A story by Denise Tansley and guides Sister Ann and ‘Red Feather’ 13th July 2002

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A Promise

A conversation took place between two people;

A Man was asked;

Will you tender to my gardens, for even though I am around there will be times when, the rain stops and the land needs to be cared for and harvested.

I need you to love the land as I love it.

The man was then asked;

Will you tender to my animals, for even though I am around, there will be days so cold and times so hard that they will need feeding and will require your love and care.

I need you to love them all as I love them.

The man was then asked;

Will you tender for my children for even though I am around they too will need your love and comfort when I cannot be found?

I need you to love them all as I love them.

Finally the man was asked;

Will you tender to each other for even though I am around you may not find me and lose the love and understanding that I have shown you.

I need you to love each other as I love you now.

The man made a promise that he would;

Tender to the land, look after the animals, care for the children and care for one another.

And so the land flourished and the crops grew regularly as the soil was fertile and produced much harvest. The animals grazed and fertilized the land and were well, as the birds sang from the harvests the horses stayed fit, the chickens produced healthy eggs and the chain of nature flourished. The children grew strong and healthy, were clean and comforted, love was in abundance as all was shared. But as time went by with many good harvests the man became wealthy and his finances grew along with his overindulgent waistband, he grew tired of his responsibilities with no time to tender to his land he became so greedy that he forgot how to love and be loved. The animals became idle and as the source of food from the land dried as the soil lost it’s minerals, the animals were eaten one by one by the man and the chain of nature stopped and animals died. The children became weak and so as a result got sick with many diseases, there was no love for them as the man hardly noticed they were even there. He didn’t need his loved ones and his old friends, now he could afford new ones that appreciated him and his wealth and gave him compliments.

The man died not long after this with all his bad living, slumped in his chair penniless and lonely with no one at his side, his body breathed its last breath. He then opened his eyes to see a form in the shape of a man standing before him, he felt overwhelming love yet a fear was in his heart as he bent his knees and fell to the floor.

The person spoke to the man and showed him his life. “Do you remember me?” asked the person, “When we last spoke I asked you to do something for me and you promised me that you would!” The man looked stunned and could not think what he had promised this person.

The person looked at the man. “I asked that you to tender to the land and I said even though I be around there would be times when I needed you to care for the land, yet your greed and gluttony got the better of you and you became idle and lazy and you did not give back what you took, the land tried to tell you it was dying but you did not listen!”

“As a result the animals also became idle, you took of their flesh and made it yours because you had no crops, the animals and insects then suffered”.

“The children became unclean, diseased and empty in love and hunger because you were too busy counting your money and living a life of luxury.”

“Lastly I asked you that you tender to each other, that you would give to others in need of your help with love and understanding, yet you ignored your true friends and pushed away your loved ones because you found wealthy friends who spat fancy words to you and you them!”

The man hung his head in shame and asked the figure what he could do to make up for all the things that went wrong.


Just then the alarm clock buzzed, the man awoke, stunned with the memory of the dream vivid in his mind. He looked at the clock and it was 06.00, he got up and went downstairs to be greeted by his wife and children and there he kissed them all and gave a longing look at each one of them.

“Do you know what?” he said to his family.

“God has given us one beautiful world to take care of, we are only borrowing it for a while and then we hand it over to the next generation of keepers until it is their turn to pass it on. We have an easy job to do, if we all stick to our parts of the bargain, but if one of those generations refuses to fulfil his end of the deal, the rest will suffer.”

“Let us be humble, let us have understanding, let us always have love for the land, the animals, the children and each other”.

He then smiled warmly and left the table to tender to his land as the children followed.


Denise Tansley

with her guides

Ann and Red Feather 13th July 2002

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