Ferric Coyote had no intentions of waking up. In a half-stupor it seemed to him that he could choose to stay oblivious forever, to shrink and shrink to nothingness. He could be the candle flame that blew out. This father had no right to be.
But someone was nuzzling his body, and he began to feel his own ribs truly, and he resisted. He groaned, “No. No.” That’s how he resisted. He was helpless to do any more than groan…
Please, just let him pass away…
And then he saw the face of the Dun Cow herself. She swung round to look at him. He smiled like a silly baby, and then he shuddered almost to weeping. For her eye was a deep pool into which the whole of Ferric Coyote might sink. Oh, what a dear and loving thing, to be gathered into that gaze! …
Was he worthy so to be healed by such a Holy One?
Down she lay beside him. Against his neck she nudged her muzzle, and he felt it and he sighed. Then she bathed him. Stroke for stroke she washed him with her tongue as though he were new born. From the corners of his eyes, down his sides, to the joint of his tail and everywhere private upon him, she cleansed the Coyote, and he was not ashamed. Infants are never ashamed. Ferris lay small, in a perfect infancy, loving with all his heart the tongue and the touch of the Dun Cow. He wept tears of absolute relief. These, too, she licked away.
It was the night.
At the beginning of this night, Ferric Coyote had admitted an utter helplessness, and that was a terrible thing, like death. Despair, defeat, and death. But see what the dear Dun Cow had done to helplessness? She consecrated it. She turned it into infancy, and that is a hopeful, holy thing, like the beginning of life.
It was the night. And he worshiped the lowing of the Dun Cow.
[The Book of Sorrows, Walter Wangerin, Jr., pg. 303-305]
I hope the excerpts from the two books these last couple of weeks have given you a curiosity and desire to read the entire story. It really is quite interesting and will bring a lot of contemplation (and mystery) to your days! I certainly enjoyed reading them (twice now) and will no doubt pick them up again to re-read at some point. It’s good to think of spiritual truths from new, highly creative angles!