[Ansteorra] Happy Holidays from the Ansteorran Royal Pack

Patrick Cuccurello pat at adtelusa.com
Thu Dec 19 09:53:36 PST 2002

Bright Blessings unto all within this Kingdom during this festive season,

As the Holidays come upon us, it is once again time to look back over our
lives during the past year.  Remembering those heartaches, the laughter, the
sorrows, the good friends, and the Love we have shared during that time.
Each enriching our lives as we travel down our respected paths.  During this
time, I would also ask that each of you take some time to think about those
less fortunate than ourselves.  We are blessed not just with each other, but
a unique community that has been lost to many in the modern world.  We are
part of all whom we have met, and even more so within the Society and this
Kingdom which we call our home.

Please also do not forget those in need who travel this world on more than
two legs. Not everyone has the ability to take them into our homes or lives,
but we can support those who attempt to save these lives.  Lives that were
set to end because of a balance book or a business decision.  Many of the
shelters are in great need of maybe someone donating time, someone to make
phone calls, a couple of cans of dog food, or some old towels and blankets
to provide a bed.  They are very small things to us, but they can make a
huge difference in the lives of these beautiful animals.  Each year we
attempt to find loving homes for these sensitive, caring creatures--each
year it seems to get more difficult.  All I ask is that each of you look to
yourselves to do what you may in this upcoming year.

To that end, I leave you with a story--

        The Rainbow Bridge

A man was on his way to Heaven and stopped just before a great bridge,
multicolored and iridescent in the sunlight it shone, lying just this side
of the Great Gates of Heaven.  To the side he saw rolling green fields,
creeks, and trees.  Playing and resting in those fields appeared to be many
family pets, small and large, and of every type he knew of.  There appeared
to be plenty of food and water available for them and the sun felt warm as
they played and rested in the meadows.  He also noticed, off to one side of
the meadow, a group of greyhounds.  Where they looked content and in
excellent condition, they did not run and play as the rest of the animals.

Now off in the distance he could see another traveler upon the road, making
his way to the bridge.  As he crested a small hill on the road the
greyhounds all lifted their heads and looked toward him, but then they put
their heads back down on the grass.  At that same time-- a dog playing in
another part of the meadow let out a bark and ran towards the man walking on
the path.  The man, looking surprised, knelt down to greet the dog as it
covered the man’s face with kisses and whimpers of joy.  After a short time
the man rose and continued down his path and over the bridge to the Gates,
the dog running and jumping behind him.

“Hello my friend, you are new on this path are you not?” The man turned to
see a lovely woman sitting on the grass next to him.  She appeared quite
young, yet there was something in her eyes which spoke of great age and

“Here, sit next to me for awhile and feel the Sun.  I will answer your
questions before you continue on your journey”. The man sat next to her upon
the grass and asked about all the animals out in the field, and why they
were there.  She looked over at the meadows saying:

“This place is called the Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been
especially close to someone, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are
meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play
together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are
warm and comfortable.” She turned to look back at him then, a small smile
creeping onto her lips, and continued:

“All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor;
those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we
remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy
and content, except for one small thing: they each miss someone very
special, someone who was left behind.”

“They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops
and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body
begins to quiver. Suddenly, he breaks from the group, flying over the green
grass, faster and faster. They have spotted their  “special someone” and
when they meet they cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted
again. The happy kisses rain upon their friends face; those trusting eyes,
so long gone from their life, but never absent from their heart. Then they
cross the Rainbow Bridge together.”

As she finished, another traveler crested the small hill to the meadows.
Instantly a “Roo” was heard amongst the playing animals and four greyhounds
burst from their ranks, running with blinding speed towards the man.  The
other greyhounds that were resting separate from all the other animals also
rose to their feet as the man crested the hill.  Their heads seemed to all
turn in unison to look at him as one and then,  leaped as gazelles into a
full run toward him.  The man, facing the four greyhounds that had
originally run towards him, turned to see the rest flying his direction.
Dropping to one knee he opened his arms and welcomed all them to him,
laughing and almost falling backwards from their enthusiasm.  Rising he then
walked toward the bridge, awash in a dancing sea of greyhounds.

“I believe I understand “ said the man, “but what about that last person?  I
understand why those greyhounds came to him from the meadow, but what about
all those that were laying separate from everyone else and never seemed to
play like the rest.  Why did they all run to him also?”  The woman then let
out a small melodious laugh, like the water of a small brook, or a light
breeze across some wind chimes.

“Well, that is indeed a special case.  Those greyhounds that were resting
over to the side lived their entire lives as racing greyhounds at a track.
They never got to know what it was to play, or have a family, or a “special
someone”.  So when they come here they do not play like the other animals.
They are happy and content, but they wait until that person comes who can
show them the love that they missed in life.”

“I don’t believe I understand” said the man, “I realize that he owned
greyhounds, but that could not possibly be the only reason that they ran to

“No” she replied, “He was part of a greyhound rescue group.  In life he
demonstrated his love for them by helping their brothers and sisters.  They
know that now he is here, he will love them as he loved all those who were
in his care.  For every rescuer that crosses the Rainbow Bridge, all those
racing greyhounds waiting here enter Heaven.”

The man smiled then, remembering the joy of all those greyhounds sprinting
across the field and the laughter of the man as they came to him.  He
thanked the woman for the kindness she had shown him and set his way upon
the path over the Bridge, feeling a twinge of sadness that in life he did
not know the love that the last traveler had felt both in life, and beyond.

                         --Original Author Unknown,
                                rewritten 2002, Patrick J. Cuccurello

Happy Holidays unto you and yours from the Ansteorran Royal Pack, Greymoor
Pack, and Gaelic Rose Pack.
Lucky Dog, Mouse, Charmchaser, Ali-Boo-Boo, Bruinidh's Rhil, Winsome Lass,
Luagaoth, Mistress Elizabeth, Mistress Ronna, Master Petruccio, and Streaker
and Belle who wait for us at the Bridge.

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