Pagan Children Stories: Just An Ordinary Child

An Earth Mother story by Elspeth Sapphire
from ecauldron.com


There was a child.

Just an ordinary child.

Yet in one way, he was not so ordinary. This child cared.

He cared about his mommy and daddy. He cared about his dog. He cared about Mrs. Sally, his next door neighbor. He even cared about grumpy Mr. Green who lived in the ugly house on the corner.

"Mommy, if I lived in such an ugly house, I might be grumpy, too!" Then he waited until Mr. Green left the house and went down to sweep his walk.

The child was always doing something helpful. His mother would get up in the morning to find the kitchen clean and shiny.

"Oh! Is it brownies?" his mother would exclaim.

The child would only smile and say, "No, just me!"

He helped because he cared.

Then came a day where people made fun of him for caring. "Why waste your time helping?" they asked.

When he tried to help, people either yelled at him for what he did or said that it wasn't enough. Slowly the caring turned from love to dislike to finally hate. He started doing things just because they hurt other people.

One day, his mother yelled at him. The child waited until she was out of the room, then picked up a ball and threw it at the vase that his mother had cherished since she was a child. As he stared at the shattered pieces, the child realized that he finally gone too far.

Without stopping to think, he ran out the door and down the walk. He ran until he was out of breath. Looking for somewhere to hide, the child noticed a small woods by the side of the road. He slipped into the cool shade and threw himself down on the grass and wept.

How could he have done such a thing? He loved his mother. How could she love him now? Why should she care?

As he laid, grass tickling his face, a breeze began to blow between the trees. The child ignored it, clenching his fists around clumps of grass. The breeze only blew harder. Then it began to whisper his name.
Amazed, the child sat up. "Who are you?" he whispered, looking all around the trees.

"I am a mother...just like your mother." The voice sounded gentle...like a sigh.

"But where are you?" The child was puzzled by this voice without a body.

"I am everywhere, my child, for I am the Earth. I heard your pain and answered your Call."

Tears began to fall down the cheek of the child. "I didn't call anyone! Besides, I am a bad person and no one likes me."

A laugh now echoed through the breeze. It ruffled his hair like a caress. "Silly child! Do you think that just because you were angry, your mother will love you less?" The voice grew sad. "My children are always doing hurting things...both to themselves and to me. They try to destroy me time after time. And I, too, sometimes get angry. Yet..."

The voice was silent for a long moment. "Yet, they are my children. And I love them. Perhaps, if I care enough, someday they will learn to love instead of hate...create instead of destroy. Someday..."

The boy sat silent. He thought about how he used to care about his fellow men. Then he let all that caring turn to angry and hate.

"Mother Earth? Maybe if I love enough people...if I care...it will teach them to love in return." "Perhaps..."
The child jumped up. "I will! And I will start with my mother!"

As he exited the woods, the child heard a whisper in the wind, "Never be ashamed to care!"

Hurrying home, the child was surprised to find his mother sitting weeping in front the broken pieces of the vase. *She must be more upset about the vase than I thought.* he thought as he stood in the doorway.

"Mother..."

To his shock, his mother jumped up and hugged him tight. "I was so worried about you." She brushed his hair out of his eyes. "Surely, you know that you are more important than a vase."

The love in his mother's eyes made the child feel strange. She was more concerned about him? In that moment, all the anger that he had created to keep him from caring melted away. Standing in his mother's arms, he vowed that he wouldn't let anything ever stop him from caring.

There was a child.

Just an ordinary child.

Yet, in one way he was not so ordinary. This child cared.

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