Sunday, December 20, 2009


The little birds praise you,
The wren and the sparrow,
The rabbits and squirrels
That run in the snow.
This house may be small
And this cradle be narrow.
You learned to be humble
A long time ago.
O little Lord Jesus,
Your moment is breaking.
The angels in heaven
Have polished your star.
Alone on their hill-sides
The shepherds are waking
The wise shall grow simple
And find where you are.
— Eleanor Slater,”Cradle Carol.”

[The word "Advent" comes from the Latin adventus, which means "coming." In the Christian church Advent is that period of expectant waiting leading up to the Nativity of Jesus. Some prefer to think of it as a "Countdown to Christmas." If you've ever had an Advent calendar, you know that each day prior to Christmas has it own window, usually hidden behind a little flap or door, behind which is a scene or verse from the Scriptures. I thought it would be fun to take that idea and post a daily photo with a bit of text below—a stanza or two from a Christmaspoem or a few lines of prose from a favorite Christmas story. The photos aren't intended to be tied with the text. Some are just ones I meant to run with a post this past year, but for whatever reason, didn't. To set these posts apart from my regular—or irregular!—ones, I've given them a different typeface and look.]


Wanda said...

Squirrels are like little "wise men", I like the expectant look in their eyes and the readiness in their pose. No one is better at the job of finding, but busy as they are, they also give me the impression of waiting, watching, and guarding like "shepherds"...

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

What a perfect pairing of text and image, Scribe. I've enjoyed checking in on your advent countdown. You have shared some verse that was new to me and a delight to read. Be well. I'll be in touch.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...


You've hit it exactly right when you mention "the expectant look in their eyes and the readiness in their pose." That's an absolutely perfect description.

There is a rambunctious, devil-may-care attitude about squirrels that I like, plus they're easily spooked, highly alert, more than a bit on the mouthy side., curious, cowardly, and cute…all of which remind me of myself, except for the "cute" part. Frustrating tree rats and delightful fluffy-tailed aerialist, with a tad of cat burglar and part-time comic.

Never thought of them as shepherds—but I can see what you mean about that, too.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...


I figured, when I began this countdown, that some would not like it for what it represented. And indeed, that seems to be the case—though no one has come right out and said they're offended.

I'm grateful for that. My intention was not to make anyone uncomfortable, but to simply share the delight I take in counting down to Christmas and what it means to me. I'm really glad you—and so many others—seem to be enjoying these daily posts, pictures or verses.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Another lovely verse Scribe - and a super squirrel photo - do you have them on your river?

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...


I do have squirrels here along the river—three different species (four if you count chipmunks or ground squirrels.)

The one in the photo is a ubiquitous gray squirrel, the common squirrel of city parks, urban and suburban backyards, the sprawling big woods of the southeastern-Ohio hill country, and all places in between. I can look out my window at this very moment and count seven gray squirrels frolicking about.

I also have fox squirrels (the reddish-blond color of a fox) larger, more rotund, the squirrel of rural woodlots and country fencerows, also found along the edge of bigger woods or opening within; and in parks more suburban than city.

Last I have pine or red squirrels—smaller than the grays, and a much darker red than the fox squirrels; the squirrel of the northcountry, not too common hereabouts; fast as lightening through the trees and as feisty and sassy as anything you ever saw.

Squirrels galore!

Gail said...


Oh such a beautiful image - Il0ove the squirrels and how busy they are. And words to honor the hope of His coming birth. I really enjoy your Advent musings. (I never used that word until today - I have seen it on other blogs - so I hope I used it in the right context. :-)) .....

We are blanketed in over a foot of snow - it is lovely. Like a Winter wonderland. I feel so safe and cozy inside.

Happy Sunday to you
Love Gail

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...


You used "musings" just fine, the perfect context and meaning.

Our snow of yesterday has melted mostly—but it's still pretty out.

Bernie said...

Love looking at the squirrel picture Grizz, I love the bushy tailed red ones which I have only seen a couple of times when I was in England....another wonderful and meaningful poem. Just right for the season...Hugs

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...


I wonder if those British squirrels are like our red squirrels, or fox squirrels. Do you have black squirrels up there?