Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Whatever Happened To The Little Girl From The Movie, "Prancer"?

One of my all time favorite modern Christmas classics is original movie, "Prancer"

Prancer is a magical Christmas fantasy about an unusual friendship between a lonely and motherless little girl named Jessica Riggs, and an injured reindeer she encounters in the snowy woods near her home, whom she believes is one of Santa's own.  After she discovers Prancer wandering around on her father's farm one night, Jessie lures the injured animal into a shed and is determine to nurse him back to health.   In return for her kindness, the reindeer later saves her life after she falls from a tree and is lying unconscious in the snow.

A truly wonderful tale of  love and hope and selfless giving, "Prancer" was made even more special by the casting of adorable nine year old first time actress Rebecca Harrell in the role of feisty farm girl Jessica Riggs.  Over the 25 years since the premiere of the movie in 1989, I often wondered what happened to that sweet little girl, whose performance as the innocent, starry-eyed dreamer Jessie made me both laugh and cry and brought back happy memories of another little girl I once knew, another innocent and starry-eyed dreamer, and her joyful excitement of the coming holiday, not to mention her sleepless anticipation of  listening for the arrival of Santa Claus and his reindeer landing up on the house top on Christmas Eve!

"You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10 thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood."


Excerpt from the famous editorial, "Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus" written by Francis Church  for The New York Sun, in response to a letter sent to the newspaper by 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon, who lived with her parents in Manhattan in 1897. 

This was also read in the movie, "Prancer" 

Jessie reading a bedtime story to her new friend and convalescing patient Prancer

I recently went on an internet quest to find out what happened to the sweet little girl from "Prancer" and  I discovered that Rebecca Harrell- Tickell is now a lovely young woman, whose traded in her lucrative acting skills to become a passionate spokeswoman for the survival of the earth from environmental abuses.

Rebecca Harrell- Tickell

The name "Rebecca" is Hebrew for "a snare".  While a snare is defined as a trap set for a bird, it can also mean to snare or captivate someone's attention for a specific purpose.  In that sense, Rebecca's name truly fits her!  I pray that her genuine concern and sincerity for the preservation of the natural environment of our earth "snares" the attention of her listeners!

Oil Spill In The Gulf Of Mexico

"Harm neither the earth nor the sea nor the trees..." Revelation 7:3

I  truly admire Rebecca and her husband, Joshua Tickell's efforts to raise the public's awareness of the devastating effects of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 in their documentary, "The Big Fix".  Although the film received favorable reviews, unfortunately, during the production of the film, Rebecca became ill after being exposed to a mixture of oil and a substance called Corexit, which is used as a dispersant in oil spills. Her exposure to this lethal combination has resulted in an irreversible skin condition.

 Joshua and Rebecca Tickell

The Big Blue Marble
 Planet Earth

The verse quoted above from Revelation reminds us all that while the earth is our home, and we are called to tend to it's care, as well as care for one another, we are all mere tenants here, in existence on this planet solely through the grace and mercy of Elohim, the Creator God of the heavens and the earth.  Throughout the Scriptures, God speaks, and as the psalmist declared,

"The earth is the Lord's and the fullness of it, the world, and they who dwell in it. For He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the currents and rivers."
Psalm 24:1

God formed man from the dust of the ground and His Spirit breathed life into his nostrils and He gave the first man, Adam, dominion over the animals and the plants within the beautiful garden called Eden.  Yet, despite all the good God blessed him with, the first man rebelled against his Creator and was driven out of that beautiful garden because of his disobedience.
The human race inherited Adam's inclination towards disobedience and therefore rebels against God. The abuse of the environment through man made oil spills and other disasters is usually the result of an accident, and yet, at the heart of the matter, the real cause is often rooted in human greed and selfishness, as we clearly witness through the deliberate poisoning of the earth, the sea, and the sky

As much as I love the natural beauty of God's world and I am sickened and appalled by the widespread, careless contamination of the land and the sea and the air by man, I am also fully aware that one day this world and everything in it is going to pass away at the moment of God's choosing. 

 As much as I love watching the breaking of the dawn and the sunsets and gazing up at a clear night sky full of stars, or the beauty of falling snow or gazing into the heart of a beautiful rose growing in my garden,  I know these natural wonders are only temporary, and that my greatest love is for my Creator, Whose Most Precious Gift to all of mankind is His Son, the Messiah, Yeshua Ha'Mashiach.

Have a blessed Christmas and very Happy New Year!

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