The Good Stepmother

[Original in German]

In Munich, Germany, there is a large zoo, and many kinds of animals live there—on rocks, in the water, almost as they do in their native home. The people often go to the zoo to visit the animal families. These are real families. Just as with people, there are fathers and mothers to care for their young, teach them to play, and protect them. There are happy families of mother, father, and small giraffes, baby monkeys with mother and father monkeys, and many other species. But one day, among all these families something extraordinary happened. A little tiger was seen lying in a cage with a mother dog—a mother terrier who was giving milk to the baby tiger. It happened because the little tiger had no tiger mother of its own. The dog not only fed the baby tiger but tenderly cared for it as if it were her puppy.

The baby tiger and the dog were so different, but the dog-stepmother didn't see it that way. She loved the little tiger, and he accepted this love. The dog didn't worry about the fact that the baby tiger didn't come from her dog family. She must have felt that the baby tiger needed help.

How did she come to feel this and help the baby tiger? The more we understand of God's creation, perfect and spiritual as He made it, the more we discover it is filled with love—everything and everyone in God's big family reflecting Him. So it's natural for mothers and fathers to love their children, and brothers and sisters to love each other. And it's natural for a stepmother to be loving, too. She is real family.

Be Glad You're You
March 22, 1975

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