The Greeter

This is a story of friends, and life, and love everlasting….

The sun was shining, its beautiful golden light making even the leaves on the trees seem to shimmer with delight in their own being.  Miss Hazel delicately sniffed the passing breeze, sighing with the purrfection of the scent.  “Ah,” she thought to herself, “is there any more glorious place to be than this one?”  Shaking her sleek head slightly, she answered her own question with a simple “no.”

At that moment, Dear Cully passed by, on her way to a well-deserved catnap on the cushiest of beds.  She paused to speak with Miss Hazel.  (It is a prudent thing to pay courtesy to royalty, and Dear Cully is ever careful to do what is prudent.)

“Good day, Miss Hazel,” said she, “and how are you on this purrfect evening?”

Miss Hazel smiled her sweet smile at her sister-in-fur and replied, “I am purrfect also, Dear Cully, as I know you are, too.  Have you finished your shift at the entrance today?”

“Yes,” Dear Cully responded, “but I am troubled somewhat.  Mama asked me specially to watch for a squirrel she saw by the side of the road, and for the three white dogs so foully poisoned, and also for a beloved young cat.”

“And did you meet them all?”  Miss Hazel was grooming her whiskers, but Dear Cully knew she listened intently.

“The sweet little squirrel came just as Mama said, stopping and starting the way squirrels do.  When he finally saw me, he didn’t even hesitate, but rushed right up.  He said Mama told him I would be there.  I showed him the way to the big tree where he found The Squirrel Family, with all of the squirrels Mama loves and points to us.”

“I love a happy beginning,” murmured Miss Hazel.  “And then what happened?”

“Well, after a while (you know how I have trouble making sense out of time) I could see the three white dogs at the far edge of the crossing.  They moved very closely together, and I could tell that they were a little nervous.  So I went over to meet them instead of waiting like I usually do.  They were glad when I reached up to wash their faces, and when I explained that they had come to wait here for their forever family, they started dancing around and playing.”

“Ah, very good, Dear Cully, you are a superb Greeter.”  Miss Hazel did not often offer compliments, and Dear Cully glowed with the unexpected praise.

“But, Miss Hazel, I fear that I have failed with my third task today, for I did not see the beloved young cat.  I waited and watched and even went to the edge, but there was no cat needing my assistance.  Could I have missed her, do you think?” 

Dear Cully took her work as a Greeter quite seriously, and this possible failure was a burden on her dear little heart.

Miss Hazel gave it some thought, and then she whispered a plan into Dear Cully’s ear.  Dear Cully thought it brilliant (Miss Hazel is indeed known for her brilliance), and together they went back to the crossing.  They settled down side by side, front paws tucked in, and they began to hum softly.

The air about them began to sparkle, and the miracle of the bridge began.  “I never tire of this part,” said Miss Hazel, and Dear Cully nodded her agreement. 

The sparkling air swirled slowly above their heads and laced about the other animals who were nearby.  Creatures large and small, crawling, flying, walking, all manner of beasts, moved with purpose towards the source of the sparkling current.  They brought with them their joy and contentment, and joined their hearts to aid a frightened newcomer.

First one here, then several together there, and finally all of them everywhere at the bridge, stretched out the golden streams of love that bound them to their own special humans.  As Miss Hazel and Dear Cully watched, the love wove back and forth, becoming a visible tapestry, a special path for the one they sought.

“There!” said Dear Cully.  “I see her!  She is looking behind her, to her human.”

Miss Hazel nudged Dear Cully to her paws and encouraged her, “She needs your help, sweet girl.  Go to her.”

All of the bridge held the tapestry of love carefully now, as Dear Cully made her way.  One step at a time, she edged nearer to the newcomer, who had become aware of her.  The newcomer laid her ears back and hissed, “Stay away!  My human cannot let me go, and I would stay until she can.”

But Dear Cully is a Greeter, and she understands the pain of grief and loss.  So she stretched out a gentle paw and told the newcomer about the bridge, about how she would wait until her human made the crossing and how they would move on together.  She explained how hard it would be for her human but also how the new one could help by visiting occasionally.  Even though such visits would be unseen, humans know about them because of the love shared between them and their beloved pets.

The newcomer looked at Dear Cully and then back at her human.   She sighed, and a single tear slid down her beautiful, cherished face.  She turned again to Dear Cully and asked, “Are you certain about this?  I would not leave my human before she is ready.”

And Dear Cully said, “My dear, your human will never be ready, but that is the way of things.  Our sojourn with them is all too brief, and none of us wants to leave them.  Come with me now, and I will show you your new home, where you can wait for her. 

"You will be healthy and happy here, and there is no end of sweet breezes, butterflies, and warm sunshine.  There is always someone to play with and something interesting to do.  Any time that you want to, you can see your human and send your love and comfort.  If you want, you can lead a new child to your human so that your love can grow even more.  And when it is time, your human will make the crossing, and you will be right there waiting.”

The newcomer began to walk with Dear Cully across the golden tapestry of love, slowly at first, and then with a little spring in her step.  Wonderment filled her face, and she said, “I think I understand.  We’re not really apart at all.  I’m here, and she’s there, but we’ll always be together.”

“Yes, indeed,” smiled Dear Cully.  “You have it exactly right.  Love is forever.”

Miss Hazel said softly, “Well done, Dear Cully, well done.” 

And on earth, Mama smiled with pride and love.

The Greeter ©2007 Barbara E. Allen