The Sudden Wind and How Carl Saved the Day
Carl Squirrel was fat. And not just a little fat, or the kind of fat a squirrel gets right before winter, but FAT. He was so fat, even his head was fat. To be fair, it wasn’t totally his fault. You see, Carl was born without a tail. And a squirrel without a tail has a distinct disadvantage when it comes to all things Squirrel. His balance was terrible, he was no good at jumping, and when he did manage to pull off a jump, his landings were much less than graceful.
One day in Spring, when he was just a very young pup, Carl discovered while romping around Oak Village, that he just could not keep up with the other pups. Adding insult to injury, some of the other pups laughed at him, hurting his feelings something fierce. When he got home and told his Mom, she taught him a valuable lesson from her Bible: pray for the people who hurt you. Maybe they are hurting too, and maybe they need God’s love to shine in their hearts.
Still, the sadness was such that Carl tended to stay home more often than go out with the other pups. He didn’t get much exercise. And when he did go out, he usually visited a house nearby; the girl who lived there often left apple and pear cores in the fork of a beech tree for him. And so, Summer passed, and Carl got fat.
In Autumn, every squirrel was expected to pitch in, finding acorns and stashing them away for Winter. Carl did his best to help out, but he was heavy, off-balance, and clumsy. And those mean pups were older and bigger and meaner now than they’d been in the Spring. One day Carl summoned the courage to make a leap from one tree to another! Sadly, he missed, and fell to the ground with a loud thump. The mean pups pointed and laughed at him. The accident left his body aching, but the humiliation hurt worse. Carl ran home in tears, and went to bed without even eating his supper.
He laid in his nest, praying the prayer his Mom had taught him, blessing his enemies. He also prayed to God that he might grow a tail! If he had a tail, he could be like the other squirrels, play all the cool squirrel sports, help the village with acorn-gathering, and maybe even lose weight. He prayed harder than he’d ever prayed before.
Then, all of a sudden, an amazing thing happened: an angel appeared! His own guardian angel! Carl had heard of them, but he wasn’t sure they were real. Now here, right here in his little room, was HIS ANGEL! And the angel spoke: “Dear child, God made you exactly how you are for His special purpose. Read.” The angel pointed to Ecclesiastes 7:13 in Carl’s Bible. Carl did not know what “Ecclesiastes” meant, but he read aloud, “Consider the work of God: for who can make straight, which He hath made crooked?” Carl looked up to ask the angel what it meant, but he was gone.
Buzzing with excitement, Carl barely slept that night. As the weeks went by, he puzzled over what his special purpose might be, and he began to look forward to ICE POND DAY. Maybe he was destined to be a famous hockey player! That didn’t require any leaping at all, he thought.
When ICE POND DAY arrived with the start of Winter, Carl bounded out of the nest, ate his acorn breakfast in a rush, and hurried out to meet his siblings. They scampered out of Oak Village and into Evergreen Forest, stopping to toss a few snowballs along the way.
Upon arrival at the pond, they found it already covered in squirrels. Some were racing laps around the edge, some were practicing fancy jumps and spins, and some were starting up a hockey game. Carl headed straight for the game. When he got there, he told the others he wanted to be a goalie. They thought his size would make him a great goalie, and Carl was excited he may finally have found his special purpose.
But just as the game was set to begin, a strong wind sprang up. It blew stronger and stronger, until every squirrel’s tail was whipping high in the air. Suddenly, little ThimbleFoot was lifted up! Her tail had become a sail! Her quick-thinking sister ThistleFoot grabbed onto her paw just before she was blown into the air. The ‘Foot sisters struggled as the wind blew even harder. Their shouts got everyone’s attention, and just in time, too. Because suddenly, Thistlefoot was also lifted into the air by the wind, her tail also turned into a sail. Her best friend Rosenose was holding her hand when it happened, but soon Rosenose found herself flying up into the air, too. And so it happened that one by one, the entire group of squirrel pups at the pond was flying up, in a long string of squirrels, paw-in-paw, and tails in the wind.
Carl of course had a terrific advantage in this peculiar scenario! He had no tail to catch sail, and he was heavy enough not to be caught up by the Sudden Wind. Carl skated as fast as he could across the pond. He watched as his friend Bristlebrow became the second-to-last squirrel on the pond. Bristlebrow grabbed the paw of the nearest airborne squirrel, hoping to keep everyone from blowing away. Carl skated fast. Bristlebrow struggled. The youngest squirrels squealed and cried. The wind blew hard and loud. It was terrifying! Carl wasn’t sure if he’d be able to help, but he reached his friend just in time. As Bristlebrow was pulled up into the air, Carl grabbed his paw. He held on for dear life. The wind blew harder, but Carl pulled down. The long train of frightened squirrels, held aloft by their tails in the wind, hollered “Save us, Carl!”
Carl was pulled this way and that by the wind blowing all around them. He held on tight with all of his might. The wind-boosted train of squirrels pulled him all the way to Beaver’s Dam at the very end of the pond. And the wind blew even harder! Carl braced himself in a snow bank at the end of the pond. He was NOT going to let all of his fellow pups blow away!
And then suddenly, just as quickly as it began, the wind stopped! All of the squirrel pups, from Bristlebrow to Thimblefoot, dropped down into the snow, safe at last but badly shaken. As everyone brushed themselves off and realized no one had been seriously hurt, they all turned to Carl, and cheered! They shouted: “Hooray for Carl!” and “Carl You Saved Us!” and “Thank God for Carl!” The gang of older and bigger and meaner pups who’d mocked Carl in the past came over and tried to lift him up onto their shoulders for a parade. Well, Carl was still too heavy for that sort of fun, but even Carl laughed along when they couldn’t hoist him up.
The pups decided to call it a day and bounded home quickly to tell the rest of Oak Village the strange and wonderful tale of The Sudden Wind and How Carl Saved the Day. Afterwards, as hot cocoa was being served all around, Carl also shared the amazing story of his guardian angel and his important message:
God made you exactly how you are for His special purpose.