Excerpt from The Storyteller

     And then by some mystery beyond my understanding, I went with the Storyteller as He visited with each of the creatures who were chosen for the Renewing. I could see their forms as they slept upon the ground or huddled in the trees. They were cold and lonely and afraid. But when He spoke to them, as if is a dream, the joy rose up within their faces, and the fear and the darkness fled from their hearts.

     I saw The Storyteller go to the Lamb first, the very creature who had stood beside me when we were driven from the Garden. Deep in the recesses of my mind, was the knowledge that she had once been a beloved friend. I rejoiced for I knew that for a day each year that we lived, we would be able to renew that bond.

     As she turned to face the Storyteller in her dreaming, I marveled at the tenderness in her small face. How unlike me she was with her small frame, her tiny bleating voice, her gentle demeanor. I could not hear the secret name He whispered to her, but I know that she smiled when He called her by her true name. I heard Him say that He was giving her a special privelege, not given to many of the creatures of the earth. She would not fear man in the way that I and many others would, she would serve him, instead. From her wool the man would find warmth and from her meat he would find sustenance. She seemed to accept this with peace. The Storyteller also said that the man would learn from her. This puzzled me. I did not understand that of which he spole. But the Lamb did not seem to be confused, only pleased. He spoke to her then of the Renewing and whispered the way to the secret valley hidden under the shadow of the great rock. I was touched beyond belief when she asked if I would be there.

     "Will the Lion who stood beside me at the Song of Leaving be asked to come?"

     "Why do you ask for him?" questioned the Storyteller.

     "I do not know exactly," said the Lamb, "he seemed as if he would belong. There is something regal and kingly about him that reminds me of You."

     "Blessed are you, dear Lamb, for that which you have discerned is beyond the understanding of many. It is a gift that you have, a gift that will serve you well. May you always use this gift to bless others."

     As He spoke these words the Storyteller turned His gaze upon me. The Lamb was unaware of my presence in her dreaming, but the Storyteller knew that I had heard what He had said.

     "Judah, you must never harm even one hair of the head of this Lamb. You will be tempted, at times, as her kind has become your prey. But she is to be set apart for a purpose yet to be revealed. You must give me your word that she will come to no harm at your hand."

     "I shall do as you ask, but I will require your strength, Storyteller. I fear that I have come too quickly to understand the terrible power of the darkness that dwells within my breast."

     "Well spoken, Judah," said the Storyteller. "You shall have my strength joined with your own. However, you must learn upon which it is wisest to rely."

     As we left, the Lamb moved fitfully in her sleep. As we looked, she opened her eyes and glanced around in fear before settling down once more to a restless sleep.