Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
August 11, 2012

This story is a little longer than the normal stories on MS&D, so 
you may need two cups of your favorite morning beverage
and maybe a Kleenex or two....   
Enjoy, Take Care, and God Bless  :-)  Kenny  T

With all her big brothers and sisters off to school, our ranch became a lonely place for our three-year-old daughter, Becky. She longed for playmates. Cattle and horses were too big to cuddle and farm machinery dangerous for a child so small. We promised to buy her a puppy but in the meantime, “Pretend” puppies popped up nearly every day.

I had just finished washing the lunch dishes when the screen door slammed and Becky rushed in, cheeks flushed with excitement. “Mama!” she cried, “Come see my new doggy! “I gave him water two times already. He’s so thirsty!”

I sighed, another of Becky’s imaginary dogs.

“Please come, Mama.” She tugged at my jeans, her brown eyes pleading, “He’s crying — and he can’t walk!”

“Can’t walk?” Now that was a twist. All her previous make-believe dogs could do marvelous things. One balanced a ball on the end of its nose. Another dug a hole that went all the way through the earth and fell out on a star on the other side. Still another danced on a tightrope. Why suddenly a dog that couldn’t walk?

“All right, honey,” I said. By the time I tried to follow her, Becky had already disappeared into the mesquite.

“Where are you?” I called.

“Over here by the oak stump. Hurry, Mama!”

I parted the thorny branches and raised my hand against the glare of the Arizona sun. A numbing chill gripped me. There she was, sitting on her heels, toes dug firmly in the sand, and cradled in her lap was the unmistakable head of a wolf! Beyond its head rose massive black shoulders. The rest of the body lay completely hidden inside the hollow stump of a fallen oak.

“Becky,” My mouth felt dry. “Don’t move.” I stepped closer. Pale-yellow eyes narrowed. Black lips tightened, exposing double sets of two-inch fangs. Suddenly the wolf trembled. Its teeth clacked, and a piteous whine rose from its throat.

“It’s all right, boy,” Becky crooned. “Don’t be afraid. That’s my mama, and she loves you, too.”

Then the unbelievable happened. As her tiny hands stroked the great shaggy head, I heard the gentle thump, thump, thumping of the wolf’s tail from deep inside the stump. What was wrong with the animal? I wondered. Why couldn’t he get up? I couldn’t tell. Nor did I dare to step any closer.

I glanced at the empty water bowl. My memory flashed back to the five skunks that last week had torn the burlap from a leaking pipe in a frenzied effort to reach water during the final agonies of rabies. Of course! Rabies! Warning signs had been posted all over the county, and hadn’t Becky said, “He’s so thirsty?” I had to get Becky away.

“Honey.” My throat tightened. “Put his head down and come to Mama. We’ll go find help.”

Reluctantly, Becky got up and kissed the wolf on the nose before she walked slowly into my outstretched arms. Sad yellow eyes followed her. Then the wolf’s head sank to the ground. With Becky safe in my arms, I ran to the barns where Brian, one of our cowhands, was saddling up to check heifers in the North pasture. “Brian! Come quickly. Becky found a wolf in the oak stump near the wash! I think it has rabies!”

“I’ll be there in a jiffy,” he said as I hurried back to the house, eager to put Becky down for her nap. I didn’t want her to see Brian come out of the bunkhouse. I knew he’d have a gun.

“But I want to give my doggy his water,” she cried. I kissed her and gave her some stuffed animals to play with.

“Honey, let Mom and Brian take care of him for now,” I said. Moments later, I reached the oak stump.

Brian stood looking down at the beast. “It’s a Mexican lobo, all right.” He said, ” And a big one!”

The wolf whined. Then we both caught the smell of gangrene. “Whew! It’s not rabies,” Brian said. “But he’s sure hurt real bad. Don’t you think it’s best I put him out of his misery?”

The word “yes” was on my lips, when Becky emerged from the bushes. “Is Brian going to make him well, Mama?” She hauled the animal’s head onto her lap once more, and buried her face in the coarse, dark fur. This time I wasn’t the only one who heard the thumping of the lobo’s tail.

That afternoon my husband, Bill, and our veterinarian came to see the wolf. Observing the trust the animal had in our child, Doc said to me, “Suppose you let Becky and me tend to this fella together.” Minutes later, as child and vet reassured the stricken beast, the hypodermic found its mark. The yellow eyes closed.

“He’s asleep now,” said the vet. “Give me a hand here, Bill.” They hauled the massive body out of the stump. The animal must have been over five feet long and well over a hundred pounds. Bullets had mutilated the wolf’s hip and leg. Doc did what he had to in order to clean the wound and then gave the patient a dose of penicillin. Next day he returned and inserted a metal rod to replace the missing bone.

“Well, it looks like you’ve got yourselves a Mexican lobo,” Doc said. “He looks to be about three years old, and even as pups, they don’t tame real easy. I’m amazed at the way this big fella took to your little gal. But often there’s something that goes on between children and animals that we grownups don’t understand.”

Becky named the wolf Ralph and carried food and water to the stump every day. Ralph’s recovery was not easy. For three months he dragged his injured hindquarters by clawing the earth with his front paws. From the way he lowered his eyelids when we massaged the atrophied limbs, we knew he endured excruciating pain, but not once did he ever try to bite the hands of those who cared for him.

Four months to the day, Ralph finally stood unaided. His huge frame shook as long- unused muscles were activated. Bill and I patted and praised him. But it was Becky to whom he turned for a gentle word, a kiss or a smile. He responded to these gestures of love by swinging his busy tail like a pendulum. As his strength grew, Ralph followed Becky all over the ranch.

Together they roamed the desert pastures, the golden-haired child often stooping low, sharing with the great lame wolf whispered secrets of nature’s wonders. When evening came, he returned like a silent shadow to his hollow stump that had surely become his special place.

As time went on, although he lived primarily in the brush, the habits of this timid creature endeared him more and more to all of us. His reaction to people other than our family was yet another story. Strangers terrified him, yet his affection for and protectiveness of Becky brought him out of the desert and fields at the sight of every unknown pickup or car. Occasionally he’d approach, lips taut, exposing a nervous smile full of chattering teeth.

More often he’d simply pace and finally skulk off to his tree stump, perhaps to worry alone.

Becky’s first day of school was sad for Ralph. After the bus left, he refused to return to the yard. Instead, he lay by the side of the road and waited.

When Becky returned, he limped and tottered in wild, joyous circles around her. This welcoming ritual persisted throughout her school years.

Although Ralph seemed happy on the ranch, he disappeared into the surrounding deserts and mountains for several weeks during the spring mating season, leaving us to worry about his safety. This was calving season, and fellow ranchers watched for coyotes, cougars, wild dogs and, of course, the lone wolf. But Ralph was lucky.

During Ralph’s twelve years on our ranch, his habits remained unchanged. Always keeping his distance, he tolerated other pets and endured the activities of our busy family, but his love for Becky never wavered.

Then the spring came when our neighbor told us he’d shot and killed a she-wolf and grazed her mate, who had been running with her. Sure enough, Ralph returned home with another bullet wound. Becky, nearly fifteen years old now, sat with Ralph’s head resting on her lap. He, too, must have been about fifteen and was gray with age. As Bill removed the bullet, my memory raced back through the years. Once again I saw a chubby three-year-old girl stroking the head of a huge black wolf and heard a small voice murmuring, “It’s all right, boy. Don’t be afraid. That’s my mama, and she loves you, too.”

Although the wound wasn’t serious, this time Ralph didn’t get well. Precious pounds fell away. The once luxurious fur turned dull and dry, and his trips to the yard in search of Becky’s companionship ceased. All day long he rested quietly. But when night fell, old and stiff as he was, he disappeared into the desert and surrounding hills. By dawn his food was gone. The morning came when we found him dead. The yellow eyes were closed.

Stretched out in front of the oak stump, he appeared but a shadow of the proud beast he once had been. A lump in my throat choked me as I watched Becky stroke his shaggy neck, tears streaming down her face. “I’ll miss him so,” she cried.

Then as I covered him with a blanket a strange rustling sound from inside the stump startled us. Becky looked inside. Two tiny yellow eyes peered back and puppy fangs glinted in the semidarkness. Ralph’s pup!

Had a dying instinct told him his motherless offspring would be safe here, as he had been, with those who loved him? Hot tears spilled on baby fur as Becky gathered the trembling bundle in her arms.

“It’s all right, little . . . Ralphie,” she murmured. “Don’t be afraid. That’s my mom, and she loves you, too.”

Author Unknown - Please Comment if you know the author
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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
August 11, 2011

I dreamed that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels. My angel guide stopped in front of the first section and said, “This is the Receiving Section”. Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received.

I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from people all over the world.

Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section.

The angel then said to me, “This is the Packaging and Delivery Section. Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and delivered to the living persons who asked for them.” I noticed again how busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station, since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for delivery to Earth.

Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated there, idly doing nothing. “This is the Acknowledgment Section, my angel friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed.” How is it that there is no work going on here? I asked.

“So sad,” the angel sighed. “After people receive the blessings that they asked for, very few send back acknowledgments”

“How does one acknowledge God’s blessings? ” I asked.

“Simple,” the angel answered. Just say, “Thank you, Lord.”

“What blessings should they acknowledge?” I asked.

  • “If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.”
  • “And if you received this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the world who has that opportunity.”
  • “If you woke up this morning with more health than illness…You are more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day. “
  • “If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation … You are ahead of 700 million people in the world.”
  • “If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in the world.”
  • “If your parents are still alive and still married …you are very rare.”
  • “If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you’re unique to all those in doubt and despair…”
Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
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Originally posted on God is Good!:

Fr. Thomas Nash, OSA As a young teacher at St. Rita High School, Chicago 1946

Fr. Thomas Nash, OSA
As a young teacher at St. Rita High School, Chicago 1946

Some 25 years ago, I heard a never-to-be forgotten homily given by Father Dudley Day, OSAat the Funeral Mass of Father Tom Nash, OSA.  He said, “When we ate out, at the end of the meal, Father Tom always asked the same question, ‘did the waitress receive enough gratitude?’”

As teenagers in the 1930’s Father Tom and I caddied at the Beverly Country Club, Chicago.  We caddies gave Tom, as we knew him then, the nickname, “Darbie”, a special name that stayed with him through his priesthood.  He always had a crease in his pants, a clean white shirt and his hair was combed smoothly every day.  As a caddy, Tom knew the value of a “tip”, then something like a quarter!  Most of the time we received no tip and were…

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morningstoryanddilbert:

This is one of my Favorite MS&D post from the past!!! Remember there are over 700 stories waiting to be read with a good cuppa coffee or tea……. Take Care and God Bless :-) Kenny T

Originally posted on Morning Story and Dilbert:

dilbert

Two friends were walking through the desert. At some point in the journey they had an argument, and one friend slapped the other one in the face. The one who got slapped was hurt, but without saying anything, wrote in the sand: “TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE.”

They kept on walking until they found an oasis, where they decided to take a bath. The one, who had been slapped, got stuck in the mire and started drowning, but the friend saved him. After the friend recovered from nearly drowning, he wrote on a stone: “TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE.”

The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him, “After I hurt you, you wrote in the sand, but now you write on a stone… why?”

The other friend replied: “When someone hurts us, we should write it in sand… where the…

View original 31 more words

Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
August 7, 2014

Benjamin Franklin learned one of his first, and most important, personal finance lessons as a boy. When he was seven, he saw another boy blowing a whistle and was so charmed by its sound that he offered the boy all the money in his pockets for it. The boy eagerly agreed to the deal. Young Franklin was delighted with his new possession and blew the whistle happily all over the house. But his satisfaction was cut short when his brothers and sisters, finding out how much he had paid for it, informed him that he had forked over four times as much money as it was worth. “The reflection gave me more chagrin,” Franklin recalled, “than the whistle gave me pleasure.”

But Franklin took an invaluable lesson away from his youthful mistake:

(From a letter from Benjamin Franklin to Madame Brillon, 1779)

“This, however, was afterward of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Don’t give too much for the whistle; and I saved my money.

“As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for the whistle.

“When I saw one too ambitious of court favor, sacrificing his time in attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends, to attain it, I have said to myself, This man gives too much for his whistle.

“When I saw another fond of popularity, constantly employing himself in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by that neglect, He pays indeed, said I, too much for his whistle.

“If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow-citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship, for the sake of accumulating wealth, Poor man, said I, you pay too much for your whistle.

“When I met with a man of pleasure, sacrificing every laudable improvement of the mind, or of his fortune, to mere corporeal sensations, and ruining his health in their pursuit, Mistaken man, said I, you are providing pain for yourself, instead of pleasure; you give too much for your whistle.

“If I see one fond of appearance, or fine clothes, fine houses, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts, and ends his career in a prison, Alas! say I, he has paid dear, very dear, for his whistle…

“In short, I conceive that great part of the miseries of mankind are brought upon them by the false estimates they have made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.”

Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
August 6, 2014

D. L. Moody told the story of a man crossing the Atlantic by ship. One night, as he was confined to his cabin due to seasickness, he heard the cry, “Man overboard!”  He felt that there was nothing he could do to help, but he said to himself, “I can at least put my lantern in the porthole.”  He struggled to his feet and hung the light so it would shine out into the darkness.

The next day he learned that the person had been rescued and had told others, “I was going down in the dark night for the last time when someone put a light in a porthole. As it shone on my hand, a sailor in a lifeboat grabbed it and pulled me in.”

Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
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Morning Story and Dilbert

Vintage Dilbert
August 5, 2006

One song can spark a moment.
One flower can wake the dream.
One tree can start a forest.
One bird can herald spring.

One smile can begin a friendship.
One handclasp can lift a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea.
One word can frame the goal.

One vote can change a nation.
One sunbeam can light a room.
One candle can wipe out darkness.
One laugh can conquer gloom.

One step must start each journey.
One word must start each prayer.
One hope can raise our spirits.
One touch can show you care.

One voice can speak with wisdom.
One heart can know what’s true.
One life can make a difference.
You see, it’s up to you!

Author Unknown - Please comment if you know the author
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