The Man and the Lion

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The terrible day had come.

For 19 years the small cat had been the constant companion of the man. But the ravages of old age and sickness had finally taken their toll. The time had come.

The cat lay motionless on the table as they prepared the injection. The fight had gone from him.

They asked the man, “Are you ready?”

The man nodded his head as he caressed the cat one last time.

With eyes stinging from the tears and a voice choked with emotion, he leaned forward and whispered – “Good bye old friend.”

“The coracle went more and more quickly, and beautifully it rushed up the wave’s side. For one split second they saw its shape and Reepicheep’s on the very top. Then it vanished, and since that moment no one can truly claim to have seen Reepicheep the Mouse. But my belief is that he came safe to Aslan’s country and is alive there to this day.”

— The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – C.S. Lewis —

And that night, the man had a dream. In the dream, he was transported to some far away place – a field with shimmering green grasses of such a color as to defy description. And a short distance away, a great forest.

It was then that the man saw him as he came out of the forest.

A great lion — with a huge mane billowing in the breeze. And the lion saw the man. Closer and closer he came, traveling across the ground with great strides.

Unafraid, the man said, “I know you.”

To his surprise, the lion answered, “Yes. And I know you as well.”

“You look magnificent,” said the man.

“It is a gift from the Creator that I might take on this form,” said the lion. “My soul has returned to be with the Creator and He has granted me this wish that I might see you. For the great love that we shared, He chose this form that you would know that I am alive and now dwell in this land forever.”

“I miss having you with me,” said the man.

“I know,” said the lion. “And I wanted to tell you to mourn me no more, for the day is coming when we will be together again — but not yet. It is the great gift of the Creator for those of us who have lived and shared in His love.”

At that, the man was returned to his world.

And that night, the man slept a great and peaceful sleep, for he knew that the day was coming when they would be together again.

But not yet.

Comments

  1. Nicholas Fulford says:

    The literature you quote is beautiful.

    How fondly do I remember departed feline friends, intimate and brief acquaintances with whom I have spent joyous times and sorrowful as well.

    A tear or two of melancholia, moments of joyful reflection, and the afterglow of gratitude combine to make a wonderful elixir

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