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By Jill L. Mueller

2005 Jill L. Mueller

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One sunny afternoon, Mrs. Zimmerman, a fourth grade teacher, settled into her chair to share her favorite book to her students, who were sitting quietly on the floor waiting for the story to begin. She began to read.

On a beautiful September day, a baby girl was born. She was sleeping, snug and warm, in her mothers arms at the hospital. I want to give you a very special name, her mother said, a name with a peaceful meaning. Before mother could say another word, a fluffy white feather fell softly and without a sound onto her baby's blanket.

Well, where do you suppose that came from? the mother asked herself. Mom felt peace right away.

The next day it was time for mom and baby to go home. The nurse asked mom what she had named her baby. Mom had given it great thought and said, "I will name her Ariel." "Oh! What a lovely name, and she certainly is a little angel," Said the nurse.

Little Ariel got bigger and started to walk. It was her first birthday, and as soon as she blew out her ONE candle, a fluffy white feather fell softly and without a sound right into her lap.

Mom saw this with a strange look on her face and said to Ariel, "Let's put this away." Ariel didn't mind that Mom took the pretty feather away because she was going to have cake and ice cream!

Little Ariel made lots of friends, and enjoyed going to school. It was time for her fifth birthday. Many of her school friends were there with nicely wrapped gifts, balloons, ice cream and her favorite, angelfood cake!

When Ariel blew out her FIVE candles, guess what happened?

Five fluffy white feathers fell softly and without a sound onto the floor and on her lap. Ariel said, "Mom? Did you get me a bird for my birthday?" Mom said, "No Ariel, but I'll put these away." Ariel stood up and followed her mom to the closet.

"Ariel," her mom said, "there are seven fluffy white feathers in a shoe box that I have been saving for you. I don't know why we are finding these, but I think it means something very special."

Ten years passed and Ariel turned fifteen. I'm sure you can guess what happened next! That's right fifteen more fluffy white feathers fell softly and without a sound all around Ariel. " Mom!?" Ariel said to her mother. "I think were going to need a larger box!"

Mom and Ariel were by this time getting confused and anxious as to why these feathers kept falling around Ariel on certain birthdays.

But a few days later Ariel had a dream. This dream was very warm and peaceful, and she heard someone say with a soft voice to remember that an angel is always watching over her.

Ten more years passed, and Ariel was now fully grown. Her twenty-fifth birthday arrived, and that's right! Twenty-five more fluffy white feathers fell softly and without a sound around Ariels feet. Ariel caught the last feather in her hand. When she held it she felt warmth and peace.

"Here is a surprise," Mrs. Zimmerman said to her class, showing a picture in the book with Ariel in a nursery, sitting in a rocking chair. "Ariel is going to be a mommy, too!" Ariel was sewing, and next to her, on the floor was a large box!
"Can you guess what Ariel was sewing?"

All the feathers that she had collected over the years were sewn into the shape of an angel's wing.

Ariel wanted to do something nice for the one who had been watching over her all those years!
So that night after sewing together the wing, Ariel set it onto the rocking chair and left the room to go to bed.

The next morning, Ariel walked into the nursery and noticed the wing she had sewn last night was gone! All of a sudden she felt that it was time to have the baby!

Off to the hospital Ariel went, and later that afternoon on a beautiful, September day, a baby girl was born. Ariel slept very good that night and had a dream. The same soft voice said to her, "You have mended my wing so that I may watch over another."

That morning, Ariel was holding her new baby girl nestled snug and warm in her arms. Ariel said quietly to her baby, "I want to give you a very special name." Before she could say another word, a fluffy white feather fell softly and without a sound onto her baby.

"The end," Mrs. Zimmerman said as she closed the book. She stood up and smiled at the class who smiled back at her. "But Mrs. Zimmerman," One of the students asked. "What did Ariel name her baby?" The teacher sat back down in her chair and said, "I was waiting for someone to ask that question. She named her baby Gabrielle."

When Mrs. Zimmerman stood up to return the book to the shelf, the children gasped!
Several fluffy white feathers were laying on Mrs. Zimmerman's chair ! The teacher turned around, smiled and said, "Today's my birthday!"


By: J. L. Mueller 

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