There once was a great kingdom, near the Land of Hearts and the Land of (Un)masked. Nowadays a lot of people had taken down their masks, so the Land of Masks was more often called Land of Unmasked.
In Animalis people did not wear masks. People were just people, with happy and less happy faces. In this land people lived among animals. There were many species. From the tiny ant up until the huge elephant. From shrip tot whale. From firefly to eagle. There were probably more types of animals than persons.
In Animalis every person had her or his own animal. From the animals that crossed their paths of life, they could choose one. One with which they would share the rest of their life with. Since everyone was different, everyone chose a different kind of animal.
One day, a day like any other day, a girl was born: Mieke. Mieke had picked her animal for life when she was still quite young. She had chosen a little lamb. You might know her song: ‘ Mieke has a little lamb…’. Everywhere she went, her lamb went too. The two of them became inseperable.
Up until a certain day, when Mieke woke up and wanted to give a morning hug to her lamb. She looked around for it, but it was nowhere to be found. Desperately she searched everywhere. Under her bed, in the bathroom, the toilet, the kitchen and living room.. But no, her friend was nowhere to be found. Then she decided to take a look outside. She went to the door and there, in front of the door post, she saw the white wool of her lamb. With fear she saw it was covered in red spots.
‘No! How could this be! My little lamb, my friend, is no longer living!’. With tears in her eyes she looked at the print of a paw in the ground beside her lamb. ‘A wolf! It was a wolf that has killed my lamb!’, she cried out. Her lamb must have heard the wolf at night. And all alone it had gone outside to try and protect her against the wolf.
The wolf had been too strong. Now her lamb was dead. Her buddy. Her friend for life. What now? she tought to herself. Everyone had only one animal to spend their life with. Not two, three, or more.. Just one. And that thought, to be alone for the rest of her life, saddened her enormously. It made her so sad, she locked herself up in her bedroom for the next couple of days. She did not even get out of her room once, even though she normally loved to be outside in nature.
After 3 days she had enough of the four walls of her room. With a heart that was still sad, she went outside. Out to breath some fresh air. She decided to visit her grandmother Oma. With Oma she could talk about anything. She really wanted to see her now. Oma always knew the right words when she felt angry, scared or sad.
So Mieke went to see her grandmother, who lived on the other side of town. To get to Oma she first had to cross a big forest. And alone, Mieke started to follow the path leading through the forest.
Suddenly Mieke saw a figure appear somewhere in the distance. She decided to continue her way, but to be extra carefull. Gradually, step by step, she started to feel more and more alarmed. She felt a nerve, starting in her belly. Not the kind of nerves that were good. Not nerves you, for example, get from butterflies in your stomach when you are in love.
No, this feeling was not right. It felt wrong. The nerves turned into fear when she finally saw what was growling before her. A wolf! The wolf! And he was not small either. He had smelled her and now he waited patiently for her to come closer. Close enough for him, so that she had no chance of escaping. Even if she would turn and run away now, she would no where be near in time to reach a tree to climb in. Escape was impossible. Mieke had no chance whatsoever against the wolf.
While the wolf was growling and started to run in her direction, she heard a huge roar. It was a lion! One much bigger and stronger that the wolf. She saw the lion jumping before her on the path. In stead of turning to try and get her too, the lion blocked the wolf’s course. The wolf then tried to run, but the lion was faster. Stronger. And in a single bite, the lion killed the wolf.
The lion turned around and asked what her name was. With fear she answered: ‘Hello, my name is Mieke. What is your name?’. ‘Nice to meet you’, the lion said with a deep, powerful voice, ‘my name is Leo’. ‘T-t-t-thank-you for saving my life, Leo’, Mieke said a little less frightened, ‘If you had not been here…’.
‘No problem, Mieke, I am glad I did it for you’, Leo told her. ‘But where is your buddy? Your animal friend?’. ‘I no longer have a personal animal friend’, Mieke said, ‘the wolf has killed my lamb and now I am alone for the rest of my life’. ‘How terrible!’ Leo, growled, ‘May I be your new animal friend now?’.
Mieke doubted, ‘but I can have only one buddy, can’t I?’. ‘That is right’, the lion answered, ‘but if your animal friend dies before you, you may choose a new one. So, I hope you choose Me as a friend in your life. If you say yes I will be with you for the rest of your life and I will always protect you.’
With joy in her heart, Mieke continued her path to Oma, together with her new friend. Oma saw them coming from a distance. With her arms wide open she welcomed Mieke. She gave her a big hug and a kiss on her cheeks. She said: ‘I am happy to see you here! Together with Leo. I always new you were a lion.’
"If you allow Jesus in your heart, you will never be alone again!