Good and Evil Animals

by Timothy Shay Arthur

There are a great many animals in the world, and all of them correspond to good or evil qualities in men. The good animals are innocent and useful; but the evil animals are cruel and hurtful. Sheep, and cows, and doves are good animals; but wolves, and bears, and hawks are evil animals. Everyone loves the gentle lambs which sport in the green fields, but no one likes the cruel wolves which tear these dear lambs in pieces.

In the picture you will see a flock of sheep, with some children and their mother gazing at them. How gentle, and innocent, and mild they look! They are safe in the fold where no wicked beasts can harm them. Sometimes a sheep or a lamb will stray from the fold, and then the good shepherd will go off into the woods and mountains to seek the lost one; and when he has found him, he will, if it is a poor little lamb, take him in his arms and carry him back again; or, if a large sheep he lead him kindly to the fold from which he had strayed away.

Do you know, dear children, who is your good Shepherd? He is the Lord, and he is ever watching over you, and seeking to protect you from the wolves.

You may think there are no wolves to harm you where you live! All evil tempers and bad thoughts, my children, are wolves! And these, if you let them come into your hearts, will greatly harm, and, perhaps, in the end, destroy you! You stray from this Good Shepherd when you indulge in evil thoughts, or do wicked things; and you are then in great danger from the wolves. Keep within the sheep-fold, dear little ones and your Good Shepherd will ever be near to save you from all harm. When you love each other, and seek to make each other happy; when you are obedient to your parents and teachers then are you within the heavenly sheepfold; then are you safe from the wolves!