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Willie the Billy Goat Value: Peace The animals in the petting zoo loved the times when the children came to see them. So when Mr. Henderson, the owner of the petting zoo, brought them Willie the Billy Goat to join them, every one of the animals tried to help him learn how to get the children to like him. At first, Willie didn’t understand why the children ran away from him. “Yesterday that little blond haired girl started crying when I came to see her.” Willie complained to Chelsea the Chicken. “All I wanted to do is be her friend.” “So when she came over to pet you, was she smiling?” Chelsea tried to help her friend. “Yes and I did my very best Billy Goat things to make friends with her.” Willie complained. “I ran in circles. I butted into fence posts and rose up on my hind legs and brayed and then to really let her know I was her friend, I ate her dolly.” He said sadly having no idea why a little human girl wouldn’t like that. “Why don’t you do what I do?” Chelsea advised her new friend. “Just cluck around and peck the ground but don’t peck their shoes. They hate that. Then if its time go to your nest and lay an egg.” She said proudly. But Willie was pretty sure he could never lay an egg so he sought more advice. “Well I think they are afraid you might butt them. Little girls are easily frightened.” Said Peter the Puppy. “But here is what always works for me. Next time we are all out there, join me and my brothers and sisters and yip and jump up and down and pant with your tongue out and then when the children throw sticks, run and fetch them and then roll over and show your tummy. They love that.” This seemed like very silly advice but Willie was new so he was willing to give it a try. Things started going wrong right away though. When the Children threw sticks, Willie outran all the puppies and ate the sticks which made the other puppies angry. Panting with his tongue out made the children scream the word “GROSS” which he didn’t understand. Then when it was time for all the puppies to play together, Willie started butting them which is how Billy Goats play and the puppies all ran away and hid and so did the children. Willie was very sad and pouted all the next day. Finally, he was walking in the field where Mr. Henderson put the animals to rest from being petting and he saw Mr. Henderson sitting near the creek reading something. Willie walked up. “Oh hello Willie. Are you having fun being a petting zoo goat?” He asked. Willie just shook his head because humans can’t understand animal talk. “I see. Is it because the boys and girls run from you when you butt them and eat their toys?” Mr. Henderson guessed. Willie nodded. “Willie, do you know what this book I am reading is?” He asked. Willie shook his head although it looked like it might be good to eat. “Its called The Bible and it has words from God who created us all. It has words to help you to Willie. See the Bible says that if we think about God, our creator and praise him, that His peace will live inside you and guard your heart. You want peace with the children don’t you Willie?” Mr. Henderson asked and Willie nodded his head very enthusiastically. “It also says that you should make it your job to be at peace with all creatures. You can do that Willie. When you are with the children, find out what they like. If they don’t like butting, don’t do that then. Wait until you are in private. If they don’t like for you to eat things they own, try not to. But all children like touch animals and if you try to like them and find ways to get them to smile, they will love you. That’s the secret of being a very popular petting zoo goat Willie.” And Willie learned his lesson well. Before long, he was the most popular animal in the zoo and the children called his name and begged for him to come to them to pet him and love him. Willie always made sure the children had smiles on their faces when he was with them and what he found out is that he began to love them from the inside. That peace and love of God that Mr. Henderson was talking about was really coming out. Willie decided to sit with Mr. Henderson when he read that book more and to never ever ever try to eat it.
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