The Christmas Miracle

Maria looked at the clock and was startled. „So late,“ she thought as she packed up the things she needed to visit her parents. It wasn’t a lot because she didn’t give normal gifts, as the saying goes, but homemade gifts. She liked the individuality and, above all, to think about what you could convert things into that you no longer needed yourself. She was convinced that she had made particularly beautiful pieces this year. Nevertheless, it was no coincidence that she delayed the moment of departure, actually until the last minute. Now she couldn’t wait any longer to go to her parents‘ house to celebrate Christmas with them.

Not that she didn’t like her parents or that they didn’t get along, but there was so much that had changed in her over the past few years. At first it was only the meat that she no longer ate because she finally saw through the lies of the meat industry and saw the terrible truth in various documentaries. Shortly afterwards, she began to remove all other things that came from animals from her consumption list. Her mother was horrified. She must have been ready to cook plant-based cooking for her daughter, but there was still her parents‘ meal that was at the table. Mary did not see the meat and the milk and the eggs, but heard the screams of despair, saw the blood and smelled death. Of course, she was aware that she couldn’t force her parents. You had to figure it out yourself. But what if they didn’t deal with the topic. Perhaps there had been a conversation or two in which Maria explained to them why she was acting the way she did, but it all seemed to roll off, like water from a painted surface. It didn’t seem to get through. On the other hand, she also enjoyed being with her parents. As before, she felt comfortable, welcomed and secure. If only it wasn’t for the terrible food.

She quickly slipped into her jacket, pulled the hood over her head and left the house. She had barely taken a few steps when a heavy blizzard set in. Maria struggled with the snow that blocked her view and the gusty wind. But she bravely put one foot in front of the other. „Just a few more meters, then I’ll have it and I’m in the warm,“ she encouraged herself when a noise made her pause. It was almost swallowed by the din. Maria looked around. Then the sound was repeated. It was a pitiful whimper, as she now found beyond doubt and then she saw a movement right next to the lamppost, so that she bent down to see what was there.

A black ball of fur and ears and paws and tail sat there, trembling and whimpering all over. Maria wanted to pick it up, the little bundle that was clearly alive when she felt pulled back. Then she discovered that the little one was tied to the mast with a line. What to do? On the spur of the moment, she removed the collar and with it the leash, grabbed the trembling little fellow in her jacket and continued on her way. Her mother would not be happy, she said when she rang the bell and a few moments later stood in the warm, covered all over with snow, the bundle held tightly to her. However, contrary to her expectations, her mother did not complain about the chaos that Maria had made.

„It is so nice that you are here,“ said her mother simply, while she took off her coat and boots, knocking them professionally on the doorstep, while Maria just stood there and hugged the little creature tightly. “What do you have there?”, her mother finally asked. Now the moment of truth had come, and she would be sent home because her mother had never wanted an animal in the house. As much as Maria had begged as a child, her mother was adamant about that point. At some point she came to terms with the fact that her mother didn’t like animals. It was never discussed again either. „It’s a dog, I know you don’t like that, but I found him tied up outside and I couldn’t leave him sitting out there in the snow,“ Maria tried to explain, but she felt as if it would her mother didn’t even listen, because she had looked at the little one. Then she disappeared to come back with a towel and blanket. „You are going to the fireplace now“, she asked Maria, who followed her faithfully. They carefully rubbed the little guy dry, who finally stopped shaking. Then they put him on the blanket in front of the fireplace, on which he curled up and fell blissfully asleep.

„I’m so sorry, I know you don’t like animals …“ Maria started again to explain but was interrupted by her mother. “Who says I don’t like animals?”, she asked. “I accepted because I was never allowed to have a pet,” said Maria, irritated. “I like animals, very much,” her mother replied, “The reason I never allowed it was because I was afraid that we might not do the animal justice. You know we worked a lot and had far too little time „, her mother explained, „But you couldn’t leave the little one on the street at all.“ Maria realised, at last, that you make prejudges and if you had met once, stuck just because you hadn’t talked about it. „Take a look at him, he would surely have frozen out there,“ added her mother and pulled Maria out of her thoughts. „Why does someone do that? How can you bring that with the heart?”, said Maria. “Look at him, the big paws, he’ll get very big. How often do you make hasty decisions, the effects of which cannot be overlooked. Then it comes to such short-circuit reactions,“ said her mother, „And by the way, the little guy is a girl,“ said Maria, because the black bundle of fur had turned comfortably on its side and stretched out a long way. „What do we do with him?“, asked Maria. „Make sure that he’s okay and that he doesn’t lack anything else,“ her mother replied with a smile, „Now we have time.“ Maria gave her mother a spontaneous hug. She would never have thought it possible. Her mother finally broke free from the embrace. „But now let’s go out to eat,“ she said and her father, who had only watched until now, agreed.

Then Maria felt queasy in the stomach again, from sheer worry, fear, first and then joy, she had almost forgotten about the upcoming meal. Together they went to the dining table. Maria braced herself for the sight of the dead animals, but when her gaze slid over the table, she could hardly believe it. There was actually not a single animal suffering product to be seen. „Your mother and I have thought a lot in the last few weeks,“ explained her father, who had not escaped his daughter’s astonishment, „And we realized that you are right.“ „But that was not enough for us,“ her mother continued, „We have decided, let’s try it and we figured out how diverse the food can be, without any animal suffering.“ Maria stood there and didn’t know what to say. She was just happy, so happy that she had to hold back tears. And someone should say again that there are no Christmas Miracles.

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