There once was a “Uni” named “Wendy,”
Whose horn glitzed in gold was so trendy.
She searched for her herd,
Where diversity is spurred—
Found the Fellowship varied aplenty!
Author & UUFP member Julian Padowicz marries his passion for writing with his zeal for sharing the UUFP story of embracing diversity.
Last month, Wendy learned about taking ownership for our actions and the value of forgiveness. As our Uni experiences inclusivity in her UUFP community, she hopes both adults and children will share her story about who we are and what we do as Unitarian Universalists and will extend a warm welcome to all to our Fellowship. Let’s see what our special friend discovers this month!
"Dare to Dream – Transform to Action"
Wendy had seen gulls and other birds with one of those plastic, six-pack things around their neck before and felt very sorry for them. You know, it’s those six plastic loops that hold six cans of Coke or beer together, that some careless people leave around when they don’t dispose of them properly, and some poor bird gets their neck caught in one of the loops.
These birds manage to fly away, with the plastic thing hanging down from their neck, before anyone can reach them to remove it, but Wendy knew that, sooner or later, that bird would get one of the other loops caught on a tree branch or a nail and be stuck there.
However, this time the bird, a mostly white seagull, had managed to get its right leg through one of the other loops as well. With one plastic loop around its neck and another around its right leg, it couldn't stretch its right wing out to fly and was hopping, flapping and falling all over itself and all over the little bit of beach that showed at low tide.
The tide was coming in, and soon there wouldn't be any beach at all. How the gull would manage in the water and the waves, with its wing stuck to its body by that plastic ring was not a nice thing to contemplate. In fact, here came a wave, licking its way up the sand and stopping just a couple feet short of where the gull was standing.
In this case, since this gull was restrained by the ring, it could not fly away. It gave Wendy a chance to try and catch the bird and take it to someone with a knife or a pair of scissors to cut it free.
Wendy's first attempts to stick her horn through one of the other plastic loops were a failure, as the bird kept hopping away each time she lowered her head. So, bringing her right foreleg into service, Wendy stepped on the plastic ring to hold it down on the sand, while she stuck her horn through one of the loops.
Just as she was doing that, the bird flapped its free wing, pulling on the plastic until Wendy's hoof and her horn both pushed through the loops, and now Wendy was caught in the rings, along with the seagull.
Great! So now Wendy's right front hoof, her horn, the bird's neck and its right leg and right wing were all prisoners of that plastic contraption with those six loops. Wendy couldn't get her hoof or her horn out, and the poor bird was flapping its one, free wing, making it obvious to anyone watching that the two of them needed assistance.
There was no one watching because this was not beach-sitting season, and besides, this piece of beach would soon be under water anyway.
What they had to do, Wendy realized, was get up the beach, get through one of the openings in the stone-and-concrete wall, and cross the road to where there were houses and people to help. Her head down, the tip of her horn bumping along in the sand, Wendy began to shuffle toward the opening in the stone and concrete wall that separated the beach from the road. As she did, she saw the plastic six-pack thing pull the poor gull over, dragging it through the sand on its back, squawking and hurting Wendy’s new feathered friend. That wasn't going to work either.
So, what if she went backwards? What if she took a short step backwards with her back legs, then slowly pulled her right front leg and her horn, being careful not to flip the bird over or to cause it any other distress?
Wendy slowly swung her back end in the direction of the opening in the wall. She took a small, experimental step backwards with her rear legs. Then, carefully, she pulled her right front leg and her horn with the plastic thing and the gull over the sand. The gull still squawked and complained but managed to hop and follow Wendy.
Wendy tried another backward step and another in the direction of the road. It was slow going, and with her horn down on the sand, Wendy couldn't see where she was going, but it did seem to be working, until….
Suddenly, Wendy felt her rear end bump against something hard that she realized must be the wall. Somehow, going backwards, she had managed to get off her track to where the opening was. There she was, unable to go forward because of the bird and unable to go backwards because of the wall. Coming up the beach, right in front of her, was a wave of the incoming tide, licking its way up the sand and stopping just inches from the gull and the six-pack thing and Wendy's right hoof and her horn. The next big wave (or the one after that, or the one after that) would be bigger and would come a little further up the beach. Soon, Wendy would be standing knee-deep in water, pinning her end of the six-pack thing to the bottom. She hated to think what would happen then. The seagull, with its neck, and Wendy, with her horn, both connected to Wendy's hoof by the plastic six-pack thing and pinned to the sand, would be in deep, deep trouble.
Wendy tried to look for the opening in the wall that she had missed, but with the tip of her horn held at sand level by the six-pack thing, it wasn't easy seeing behind her.
Then, with the kind of hissing sound that waves make when they run along a sandy beach, Wendy saw a wave, at least twice the height of the last one, rushing up the slope of the beach towards them. It would pick up the gull, and while Wendy could raise her head a little, she would not be able to raise her hoof far enough off the sand, and the plastic thing would pull the gull under water and hold it there.
What was Wendy to do? Just then, somewhere behind her, Wendy heard the growl of a very angry dog. She sensed the splatter of the wave hitting her horn. She felt the sand shifting under her right front hoof, saw the gull flapping helplessly in the deep water, and now felt a dog's sharp teeth closing around her left rear ankle.
Then Wendy was lying down, with all four legs folded under her. The dog had let her go, the water and the plastic six-pack thing had vanished, and the unfortunate gull had disappeared, as well.
In fact, Wendy was lying in the straw on the floor of her stall in the barn, and a large, black spider was making its way toward Wendy's face along the length of her golden horn. The beach, the water, the six-pack thing and the seagull had all been one very scary dream…
but what had Wendy learned, and what was Wendy going to do next…?
Wendy's experience may have a dream, but its lessons were real and give vision to the the future! The desire to protect and help one another and take care of our earthly home is something UUs take very seriously.
LET'S SEE NEXT MONTH (3/14/22) WHAT OUR GOLDEN-HORNED FRIEND DISCOVERS FURTHER HOW TO LIVE OUT OUR UU VALUES AND PRINCIPLES.