and wrapping it around the girl.
“Now, how’s that feel?”, asked Sammy, “better”, said the girl, “but I’m really thirsty and hungry, I’ve not drunk or eaten for days”. “well, we can’t have that, can we”, smiled Sammy. “Now let me see,” said Sammy as he listened and sniffed the air. He tuned all his senses into listening for a particular sound, that of a babbling stream, “Ah yes, I’ll be just a minute, don’t go away”, he said as he hopped off into the fields, sniffing the air and listening with his big floppy ears.
A few minutes later he came back grinning. In one hand he was holding some carrots and in the other, he was holding one of his big ears bent. “I’ve found some wild carrots, why don’t you have these, and I’ve got one for myself so I can eat with you”, said Sammy, “and I’ve found a stream, so I have used my ear as a cup, filling it up with fresh water, here drink”. He said as he motioned for the little girl to drink from his fluffy ear.
She drank some water and smiled, but just as she took the last drops of water she reached up and splashed them on Sammy’s head. Sammy laughed “thanks, I was getting hot” he replied. Then she took a carrot and started to eat one, as Sammy sat next to her and wrapped his large ears around her to keep her warm.
“So!”, asked Sammy, ”What is your name, and where do you come from? Tell me all about your home”, said Sammy with a smile. “The girl looked at Sammy and smiled back, “My name is Aashka, I need to find my home, it might be very far away, or very close, but it has been lost, that’s why I’m sad” She said eating another carrot, tears welling up again in her eyes.
“Aashka, that’s a nice name”, replied Sammy, “so tell me all about what your home sounds like?” said Sammy.
Aashka thought, and then smiled “There are animals, lots of them, flapping birds and buzzing insects.” Said Aashka “Okay, lots of birds and insects, any other animals?” prompted Sammy, “Carry on”. Aashka thought, “There are big animals too, neighing horses, and roaring lions, but they are not dangerous, they sit down with the bleating lambs and eat grass, in fact, all the animals are very nice to each other and no one ever argues”, said Aashka now with a smile. “That sounds wonderful’ replied Sammy “carry on, I think I need more”. “Well!” said Aashka with a big smile now, “There are flowing hills and babbling rivers, forests rustling in the wind and fields where the grass sways with the breeze, and trees that bear such wonderful juicy fruit, that to eat of any would heal you of any badness. No one is without anything, food, drink, and it’s warm. There is such warmth that you would be happy just to be there, and there is such wonderful light, so beautiful that just thinking about the light cheers me up”, Aashka smiled and said finally “You can live there with me if you like. We can be friends”.
“Wow!” replied Sammy, “that sounds great, I’ve got lots of information about how it sounds, I think I can find that”
Aashka smiled at Sammy and stood up “Good! Thank you, Sammy, you are a good listener, that’s what your name means. You have a gift for listening to people and helping where they need. That is your gift”. Aashka placed her hand on Sammy’s head, “I need to go now, but I’m your blessing, Aashka means blessing. I’ve found my home with your help, but I need you to help other people to hear this place that I am going to, so that they too can come and join us, as many as you can convince, go into all the world and tell the good news to all creatures, get them to listen, get them to understand their gift!”
Sammy felt suddenly sad, “Don’t go, I was just getting to know you”, Aashka smiled “I need to go, but my Spirit will be with you, just listen and you will hear, I will return when it is time!”. As Aashka said the final words she stepped away and disappeared leaving Sammy sat at the side of the hill, with his scarf neatly folded where Aashka had sat.
From that moment on, Sammy didn’t worry about making friends, because he just helped people first and then people wanted to be his friend, but the best bit was, that Sammy convinced many people to hear what this place sounded like and he started to tell people what their gifts were too. From that moment on Sammy was happy every day, content that he had a gift to hear and follow what the blessing told him to do.