Once upon a seabed, there lived a sponge. Giving a home to lots of tiny creatures, it felt happy and important wafting in the waters. Then along came a net, which scooped it up and dumped it onto a boat with lots of wriggling fish. Some big hairy hands had picked it out. But instead of throwing it back into the sea, the big hairy hands left it on deck in the sun. The boat sailed home and now the sponge was miles away from its home, snatched from its family and friends, all dried out and very grumpy.
“I don’t deserve this! Why me?” thought the grumpy sponge. “Thing’s can’t possibly get worse.” He heard some sloshing and thought, “Ah good, at least I can soak up some water.” But it wasn’t water: he suddenly found himself dunked in vinegar! Vinegar! Somebody said it was wine but it tasted horrid. All the little houses where the tiny creatures had lived filled up and the sponge felt horribly tingly, like being stung by a thousand sea anemones, which he was once, when he’d made a rude remark about their tentacles.
“I don’t deserve this! Why me?” hiccupped the grumpy sponge. “Things can’t possibly get worse.” But then they stuck him on a stick! He’d once been poked by an inquisitive swordfish, and been very cross about it. But at least the swordfish hadn’t hoiked him into the air and waved him about! The sponge didn’t like air at the best of times. Now he was swaying to and fro, this way and that, as he was raised higher and higher, dripping vinegar.
“I don’t deserve this! Why me?” swooned the grumpy sponge. “Things can’t possibly get worse.” But then he came face to face with a man nailed onto some bits of a tree. This man had been snatched from his family and friends, poked and pierced and now been hoiked into the air.
The people below pushed the sponge up to the man’s lips for him to take a drink. The man’s face was full of pain and pressure, as if he’d been stung by a hundred thousand sea anemones, poked by all the swordfishes in the sea and had the weight of all the water in the world pressing down on him. But the sponge saw that this man wasn’t angry or even grumpy, even though he was in agony. In fact this man was full of love: love for the people that had snatched him away, or had laughed at him, even the ones that had hoiked him into the air. Despite the pain and pressure, this man’s face was full of love for everyone.
As the sponge was lowered, he didn’t feel grumpy anymore. When he had touched this man’s lips, he’d been kissed by the greatest love in the world. “I don’t deserve this! Why me?”
Happy Easter everyone.