The Cross-Eyed Bear
(c) 2017 Haylee V
Once upon a time, in a forest deep and lush, lived a very lonely, very sad bear named Thaddeus. Thaddeus wasn't like other bears. Sure, he loved honey, and splashing in the stream, and catching fresh salmon. All bears do. But Thaddeus had a very unique problem -- his eyes.
You see, Thaddeus was born with what one would call a "Lazy Eye". Although it didn't affect his health, as he could see perfectly fine, it did make him the butt of many jokes and pranks from the other forest animals. The constant ridicule and taunts caused Thaddeus to withdraw into himself. As a result, this kind, gentle bear had no one he could actually call a friend. Even his family shunned him because of his appearance. Many nights Thaddeus cried himself to sleep out of loneliness.
Then, one day during a huge storm, lightning struck a tree in the distance, setting it ablaze. Thaddeus saw the tree ignite, and was quick to respond, rallying the animals together at the river. In order to survive, they must all cross to the safety of the other shore. they knew the river would contain the fire, as it would not be able to jump over such a large body of water.
Unfortunately, the torrential rains had caused the river to swell well beyond its borders, and the swift current was too much for any of the animals to forge safely. They began to panic. If they could not cross, then they surely all would perish.
Thaddeus looked around in desperation. Even though they had all basically ostracized him, his conscious would not allow him to let anyone die in such a horrid way. Just as all seemed hopelessly lost, Thaddeus spied an old oak out of the corner of his eye that had fallen across the river. With a little help, a well-timed jump, and some luck, the animals could safely cross.
Thaddeus quickly formed a plan, and informed the other animals. He first helped all the little, weaker animals cross, and then began to help the bigger, less agile ones. Only when he was sure everyone else had safely crossed did Thaddeus start to make his escape. By then, the fire was right up against the shore.
Thaddeus leaped upon the oak. Unfortunately, his weight was too much for the old tree to bear, and it snapped in two when he was about halfway through. The current quickly caught him, and swept him away -- too fast for the others to save. In an effort to save those he considered his friends, Thaddeus had given his own life.
No greater love has anyone, than he would lay down his life for a friend.
In this life, we all have our "cross-eyed bears".
How we choose to carry them, and what we do with them, will help define our very character.
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