~ written by Charles Tazewell ~
Once upon a time ~ oh many, many years ago as time is calculated by men ~ but which was only Yesterday in the Celestial Calendar of Heaven ~ there was, in Paradise, a most miserable, thoroughly unhappy and utterly dejected cherub who was known throughout Heaven as 'The Littlest Angel'.
He was exactly four years, six months, five days, seven hours and forty-two minutes of age when he presented himself to the venerable Gate-Keeper and waited for admittance to the Glorious Kingdom of God. Standing defiantly, with his short brown legs wide apart, the Littlest Angel tried to pretend that he wasn't at all impressed by such Unearthly Splendour...and that he wasn't at all afraid. But his lower lip trembled...and a tear disgraced him by making a new furrow down his already tear-streaked face ~ coming to a precipitous halt at the very tip end of his small freckled nose.
But that wasn't all. While the kindly Gate-Keeper was entering the name in his Great Book, the Littlest Angel, having left home as usual without a handkerchief, endeavoured to hide the tell-tale evident by snuffing. A most un-angelic sound so unnerved the good Gate-Keeper that he did something that he never done before in all Eternity. He blotted the page! From that moment one, the Heavenly Peace was never quite the same...and the Littlest Angel soon became the despair of all the Heavenly Host. His shrill, ear-splitting whistle resounded at all hours through the Golden Streets. It startled the Patriarch Prophets and disturbed their meditations. Yes, and on top of that, he inevitably and vociferously sang off-key at the singing practice of the Heavenly Choir, spoiling its ethereal effect. And being so small, it seemed to take him just twice as long as anyone else to get to nightly prayers. The Littlest Angel always arrived late...and always knocked everyone's wings askew as he darted into his place.
Although these flaws in behaviour might have been overlooked, the general appearance of the Littlest Angel was even more disreputable than his deportment. It was first whispered among the Seraphim and Cherubim....then said aloud among the Angels and Archangels that he didn't look like an angel. And they were all quite correct. He didn't. His halo was permanently tarnished where he held on to it with one hot little chubby hand when he ran...and he was always running. Furthermore, even when he stood very still, it never behaved as a halo should. It was always slipping down over his right eye. Over his left eye. Or else, just for pure meanness, slipping off the back of his head and rolling away down some Golden Street, just so he'd have to chase after it!
Yes, and it must be here recorded that his wings were neither useful nor ornamental. All Paradise held its breath when the Littlest Angel perched himself like an unhappy fledgling sparrow on the very edge of a gilded cloud and prepared to take off. He would teeter this way...and that way...but after much coaxing and a few false starts, he would shut both of his eyes...hold his freckled nose...count up to three hundred and three...then hurl himself slowly into space! However, owing to the regrettable fact that he always forgot to move his wings, the Littlest Angel always fell head over halo!
It was also reported and never denied, that whenever he was nervous, which was most of the time, he bit his wing-tips. Now, anyone can easily understand why the Littlest Angel would sooner or later be disciplined. And so, on an Eternal Day of an Eternal Month in the Year Eternal, he was directed to present his small self before before an Angel of the Peace. The Littlest Angel combed his hair, dusted his wings and scrambled into an almost clean robe...and then with a heavy heart, trudged his way to the place of judgment. He tried to postpone the dreaded ordeal by loitering along the Street of the Guardian Angels...pausing a few timeless moments to minutely pursue the long list of new arrivals...although all Heaven knew he couldn't read a word.
And he idled more than several immortal moments to carefully examine a display of aureate harps, although everyone in the Celestial City knew he couldn't tell a crotchet from a semiquaver. But at length and at last he slowly approached a doorway which was surmounted by pair of golden scales, signifying that Heavenly Justice was dispensed within. To the Littlest Angel's great surprise, he heard a merry voice singing! The Littlest Angel removed his halo and breathed upon it heavily...then polished it upon his robe...a procedure which added nothing to that garment's already untidy appearance...and then tip-toed in!
To be continued...Part 2
Merle Baird-Kerr...penned December 26, 2014
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