Sweetly scented pine trees glisten with dew, sun kissed daisies dot grassy hills, as orange breasted wrens flutter in the gentle breeze; early morning rays bounce off the landscape, creating a perfect portrait. The serenity of the meadow echoes through the surrounding terrain, calling softly, “Come, come.” Rosy cheeked and breathless two youngsters arrive at the meadow’s edge, stopping suddenly, awestruck by the startling beauty. Wide eyed with wonder, they ponder the magnitude of their Father’s gift. Exploding into peals of laughter they scamper through the meadow, exploring their new surroundings. Comfortable that Daddy is nearby, the gleeful children frolic innocently; naively unaware that danger lurks just beyond the tree line. Their adolescent hearts believe nothing bad can happen, for Daddy is ever present, watching. Secure in the realm of His protection they unknowingly wonder beyond their safe abode. Sensing an atmospheric change the boy halts mid step. Grabbing his sister’s hand, he covers her mouth, silencing an escaping scream. His eyes dart about scanning the shadows for clues. Heart thudding loudly, he spots the intruder. The sinister monster stares malevolently at the frightened pair. Hunger contorts the monster’s visage, how he longs to devour them. Saliva drips from his jowls as he contemplates the situation. The uncontaminated children would provide a nourishing meal for his emaciated form. And yet, the monster hesitates. The prospective prey carries distinctive markings; they are children of the King and by royal edict, off limits. Though the cunning monster is prohibited from consuming them, he pounces with a deafening roar. Shrieking, the children sprint back to the meadow, but not quickly enough. Enraged, the monster’s razor claws strike little sister’s unprotected back. Falling into her brother’s arms, numbing blackness overtakes her body. He struggles to safety as the monster ceases pursuit. Unseen by either child, Father stands at the perimeter, protecting them from further attack. Sister awakens to Father’s tender ministration of her wounds. He lovingly admonishes the children for wondering away, while granting forgiveness to their repentant hearts. Gathering both in an affectionate embrace the trio sets off for home.

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