One reason Father can do the things he does is because he has an incredibly strong will. Even if you look at his childhood you will find this to be true. Once he sets his mind to do something, he never gives up until he succeeds at it. Such was the case one night when he was a young boy and saw the footprints of a weasel in the snow.
Now Father has always been very interested in nature. He knew everything for miles around his house. He knew all of the animals, the fish, and what kind of trees there were. So when he saw weasel footprints that evening, he felt something miraculous, and he wanted to learn more.
The moon was full, and it was very light with the moonlight shining in the snow. Slowly, the boy knelt down and touched the tracks in the snow. How far away was the weasel? The tracks were fresh, so it couldn't be too far. He looked up and imagined that the weasel could possibly even be looking back at him from the darkness.
Slowly, he began to follow the tracks. They disappeared under a bush, so he walked around it. Yes, there they were coming out the other side and heading toward a nearby stream. He followed the tracks to the water's edge, and here the tracks vanished again. He searched on both sides of the stream, thinking that maybe the weasel had crossed to the other side. But no! The tracks did not continue there. He looked and looked.
Many others would have just quit at this point, feeling that the trail had been lost forever. But once Father started something, he saw it through to the end. He finally found the tracks again some distance downstream, and he continued following them again.
Wherever the tracks went, Father followed. No matter how much the trail twisted and turned, he stayed with it. If the trail crossed some rocks and was lost, Father would search around the edge of each rock until he found where it continued again.
It was now 3:00 in the morning (which is the middle of the night), and Father was far away from home. The thought crossed his mind that he should give up the search and go back. But no! He hadn't caught up with that weasel. He must continue!
In the meantime, the weasel had been watching Father and wondering who this boy was who was following him so intensely. Why didn't he quit? The tired animal scrambled across another large clump of rocks, made a sharp right, and went north. He darted under a bush at the edge of the rocks and hid. Surely, he was safe now. But looking back, he saw Father closing in.
The boy was not baffled when the trail crossed the rocks. Instead, he continued looking for any soft piece of dirt where the animal could have stepped or any broken twig. Aha! There were scratches at the edge of one of the rocks where the weasel had slipped and had pulled himself back up. The trail was heading straight toward those bushes. Father moved forward again.
The weasel ran!
Now the chase became a battle of wits, with the weasel desperate to outsmart Father. It doubled back on its tracks and hid. Father followed the trail to its end and looked around. But he knew instantly what had happened. Turning around he started following the trail back, looking for the place where the weasel's tracks left the trail. Yes! There it was! The boy ran forward, and the weasel scurried from his hiding place and ran again.
The eastern sky was getting light, and Father could see that he was near the next village. The chase had been going on for six or seven hours. Now, in the light Father could see the weasel more clearly. The weasel was exhausted and had lost all hope of escape. Now he turned to face the boy but was too tired to fight. Quickly, the boy ran up and grabbed the beaten weasel. The chase was over!
But Father was loving and kind. His chase had been one of curiosity and determination. He had no intention of hurting the poor weasel. Instead, he petted and loved it. Then, gently he set the weasel down and let it go.
Father looked up at the village. He was hungry. He would stop and ask someone to give him breakfast and then begin his long walk home.
That's how it was with Father. He never gave up.
At another time when he was older, Father went fishing for eels with his cousin. As you may know, eels look something like snakes. Since they live in the water, they are very slippery and almost impossible to hold. They just slither through your fingers. To catch them you have to try to get hold of them in the muddy water.
Father spotted a large eel and chased it through the water for a long time, Finally, after several tries, he caught it and brought it back victoriously to put it in the basket. But suddenly it slipped right out of his hands and swam away.
Not willing to let his prize get away so easily, Father leaped at it and landed face down in the muddy water. He missed, and he got a glimpse of the eel slithering out of sight into deeper waters.
With a look of determination he followed, searching every where through the muddy depths. Should he give up on this eel? Never! He kept crawling and groping with this hands until he was covered with mud from top to bottom. Finally, he felt it brush against his hand, and he made a quick grab. This time, he got a good hold on the eel in the depths of the mud and held it up victoriously. Without even wiping the mud from his face, he shouted to his cousin, "Look! Look! I caught it; I caught it!"
How is Father able to accomplish so much? One reason is that he never stops until he is successful. Once he decides on a goal, he doesn't fail to fulfill it. Father has this kind of nature.