He Touched the Fragile Things

africa fragile things siena

He Touched the Fragile Things

One of my favorite qualities about Jesus was how he would notice a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest, or point out the lilies of the valleys swaying in the field.  He said God knows even how many hairs an old man has on his head.  He would so often stop the caravan of wannabes and hangers on and say “Did you see that woman who gave up her last coin at the temple?  Her gift will be recorded in heaven.”   He was always doing that—teaching us to stop and touch the fragile things.

Recently my beloved mini-niece Siena got a long wished for dog.  I wrote her a story to commemorate the event, and would like to share it with you here.

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Siena.  She had long red hair and a button nose and was named after a beautiful city in Italy.  Her parents traveled a lot because her dad worked for the CDC, a place that wanted to make diseases go away so everyone could live happy and free.

Siena had seven cousins who lived in a town called El Paso, Texas.  Two of her grandparents, called Ami and Papa, lived on a farm.  They had cows in the pasture and horses in the corrals and dogs that Siena would follow around, always hugging them.   When she went back to Barbados she would ask Ami to send her videos of the dogs walking along her side.

When she went to visit her Aunt Laurie in San Diego she would sometimes play with the neighbor’s dog named Remy.  She would feed him Kibbles one by one and guide him along, her hip leaning against his shoulder, because Remy was a very tall dog.  Siena loved Remy and when she left to go back home with her parents what did she ask Aunt Laurie for?  Videos of Remy.  (Remy would even start wagging his tail if somebody said Siena’s name out loud, even when he was sleeping.)

All Siena really wanted was a dog.  Her own dog.  But they couldn’t have one because they traveled so much.  Siena was very patient.  She knew one day her time would come.

She had a favorite doll that looked very old and over the years had lost one eye.  She carried this doll named Barnica everywhere, even though people tried to buy her a new one.  No.  This was the doll she loved.

When her parents were assigned to help people in Africa, Siena got to go on photo safaris.  She saw zebras.  Antelope.  Crocodiles. Hippos.  Even lions lounging in trees.   She loved seeing all the animals.   But what she really wanted was a dog.

One day, her parents said she was finally old enough to have her own dog.

They took her to a place that rescues dogs that nobody wants anymore.

They looked and they looked but no dog seemed quite right.

Siena was patient.  She knew her time would come.

And then one sunny day on another trip to the shelter, she spied a fluffy dog with a stubby tail and a bitten off ear. The dog couldn’t see, and kept running into things.  He was also five years old, not a puppy like most people wanted.

Siena asked to see the dog run free and somehow the friendly fluffy dog made his way over to her lap.

Siena took him into her arms, gently touching his bitten off ear and looking into his eyes that could no longer see.

She pulled him close and whispered “Here I am, Milo.  Here I am.”

Her parents said “Let’s take him home.”

And now Milo sleeps beside the little girl with long red hair who always wanted her very own dog.

A dog they found in Africa.


LBJ ~ Live. Breathe. Joy