And now for something completely different.
"Wally the Walnut"
~ a true story of hope and redemption in Cherokee County, Oklahoma.
Once upon a time there was a rotund green walnut named Wally (because what else should a walnut be named?). Wally lived high in a graceful black walnut tree, overlooking a large grassy pasture surrounded by a strong barbed-wire fence. He happily hung from his branch all through the early months of summer, contemplating the beautiful green countryside and the horses and the cows that grazed peacefully thereon.
Then, tragedy struck—tent caterpillars! A ravenous multitude of the gelatinous beasts encased all the leaves of Wally's tree in thick cottony webs, where they hid while devouring the leaves—right down to the very last shred.
Some of the walnuts became trapped in the thick, sticky webs. Bags of dead twigs fell to the ground in webby clumps. The once-beautiful tree had been decimated. Wally the Walnut was sad.
As winter approached, the days grew shorter, and one by one, walnuts fell to the ground. Soon it would be Wally's turn. He tried not to think about what would happen to him then. He had seen how the other walnuts were quickly snatched up and chewed into oblivion by voracious, insatiable squirrels.
To take his mind off things, Wally tried to imagine what the world would look like down on the ground, but he couldn't fathom it. He knew that he would miss looking out at the big grassy pasture and the cows and horses that grazed there. He would miss watching the sun rise from the pasture's east end and hanging out with his brother walnuts. Sometimes he wished that when it came his turn to fall from the tree, that somehow—by some miracle—he wouldn't have to lie helplessly on the ground, unable to see his beloved pasture, waiting for a hungry squirrel to gobble him up. He didn't know what the answer was, but he still had hope.
As the other walnuts fell one by one, Wally knew it was almost time. He gazed out at his beloved pasture once last time, knowing it might be his very last. With all his utmost strength, he cast a look of love towards the rising sun, and with a dreadful tearing sensation, plunged helplessly from the safety of his branch towards the rushing ground. As the events of his short life flashed before his eyes, Wally resigned himself into the hands of Death, which pierced his heart most suddenly with a sharp, steely lance.
Then, he opened his eyes and dared looked about.
Why, he hadn't fallen to the ground at all! He was safely secured on the steel tip of the barbed wire fence. The squirrels couldn't reach him here! And best of all, he could still see his beloved pasture: the trees, the grass, and the rising of the morning sun. Wally couldn't believe his luck!
As Wally rejoiced in his new-found happiness, he remembered his brother walnuts. Looking up at them, he shouted words of hope and encouragement.
"Don't worry!" he yelled exultantly. "I'm okay! I'm okay!"
"Hurray for Wally!" they sang joyously in reply from high in the tree.
As the sun rose the next day, Wally gave thanks for his amazing new life. The foraging squirrels simply ignored him, however. That green ball on the fence couldn't possibly be a walnut, they said. Everyone knows walnuts never sit on fences.
And all the other walnuts greatly marveled at the wonderful miracle that had been wrought in their midst.
Because now they knew: God sees the sparrow when it falls (and the walnuts too!)
...and don't miss next week’s exciting adventure on True Stories from Cherokee County: "Grey Squirrel Gets Stuck on Fence Trying to Dislodge Walnut."
The opinions expressed on this website are my own personal views and do not necessarily represent those of the Catholic Church.
If I have erred in any statement, whether directly or by implication, in any matter pertaining to faith or morals, I humbly invite fraternal correction.