Wendy the Unicorn: “Wendy the Unicorn: “Lend a Hand or a Hoof”

Illustrated by Joanne Dingus
Poem by Cory Creations

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

Last month, Wendy learned how there are different paths to living out the value of treating others with the same kindness as we would like to be treated ourselves. As Wendy bonds with 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 our stable—uh...we mean...Fellowship!


Illustrated by Joanne Dingus

"Lend a Hand or a Hoof"

"Just somebody looking for directions," Wendy said to herself, when she saw the car slowly make its way along the bumpy driveway and up to the front door of her barn.

The driveway leading through the woods and up to her barn was bumpy because people hardly ever drove on it. Wendy knew that the people driving up to her barn this time must be looking for directions because the only times that anyone ever had driven up to the barn, in the past, was when they were lost and looking for directions. The reason why Wendy lived in a barn rather than a house was because she was a unicorn rather than a person.

Wendy's driveway was about half a mile long, through the woods, and led only to the barn that Wendy lived in. She had lived in that barn all of her life. She had learned from Farmer Ken that she had actually been born in it. Her mother, he had told Wendy, had found the barn abandoned some years earlier and had moved right in. About once or twice a year, some car looking for some address would find itself in front of her barn, because the driveway didn't lead any further, with its occupant having little idea of where they were or how to get to wherever they were going.

You can imagine Wendy's surprise when, instead of a stranger getting out and asking directions, the person behind the wheel turned out to be someone she recognized. It was the nice lady that used to tell stories to the children during the Unitarian Universalist Church Sunday Services before the coronavirus, which then caused people to stop getting together in groups so as not to infect each other with the disease. Wendy was embarrassed because she couldn't remember the nice lady's name.

"Hello Wendy," the woman said through the mask that people were all wearing to deter infecting each other. She had rolled down her window but did not get out of the car, and she held the mask to her face rather awkwardly with one hand. "How are you doing?"

"I'm doing just fine," Wendy said. "And you don't need to worry about that mask. Unicorns don't catch or transmit Corona. My veterinarian told me."

"Oh, that's good," the lady said, lowering the mask. "I just wanted to make sure you were all right. Several of us are going around and checking on all the members of the congregation to make sure they're okay and don't need anything."

"No, I'm just fine, but I thank you for coming all this way just to check on me," Wendy answered, very pleased to find herself considered a part of the congregation, though she hadn't signed the membership book yet. "I'd offer you a cup of coffee or a coke or something, but I don't have any hands, you know." Saying that, she held up one of her front hooves to illustrate.

"No, that's all right, Wendy. I had a coke at the Harpers just a few minutes ago. You sure you don't need anything? People have been sitting around their own homes so long, without going out, that they're all getting really bored."

"No, I'm just fine," Wendy said, really embarrassed that she couldn't remember the lady's name. Then she watched as her visitor turned her car around and, with a wave of her hand, began carefully making her way back to the highway.

As she watched her visitor disappear back into the woods, Wendy thought about how caring it was, on the part of the UUFP Congregation, to drive to people's homes to check on whether they needed anything. She was suddenly aware of a great need to do something herself to help her fellow congregants get through this difficult and awkward time. What might she be able to do, since she really, really wanted to help?

As Wendy pondered this important question, she realized that, with four hooves and no hands, there really wasn't much that she could do. Four hooves aren't good for much...(so she first thought)….

But four hooves were great for running, weren't they? Wendy loved to canter and gallop along the roads of their neighborhood, feel the wind blowing through her mane and the rhythm of her hooves pounding the ground, with trees, houses and people whipping right past her. It was a wonderful feeling that always managed to elevate her mood from sad to quite wonderful.

She was the only member of the congregation with four hooves, or any hooves at all, and she supposed the only one who had the ability to improve their mood that easily. That, come to think of it, was really quite a gift. She knew that other members of the congregation had the ability to run, but none could run as fast or as far as her four hooves could take her. So, what if she were to...?

So off she went to see her church friends to put her idea into action!

"Of course, I recognize you, Wendy," said her fellow UUFPer, during the first visit in her mission. "You sat behind me one Sunday, and I was afraid you'd spear me with your horn when you looked down at your hymnal."

"Oh, I'm sorry," Wendy began, but then she saw that the man was laughing and realized that he must have been joking.

"We're all fine, Wendy, but yes, I, for one, would love a unicornback ride along the beach. It would be a welcome break from staying home and watching television. How about the kids; can they get rides too?"

"Of course, they can. They can hold onto my mane, and I can make sure they don't fall off."

For the rest of the day, Wendy went from one UU family home to another, asking how people were doing and giving unicornback rides to both grownups and kids.

Like some breeds of horse, unicorns have an ability to sense when a rider is losing his or her balance and to correct for it, so that there was never any danger of anyone falling off. Some of her grownup riders were still somewhat apprehensive and clung tightly, squeezing her sides with their legs or holding onto her mane with their hands. One woman even lay down on Wendy's neck and wrapped her arms around it, and one man, probably an experienced horseman, kept kicking her sides to make Wendy go faster.

The kids, though, pretty much had a ball. At first, Wendy kept her speed down to no more than a gentle canter when she had a child on her back, but she soon learned that all, except a very few, kept wanting her to go faster and faster till they, too, could hear the wind whistling past their ears.

When it got to be what human members of the congregation considered dinner time, Wendy was happy to take a break. She was tired of cantering and galloping up and down the beach with one or another UU on her back. She wanted to just graze for a while in the meadow beside her barn and munch on the hay, apples, and jellybeans she found in her stall every evening. She had little trouble getting sleeping that evening and slept better than she had for a long time. That was partly because she was very tired and partly because she knew she had done something good.

The following morning, Wendy was giving rides again, happy to be a helping member of her UU family!

During this month of special thanksgiving,
Wendy is grateful for her church family and the opportunity to work together for a common cause.

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

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