Friday, March 14, 2008

Judgment, Wrath & Gracie

This is an story I wrote years ago, which I recently dug up. It is somewhat silly, but I enjoy the simplicity of fairy tales and how they can so easily open up whole new worlds of thought for how we understand things. The following is how I started to understand some of how judgment, wrath and grace work a few years ago.

Judgment, Wrath & Gracie
Once upon a time there were three kids, two brothers—Judgment and Wrath—and their kid sister Gracie. They were an inseparable family who loved each other very much.
One day they were walking barefoot through their woods and were enjoying the variety of nature when something new happened. An ancient wolf that was very mean came along. This wolf had long prowled looking to devour the vulnerable; he grew large from his meals, and his skin simply could not keep up with his mounting girth. The agony of becoming too big for one’s own skin is immeasurable, so he became sly and ruthless, hating all that was content.
The wolf was wandering through the same woods, though not enjoying them at all, and as he growled and walked along, he smelled the unique scent of a loving family. A scent that once filled him with a feeling he had long forgotten. A feeling that over time turned to hollow longing. And hollow longing eventually to rage. He decided to destroy their happy relationship through a trial of fear and uncertainty. He thought it through—Judgment and Wrath he could endure; he could even perhaps grow to like them with the right marketing, but Gracie had to go!
And so, with the scent of hated love filling his nostrils and his every thought, the old wolf sought them out and began to chase them through the woods. Yet with the wonderful wisdom of children, the three stuck together and ran from the wolf. Judgment ran in front to protect the way for Gracie and to lead his family—along the way he made sure that none of the other creatures of the woods would absentmindedly wander into the way of the wolf. Gracie followed while shouting encouragement to her brothers and yelling to the wolf that she simply loved the silver glimmer of his coat and wouldn’t he like some of her really nice skin ointment that would soothe his pain—she would give him some if he asked. (He only growled in response, but Gracie didn’t mind.) Wrath followed closely behind his sister; he was fiercely determined to protect her from the wolf at all costs. So together in a line they ran through the beautiful woods from all the fear and uncertainty and destruction of the wolf. Strangely, however, though this was a horrid sort of chase, they seemed to kind of enjoy the run, often smiling and winking at each other as they ran and sometimes almost leaped among the trees.
But suddenly, the woods ended and a huge cliff groaned before them! The abyss before them seemed as hungry as the wolf to swallow them up. Judgment quickly stopped and turned to warn the others. But Gracie, who was always somewhat clumsy (in an endearing sort of way), tripped and fell over the edge. Judgment, acting on his instinctive love, lunged to the edge and caught Gracie’s ankle just in time. She dangled there, held fast (though upside-down) by her ankle 1,000 feet above the darkness, certain death and doom below. As Judgment struggled to pull Gracie to safety, Wrath turned with determined anger in his eyes; he had been patient and calm up until now, but he was ready to give whatever necessary to protect his family (and all the creatures of the wood, in fact) from the while Judgment saved Gracie.
The ancient wolf paced around them, using his dark cunning to decide how best to dispatch of them. He knew that Gracie’s death would do the most damage to Judgment and Wrath. They would be nothing without her (as she would be without them). As that cruel wolf made ready to pounce with murder in his eye, all his strength and fangs bared, Gracie looked up into Judgment’s eyes. She said, “Judge, it’s okay.” Judgment winked. Wrath smiled. The wolf lunged.
As the wolf lunged toward Gracie to knock her over the cliff, Judgment again acted swiftly and pulled Gracie in with all his might. Yet two strikes were made. The wolf’s fangs grazed Gracie’s heel. Also as the wolf flew through the air with contorted anger in his eyes, Wrath struck a deadly blow to his temple. The stunned wolf collided with all three kids, and they seemed to stumble; yet an onlooker might notice that they seemed peculiarly calm. In the awkwardness of the collision, Gracie grabbed Judgment’s hand and Judgment grabbed Wrath’s hand and Wrath grabbed the wolf’s tail, and all fell backwards, arms outstretched, over the brink into the darkness of the abyss.
The earth shook as it swallowed all four.
Blackest clouds rolled in. Rain fell, and the sun set.
And it rose and it set. The next day, the sun rose once more and so did Judgment, Wrath and Gracie more united and complete than ever they were before. With that, Judgment, Wrath, and Gracie hugged and decided to go help other people enjoy barefoot walks in their woods, forever safe from that ancient wolf who is now forever gone.
And thus, Judgment, Wrath and Gracie and all their dearest friends lived happily ever after (and barefoot) in their beautiful woods.

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