IMG_3056Last week, Pepper snagged the remainder of my my turkey sandwich from Jersey Mike’s off the kitchen counter while I was working at the computer.  She was well into it when I discovered the crime.

“Pepper!”  I cried.  “You know the rule about counter surfing!  No counter surfing!”

She attempted to hide the remaining evidence by quickly wolfing it down, eyes like a lamb when she finished.  Those lamb eyes get me every time.

“Oh, Peppy,” I sighed. “I can’t stay mad at you.  Come on over here with your full tummy and help me figure something out.”

She trotted over to the computer desk and hopped up on the chair next to mine.  I hadn’t actually been working at the computer, truth be told.  I’d been counter surfing on Facebook, where I had watched a video several times.  

“Take a look at this tiger, Pep.  He’s in a zoo in Russia.  Every week they put a live goat in the pen with him – as a meal, you know.  Every week, the tiger eats the goat.  Except for this one week, when the goat fought back instead of running.  The tiger didn’t know what to do with this crazy goat and backed down.  The goat ended up bullying the tiger out of its favorite sleeping spot, and now the two have become companions.  Even friends.  But I’m left feeling very uneasy.  How long do you think the peace lasts?  And what if they put another goat in the pen?  It seems like that would change the whole situation.  My mind is spinning in circles on this, Pep.  What do you think?”

Peppy watched the video with me again.  “That is a very timorous tiger,” she said, hopping down out of the chair and settling in more comfortably at my feet.  “And a very brave goat.  What a fascinating tale.”  As if that settled the matter. 

Which it did not!  “Seriously, Pep, I can’t stop thinking about this.  I bet one day the tiger will eat his friend.  Somehow that’s much worse than if he’d just eaten the goat right away.” 

Peppy sat up, put her head on my lap, and nudged me so I would rub behind her ears and under her muzzle.  She also likes a whole face and neck massage as long as I don’t touch her nose.  My anxiety started to melt.

“What I really think is that you don’t have to worry quite so much about what happens next,” she said.  “For now, just savor this small miracle of peace.  And think about a story you could tell… maybe about a tiger who learns he is someone he never expected to be.”

I closed Facebook and gmail and sat down on the floor with Peppy.  “Amen, Peppy,” I breathed into her neck.

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“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”  Isaiah 11:6

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Wishing you the miracle of peace in your heart and home this Christmas.  Love, Jennifer

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