Wendy the Unicorn: “Help One Another (and you might even receive jellybeans!)”

Poem by Cory Creations
Illustrated by Joanne Dingus

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.

Julian Padowicz

Wendy had a “Zooming” experience last month in more ways than one! As she experiences inclusivity through relationship with the UUFP, she hopes that both adults and children will share our story about who we are and what we do, as Unitarian Universalists, and offer a warm welcome to all to our stable—uh...we mean...Fellowship!

Illustrated by Joanne Dingus

"Help One Another (and you might even receive jellybeans!)"

"Stan, what's chopping groceries all about?" Wendy the unicorn had asked the boy to whom she was giving a unicornback ride along the beach.  This was during the Corona virus lockdown, and Wendy was giving gallops along the beach and through the woods to members of her Unitarian Universalist Congregation, because unicorns could neither catch nor transmit that virus, and Wendy thought that her people friends would appreciate a break from their routine. She had just slowed to a trot so they could hear each other, because this was something she had been meaning to ask someone for a while. "People are always talking about going grocery chopping, and I don't know what they're talking about."

"Well, what they do, Wendy, is they take all the groceries out of their refrigerator," he said, "and they lay them all out on the kitchen table, and they get an axe and chop them all to pieces."

That hadn't made any sense to Wendy, but Stan had been laughing while he said it, and she suspected he had been making fun of her and her question.

"Isn't it a nice day?" she said, quickly changing the subject. But, later that day, when she was giving a ride to Alice, Wendy asked her the same question. "What's grocery chopping all about, Alice?" They were just passing by an empty school building, at the time.

"I think you mean shopping, not chopping," Alice said. "Groceries are the foods that people cook and make meals out of. And shopping means going to a shop, a grocery store or a supermarket and buying them. Isn't that what you do?"

"Well no," Wendy said. "I don't have to buy food. When I come back to my barn, every evening, my hay and apples and jellybeans are all just waiting for me in my trough."

"Well, people's meals are more complicated than that, and we have to go shopping for the ingredients."

"Even the jellybeans?" Wendy asked. Somehow, the idea of having to actually go and buy jellybeans seemed very sad and a little unfair to Wendy.

"Yes, even the jellybeans."

"Oh," said Wendy, because she had thought that people's meals just appeared every evening the way that hers did.

So how was it that her meals appeared every evening in her stall, along with the fresh straw on the floor to lie down on, if she wanted to lie down? Wendy had never questioned it, since it had always just been there for her every evening.

Somebody must be putting it there when I'm out for my afternoon run, Wendy thought. Somebody's been taking care of me all these years, and I didn't even know it.

Wendy hurried home, as soon as she had dropped Alice off, but she was too late. There were her hay and her apples and her jellybeans all waiting for her, just as though they had appeared by themselves.

That evening, as she was eating her dinner, Wendy decided that tomorrow afternoon, she would stay in the barn and see just how her dinner got there.

The following morning, she gave rides to a woman named Charlene and her husband, Sam, and then went back to her barn. She was munching on some grass in the meadow beside her barn, that afternoon, and realizing it was the first time that she had been home that time of day, when she heard the sound of a truck making its way along her long and bumpy driveway.

As she watched, Wendy saw a blue Chevrolet truck pull up to the front door of her barn, a young man get out, and then go into her barn. When she followed him to the door of the barn, she was surprised to suddenly see it start to rain hay inside the building. Looking up at the ceiling, she saw that a hole had opened in the ceiling, right over the trough, and the young man must have been shoveling hay down from the second floor of the barn.

So that was how her dinner got there every afternoon. She stood there and watched as apples and jellybeans followed the hay down from the second floor. Then the shower stopped, a cover came down over the hole, and the young man she had seen going into the barn earlier, came down a ladder built into the wall of her barn.

"Hello," the young man said, when he saw Wendy standing there. Seeing him close up, for the first time, Wendy realized that he couldn't have been more than twenty years old. "You must be Wendy, the Unicorn," he said. "I can tell by your horn. I'm Ted, the grandson."

"Hello, Ted, the Grandson. Yes, I am Wendy, the Unicorn. Are you the grandson of anyone special, or just a general grandson?"

"Oh, I'm Farmer Alvin's grandson, which, I guess, makes me Farmer Ted now."

"You're Farmer Ted now?"

"I guess you hadn't heard; Farmer Alvin passed away two weeks ago."

"I'm sorry to hear that your grandfather passed away, but I didn't know there even was a Farmer Alvin."

"You didn't know there was a Farmer Alvin? How did you think your dinner got into your trough every evening?"

"Well, I don't know. It always was, and I always thought that it was just supposed to be there."

"Well, somebody had to put it there, and in your case, it was my Grandfather Alvin. Every afternoon he would come here and fill up your trough. And when the hayloft ran out of hay or apples or jellybeans, he would bring a fresh load in that truck out there."

"I had no idea. I guess I'm always out galloping that time of day. The food was always there at supper time, and I thought it was just...supposed to be there."

"Well now, you can't very well climb that ladder, there, with your hooves and your horn, can you?"

"No, I guess I can't."

"So, if you can't, somebody has to, don't they?"

"They have to?"

"So Wendy, let me say that somebody needs to do it. If somebody falls into a hole in the ground and they can't get out by themselves, somebody needs to help them out. I mean, you can't just let another person be stuck in a hole that they can't get out of, can you? So, if a unicorn can't climb a ladder to get her own food down, and you can, then helping her out is the decent, good thing to do."

Later that evening, after Wendy and Farmer Ted had finished talking and Farmer Ted had gone home, Wendy spent a lot of time thinking about that last statement of his, the one about people doing things to help one another...sometimes even when we might not want to.

(Check out all the "Wendy the Unicorn" stories featured in the UUFP eFlame Blog under "Sharing Our Stories.")

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