4Kids Plus

Jesus said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." He loves kids.

If you love kids or if you are  a kid, this page is just for you. If you are a parent, grandparent, great grandparent, aunt, uncle, child care provider or anyone who loves kids; share what you find here with children. If they are old enough to read, let them read here. (Acutually anywhere on this website should be OK for a child if the child is old enough to appreciate it. Deciding when a child is old enough to take in anything from the Internet is definitely a job for a parent or other loving care giver.)

If the child you love most or can get on your lap or nearby is not yet a reader, read it to her or him. Of course, you can print out the story and read it to a group, if you prefer, or gather the group around the computer. Group hug at the computer anyone? Enjoy!

Editor's Note

It has been some time since we heard from Gary T. and Ann Marie. Gary T. is nine years old now and his sister, Ann Marie, is fourteen. They have a difficult time to go through in this story. Never fear. They will come through and it will finish in a miraculous manner.


A Tough Trip


It was only ten a.m. Already there had been a lot of tears. There had been more than a little hollering. The family was not doing well. "Do we have to do this?" That was Gary T. he did not want to see his grandpa move out of the family home. "Yes, son, said Dad. We have been over this all week. Grampa has to go to the mansion. All the doctors say he must." "But Grandpa is a doctor.He knows more than all of them about this problem." "That's right, but he agrees, It time for him to move to the mansion. They can give him the care he needs. We can't do that. We are going crazy trying. You've seen your mother running around day and night. She can't sleep. She can't eat. She thinks she is the only one who can help him and she can't." "We have to take Grampa away so she can get some rest." Ann Marie was a very intelligent fourteen. "Wait." said Ann Marie. If we are the ones going crazy taking care of Grandpa and he is fine, why don't we just let him take care of himself. We could all just go on a vacation." "in many cases that is the best." That was Grandpa speaking. There are a few cases such as mine in which it is really the family that needs the most help. Sometimes, they just need a vacation. However, my case is such that I do need to move. I have books to write. I have evangelism still to do. God has made that clear to me. I have invitations to do just those things, but not here. Niagara Falls is only an hour away by plane. Now that your father has that special jet which Homeland Security has given him, you will all be able to see me any day you want." "But, Grandpa. that is in New York state. You were so sad there you almost killed yourself there." Gary T. knew how Grandpa had been near suicide long ago back when he was a college professor.  "Yes, that is true. But that was more than 40 years ago. More importantly, I did not know Jesus then. He saved me from death and sin and put me on the road to becoming what was God's plan for me all along--doing the work of an evangelist."  Ann Marie commented, "Grandma still has a hard time understanding that.

She married a young man who studied and became a professor and researcher. Suddenly her husband is near death and does not die. He eventually recovers, he goes back to college teaching and becomes an advisor to Campus Crusade for Christ International. They train him to do the work of training students in evangelism and he gets more and more training himself."  "That's right," said Grandpa. "God always wanted that for me. He also wanted your grandmother to travel with me. We certainly have done that. We have ministered in many countries. Still she has a hard time seeing me not as a college professor but as an evangelist, even if we have ministered together for decades."

"Perceptions and beliefs in spite of evidence are very strange," said Ann Marie. "So true, said Grandpa. That is why I have spend so much time researching and writing about such things." "Dad, you know we have to get going," said the children's father. "OK, I'm all packed. It is too bad your mother could not make the trip, but she is worn out. She and grandma are two of a kind. They wear themselves out serving others." An hour later the plane landed at a secure airport near Niagara Falls. A big black SUV took the group to a beautiful mansion on the edge of the city of Niagara Falls. They said tearful goodbyes. Then, THEN  . . .

The way Grandpa explained it to the group (Grandma and Mama had come along with Gary T. and Ann Marie.)" I had no Idea, no idea at all. I hear the song 'Showers of Blessings." We God has placed me under a great Niagara Falls of blessings here. I am writing better than ever. I can sing and some people here even like to hear me sing. I have all these young folks who work here to meet any need in the way of food, room cleaning, and more. What  I love most is I get to continue to train evangelists by internet. Now I am getting invitations to work with international students at the university. A man wants me to help write his book about  miracles in his life. I have been able to teach at two local churches. There is more every day. I am at the center of miracles."

"God sets up appointments for me every day. I don't even have to leave the build most of the time. The appointments are right here. If I have an appointment in town, the self-driving SUV takes me anywhere." Of course Grandpa had been crying through all of this. Now the family understood that they were tears of great joy. They understood that God wanted Grandpa in that mansion in that city and yet near the lake, near the university, so Grandpa could carry on the ministry which God had given him long ago. "Praise Jesus!" shouted Grandpa. "Amen!" shouted dad. They did. They were loud. They were filled with the joy of Christ. You can be the same. You do not have to suffer the agony of a pain-filled life. You too, just like the real Grandpa who is writing this for you, can admit you are a sinner and that you need Jesus as your Savior. You then will have new eternal life in Jesus. If you want to make email contact about this, use the "contact us" spot on this website. or simply email mysteriespluseone@gmail.com. Dr. Phil Keezer, the author and the real life grandpa of the story, will respond.



                             Sometimes things Happen That Are Hard To Believe 

Now when you start with a title like that, almost anything can happen in a story. Well, believe it or not that is exactly what did happen when I started to write this one. First a picture appeared just like the one above. It seems to be an image of a girl projected on a building. The next thing that happened was that the font size got bigger. If you do not believe me, just compare the font size here with that of the story about Matthew, below.

That is hardly exciting to you, but it was a big deal to these little letters on the screen. Then, and I know you will think I am crazy when I write this, but my shirt got all plaid instead of just plain black, which was what I was wearing when I started this story. Then the white hat I was wearing, turned yellow with an Irish flag on the side. Does that mean my hat has no courage (It's yellow sometimes means that.) Does it mean my hat is Irish because of the Irish flag? I do not know, do you?

What is a writer to do when things start to change on their own?

What would you do?

Did you say or think, "call for help or call for the teacher?"

I hope so. That's what I would do. So what is next? Can you guess?

Right. THE END.








            Things are strange on this page.

 The photo that is supposed to be here, jumped down below this story..


The Sane and Brilliant Skipper, Matthew Alz

Matthew was a brilliant boy, so everybody said. They gave him a full-ride scholarship and then he went to bed. He boarded a plane for Oxford to study psychiatry. Even there he was brilliant, as brilliant as could be. He joined the number one rowing team, he was an experienced skip. He knew when to say stop, and when to say, ROW! and when to bite his lip. New records on the river his team set every day. Everyone knew when the big match came his team would blow the others away. The big day dawned, they always do, why can't a day start at noon? But never in the rowing races; they start out under the moon, that's way too soon.

To make their boat go even faster they added two extra men. Everyone shouted, "Your're crazy!" That boat cannot hold ten. It will sink right down to the bottom of the river with all that extra weight."  But on they rowed and rowed and rowed. They were doing great. Everyone yelled, "You're crazy! You'll sink to the bottom of the river!" But Matthew's team kept rowing, so first place they could deliver. The people yelled and the team it jelled and started sinking down. "Pray Men!" shouted Matthew. He thought they all would drown.But then from far, far up above that rowing prayer was heard and the boat came up and the shore went down. The people had to swim.

The trophies then were handed out and Matthew's boys started to grin. The other teams had gone to the bottom and came up sputterin'.  Matthew and his fearless crew said a quiet prayer of thanks. They were the only team that had prayed that day and God granted a record-setting win.

The people on the shore got drenched but to a man survived. They started to talk and wonder aloud just who the crazy folk were who thought that eight could row faster than ten. They wonder still to this very day just who the crazy folks were. The ones throwing fits upon the banks or the crew that was quite demure. Their record stands to this very day. It seems they were quite sane and the ones who thought that only they knew the physics of racing boats are somewhere on the back side of the moors in the rain with the mud and the goats.

The moral of the story Dr. Matthew often says with a sneeze, "Sometimes the only sane and knowing folks have Alzheimer's disease. For you see the brilliant Matthew had staffed his boat with ancient masters who fifty years before had won the medals amid disasters, like falling bombs and diving fighters it was a furious battle. And all the sane and knowing boat watchers are somewhere chasing cattle.







Not many people can see the picture here. If you can't see it, Do not worry. Just keep reading.

                The girl in the story below thinks she sees something. What is it? Can't you see it? Well, let's let Zoe tell us about it.

    • The Moose In the Air

Momma, Look! There's a moose up in the air. He's flying that plane. How did he get up there?

    Oh, Zoe, how can you see if there is a moose way up there? I can see, dear momma, and he sitting in a big orange chair.

      Oh Zoe, Zoe, do you mean to tell me that way up in the air so far I cannot see, there is a moose in a chair that is orange and it's flying toward the sea ? Is that the truth, the real truth, that you are telling me?

         Yes , momma mamma. Oh now he's coming down. I think he just might land right here, right here in town. What a sight to see a moose flying  a chair that was orange, really orange you see. Oh I hope that he will land and then he will take me to go flying in a chair way way up high as I can see.  

          Well you will never believe what happened way up high. The good Lord heard Zoe and he started to cry. "I'll have to take a look to see how Dr. Mike is doing today. He loves to go down flying over the town along the way."  So Dr. Mike climbed into the big orange flying chair. He soared and he soared right over to where Zoe and the moose were playing in the snow. Then he landed in the driveway, in the driveway just below the big big mound of snow piled high up in the sky. That is where he landed his big chair from up in the air. Then he said, "Hello, Zoe. My name is Dr. Mike. Will your mother let you and Mr. Moose  come fly on my bike? I know it's really a chair, but people call it" Dr. Mike's bike." 

            Momma OK'd the trip for Zoe that day. So with Dr. Mike and Mr. Moose she is flying still today. So go out and look way, way up high above. You should see Dr. Mike and a little girl we love.



                                                                                      The Sock Under the Bed

            Maddie was a little girl.

            So it has been said.

            Just learning how to walk and talk,

            and this is what she said.

            "Momma, Momma! Big Sock Monster

            hiding under bed!"

            "Let's look together" said the momma, 

            bending down her head. 

            Down and down and down some more

            the momma's head it bent. 

            Then her head did bend some more,

            almost to the floor;

            Then the mamma stretched out her arm

            almost to the door. 

            Then under the bed the long arm went

            and with a little shout,

            out came two tiny dust bunnies 

            hopping all about.

            Then out came a little clock

            that Maddie had named Fred. 

            Fred looked so sad the momma feared

            That Freddie might be dead.

            But then came Freddie's

            monster friends, smiling at the clock

            and one more thing, it had to be

            Yes!  Maddie's missing sock!






             Let's Ride The Bear

            God has sent a bear that's fine. He has sent right down to my mind. He sent it down from heaven above, so you would know of His great love. He sent this love to you and to me. He sent His son to hang on a tree. 

            The Son is called the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one who paid the price for your sin and also for mine. Since He paid the price, if we trust Him, we are fine.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So say this prayer and you"ll be forgiven.  Jesus, I know it's a sin-life I've been livin'.  Please save me now and take me to heaven.






            The Lunch Box Dolly and the Little Man from the Well

            Editor's Note: We have a photo of the Lunch Box Dolly as Picture 1 in our Picture Gallery.

            Eight-year-old Hannah Kelly and her family had just moved into a new house near Maple Lake. One hot day her father and grandfather were doing some work sealing the foundation of the new-to-the-Kellys’ house. While they worked, Hannah was enjoying her Slip and Slide. Water was spraying on the long strip of plastic so she could come running and then slide the length of it. Her father and grandfather would sometimes take a break from their hot work to grab her hands and slide her along the plastic even faster than she could go by herself.

            After a couple of hours of this, her father said, "We have to turn the water off, now." "Oh, please," said Hannah, "can’t I slide for just another half hour?" "No, I’m sorry, but we have to leave some water for doing dishes and other things," said her father. "Besides," added her grandfather, "the little man who pumps the water down in the well needs a rest. He must be getting pretty tired after pumping for two hours." "Oh, grampa!" said Hannah. "You know there’s no little man down in the well." "Yes, I know, but we can have fun pretending, can’t we?" "I suppose," said Hannah smiling. "Tell me more about the little man from the well." Her grandfather launched into another one of his many stories, this one about a little man who lived in the well and pumped the water out when Hannah and her family needed it.

            After Hannah had gone into the house to change into dry clothes, her father spoke to his father. "You know, if you keep making up stories, she may have a hard time understanding when you tell her something real and when you are just making up a fantasy story." "I understand. I’ll try to make the difference clear. That is important, especially when I tell her something like the fact that there really is a Jesus and that He loves her." "Exactly," replied her father. "Now I think we have to take a break. My arm is about ready to fall off. This coating material is really heavy stuff, but it should make a good seal on the foundation."

            That night Hannah got ready for bed. She looked over at her dresser. On it was a small but very decorative lunch box. Inside was a small dolly that looked like Hannah herself. The dolly was about seven inches tall. Hannah smiled and went quickly to sleep. She awoke, so she thought, about midnight. Moonlight was peeking in through a little gap in her window curtains. She thought she heard someone outside singing. It sounded a lot like song her grandfather had once sung to her. It seemed he was always singing her songs and making up stories for her and her little brother, Joshua.

            As the singing continued, Hannah sat amazed as her lunch box slowly opened and the dolly climbed out. The dolly hopped down onto the floor and then climbed up to the window. The dolly must have been very strong, for she managed to open the window a bit. Now the song from outside became clear.

             

            Lunch Box Dolly won’t you come out tonight, come out tonight, come out tonight?

            Oh, Lunch Box Dolly won’t you come out tonight and dance by the light of the moon?

            The Lunch Box Dolly managed to climb out of the window and work her way down to the ground. That dolly was quite a climber. Hannah went over to the window and looked out. She saw a little man just slightly taller than the dolly. He was dressed like somebody Hannah had seen in a video game; she thought he was called Mario something. The little man reached out and took the dolly’s hand. He continued singing and they began to dance together in the light of the moon, just as the song said.

            The singing and dancing went on for some time. Hannah noticed that quite a few animals had gathered to watch the show. She couldn’t see all of the bodies that went with the little eyes that she saw peering out from behind bushes, but she could identify two raccoons, one squirrel and a young fawn. After about an hour, the dolly apparently decided she could dance no more. The little man bowed deeply and walked her back to the house. The dolly climbed up to the window and came inside. She made her way back to the lunch box and hopped into it.

            From outside, the little man struck up a new verse to the tune he had been singing.

            Lunch Box Dolly come tomorrow night, come tomorrow night, come tomorrow night.

            Oh, Lunch Box Dolly come tomorrow night we’ll dance by the light of the moon.

            Hannah heard a little giggle that she thought came from the lunch box. Then she went back to sleep.

             

            Editor's Note: Want to know what the Little Man from the Well looks like? We were unable to get a photo of him, however, we did get a shot of someone who looks a lot like him. See Picture No. 9 in our Picture Gallery.

             The Man who Fell Down Stairs

            {Editor’s note: This story is for older children. Parents or other caregivers should read it alone before trying to read it to children or before recommending it to children to read for themselves. Parents and caregivers can then determine if their children are ready for such a story.}

            Once there was a man who was wandering. It was dark, it was very dark. He really didn’t know where he was. He stumbled into a stairway and then he fell down and down and down and finally hit the bottom. He was battered and he was bruised.  He was also bleeding and he thought that he might have a couple of broken bones.  He knew that he couldn’t really stand up, that it wasn’t good and that he hurt a lot. There was something down there in the darkness and it hated him.  It was ugly; it was nasty and it wanted him, but he didn’t want it. He cried and he didn’t know if he would ever get out.  It was bad.  It was very, very bad and he cried more and he hurt more. It was bad, very, very bad.

            He heard the thing in the darkness and he knew that it was coming for him. He knew that if he didn’t get away from that deep darkness at the bottom of the long stairway, he would not survive for long. Then he heard a small voice far, far away, a voice that said, “Follow me.”

            He thought that maybe he knew that voice, but it was so far away, he didn’t know if it was real or if he had just imagined it. Then in the farthest possible spot, way up at the top of the stairs, he saw the tiniest of lights. He knew that he had to go up that staircase, that long, long staircase.  So he somehow got to his knees. He couldn’t stand. He got one knee up on the bottom step. They were hard, cold stone steps. It hurt and he almost fell back down but he knew that he couldn’t let himself fall back down because there was that thing, waiting in the darkness near the bottom of the stairs. It was that thing with very sharp teeth and very sharp claws. It was not an ordinary animal like the ones you could see in a zoo. He could feel it’s breath upon his neck. It was very stinky breath. He knew that he had to climb the stairway or he would not survive.

            So he got another knee up onto the next step and the thing seemed to retreat just a little bit, but he knew that it could easily pounce upon him from the darkness. So he got another knee agonizingly up on the next step and then he did fall back down one step but he got back up to the third step and somehow, he dragged himself up to the fourth step. Now he could hear the voice, “Follow me.”

            He couldn’t see that light anymore, but he could hear the voice and he knew it was at the top of the stairs. He knew he had to go up, even though it hurt. Every time he got his knee up and over the sharp step, he cut his knees and he bled more and it hurt more, but he had to get to the top of the stairs. It was hard and it was dangerous and there was only a railing on one side. There was nothing on the other side; so if he went off that side, he would fall down to the bottom again. He knew that the thing in the darkness was waiting for him at the bottom and he couldn’t let himself fall to the bottom. So he clung to that railing and he listened for that voice and it was very far away, but it still said, “Follow me.” So he continued on the long, long stairway and it seemed days. It was days and it was weeks and he hurt everyday and he hurt every week.

            When he had been climbing those stairs of that long, long stairway for a year, he knew that if he’d had a flashlight he could have looked down and seen the blood that he was losing. He didn’t have a flashlight. He knew that he had to go up to the top of the stairs.  He could not let himself fall back down because the thing in the darkness was waiting for him and it wanted him badly.  So he climbed, and every time he climbed. he would go up two steps or maybe three and then he would fall back down; so he had to climb again. He cried out, “Help me!” but there was no one there. However, he could hear that voice still there. It must have been calling for someone or something, “Follow me and follow me.” So he kept climbing.

            Finally he got to a landing of sorts but it was still very, very dark.  Someone was there. He couldn’t see who it was, but it seemed like it was a friendly person who gave him a drink of water, blessed water. He drank the water and the person gave him a pill of some kind.  He heard the person say, “This will help.” So he took the pill and drank the water and swallowed the pill, but it didn’t help.  He said, “Thank you,” and the person said, “You can climb on.”

            That person had given him water, so he climbed on slowly, agonizingly, day after week after year. Gradually he got close enough to the top so that he could see the light. The voice was louder now, and it still said, “Follow me.” Then it began to occur to the man that it was the voice of a shepherd calling to his sheep. The man said, “Thank you for calling.”  He didn’t know if the shepherd could hear him because it was still a long way to the top of the stairs, but he was very glad to hear the shepherd calling to his sheep.

            He climbed on and it got a little easier some days, but it still hurt. He knew there was still blood on the stairs, but he climbed on. He hung onto the railing and he came to another landing. There was another person there in the darkness, but now it was close to twilight.  He could see from the outline that was a person and that he was friendly. The friendly person said some words to the man from the pit and the words seemed to help a little bit, So he said, “Thank you.” That friendly person gave him a drink of water, so he drank the water and it felt good.

            That person didn’t have any pills, but that was okay because now he was seeing that he was able to see up to the top of the stairs. He climbed on another year and another year and another year and finally he got to the top of the stairs.   He realized that he could see. He could see the light and it was bright and it was beautiful. The Light hurt his eyes for a long time.  He became adjusted to it and he realized why it was what other people would call it dark out before the sunrise. Now he could see that the sun was not quite up but that light was shining up into the clouds. There were rippled clouds and little puffs of blue way up high. There were red ridges outlining each little scoop under each little puff of cloud. The clouds were blue but each had a red border. The red rays of the sun could shine up at those clouds when there was a break in the dark blue ones that were down close to the horizon.  So there was a bright red ridge under the blue clouds and there was a little break in the clouds and the sun shown through the puffy clouds so that they were outlined in red.
             
            He could almost see the sun. It was getting brighter. It was going to be sunrise! Then the sun did rise and there was the shepherd and it was wonderful! The shepherd said, “You followed me. Now follow me more.” Then the shepherd gave the man a very big hug and the man knew that he owed his life, his very life, to that shepherd. He said to the shepherd, “I owe you my life. I was bleeding to death. I don’t know what would have happed to me at the bottom of that stairway if you had not called and shown me that light. What was the light?” The Shepherd said, “I am the light,” and he was.

            The man said, “I give you my life.” The Shepherd said, “I give it back to you. Now follow me and I will take you to places that other people cannot even imagine, but you will see them because you gave your life to me.”

            The Man Who Climbed A Mountain

            You may have read about this man before. He has had some interesting adventures. He once fell down a long flight of stairs and had a terrible time getting back up to the top. Once he did, he met a man some people called Shepherd. Shepherd taught the man many things about sheep and about seeing the needs of people. The man became known as Follower because he followed Shepherd and worked with Him.

            Shepherd taught Follower that a good shepherd always goes to find a lost lamb, no matter where that may take him. One day they were out watching the sheep. Shepherd had very many sheep that he had to watch. Still he could always tell when even one had wandered away. When he noticed that a lamb he called Heather had slipped away, he asked Follower to go to look for her. Shepherd said that she had gone up the mountainside.

            Follower knew that he should always do what Shepherd asked of him, so he went to look for the lost lamb. At first the mountainside was easy to climb. There was a gentle slope covered with grass and a lot of flowers here and there. Some pine trees covered much of the slope, so it was a pretty climb. Searching for the lost lamb was not easy, but Follower always carried the needed supplies for searching and for spending time away from everyone and everything with him. He had a small pack on his back and a long staff to help him walk. It had a big hook on the top. This could be used to encircle a lost lamb’s neck and pull her to safety if needed. He also carried a heavy rod or club. This could be used to beat back a wolf if one came by to attack the sheep.

            As Follower climbed and looked higher, the mountain side got steeper. The pine trees got smaller and the grass was a bit different too. In some places there was no grass at all, just rocks. Eventually there were no trees and no grass and no flowers, just rocks and sometimes a bit of snow in the shady places near big rocks. He called and called for Heather, the lost lamb, but no answer came back.

            When Follower got near the top of the mountain, he had to use mountain climbing gear. He had packed the needed items on this trip because he knew that he and Shepherd were going to be working near the mountain and might have to climb it. Follower had a hammer and metal spikes he could hammer into places in the rock to help him climb. Shepherd had taught him to be a good climber, not as good as Shepherd; nobody else was that good. Still, Follower was good enough to do the job most of the time.

            After a long and difficult day, Follower reached the top of the mountain just as the sun was setting. He took a long drink from the water bottle he had in his pack. He was glad that he had brought a warm sleeping bag along, because he realized that he would have to spend the night on the mountain’s top before heading down. He didn’t even want to go down because the view from the top was so beautiful. It didn’t even seem real, but he knew that it was. He could see the tops of other mountains all covered with snow. He had climbed up through a layer of clouds, so he could look down on the cloud layer now. He could see a beautiful green valley down below through breaks in the clouds. He almost forgot that he had come to seek a lost lamb because he was so take with the beauty of what he could see. A sunset from a mountain top is so beautiful that you can hardly imagine it, especially when the last red rays of the setting sun light up the clouds and the snow on the mountains.

            Shepherd was an amazing climber. Follower knew that even if he didn’t see Shepherd that he could appear at any time. During the night, Shepherd awakened Follower. "We need to talk," said Shepherd. "Yes, sir, what about?" said Follower. You’ve gotten a bit distracted from the task here. You were so busy looking at mountains and clouds that you forgot about Heather, the lamb you came to find." "Yes, I am sorry," said Follower. "Don’t forget your task. Remember, I pay you to do a good job. Your family needs you to do a good job for me so you can earn money for them. Heather needs to be found so she can rejoin the herd. Do better. I’ll help you," said Shepherd. Then he was gone and Follower went back to sleep.

            In the morning the sunrise was so beautiful that Follower almost got lost in admiring the beauty once again, but the words of Shepherd helped bring his mind back to his job—finding the lost lamb. Follower had some breakfast, a bit of fruit, a small loaf of bread and another drink of water. He was glad that the water was so pure as it ran down from melted the snow on the mountain. Because of that, he could refill his water bottle from any stream near the top of the mountain.

            Follower worked his way down from the top of the mountain. He so much wanted to stay at the top. It seemed to call to him, "Stay. Stay" He promised the mountain that he would be back, if Shepherd allowed that. Then the call from the mountain got a bit quieter. Follower looked and looked and called and called, but the lost lamb did not appear. Just when he was about to give up, he saw Shepherd again. He was standing on a rock and pointing down to a spot that Follower could not see. Follower headed over to where he had seen Shepherd. Shepherd was not there, but below the rock and caught in a crevice in the rocks was the lost lamb.

            Follower knelt down on the rock and reached down with his staff. He hooked it around the lamb’s neck and pulled her up. She was shivering and crying and scared, but otherwise all right. Follower put her on his shoulders and made his way down the mountain. When he got back to the herd, he put her down and she ran to her mother. "Now don’t wander off again," said Follower. He hoped that she would heed his words, but he knew that sheep often just don’t seem to know anything. That is why they need a shepherd, one who stays with them always. Shepherd was like that. Follower wanted to be like him. The longer he worked with Shepherd, the more he was like Shepherd. Who is your shepherd?

             

             

            Anna Marie and Gary T. Series

             

            Editor's Note:

            (You will observe there are big spaces between the paragrahs in this series. This is so you have the opportunity to take your markers or color crayons and draw your own pictures to accompany each paragraph.)

             

             

            “Time Alone with the Big Every-Color Bird in Canada”

             

             

            Anna Marie and her brother, Gary T, lived in a big house in a big wood in the northern USA. Their Father, Devon, was a detective. Their mother, Janice, was a seller of beautiful baskets. She made the baskets in the big house in the big woods. She made beautiful woven baskets of many colors. People loved her baskets and paid a lot of money for them.

             

            Daddy was home most of the time. He was a great crime fighter, so great that he could figure out the solution to the most puzzling crimes just by getting information about the crimes from his radios and his computers. Big businesses fought for Daddy’s time to solve crimes against their businesses. Sometimes he could detect the bad guy’s plans even before they were set in motion. Daddy was very strict with his use of time. No matter how much money they offered him, he always said, “Sorry, I have to have time with my wife and with my children. Only God Himself could get me to give that up. So don’t bother offering me more and more money and use of your private jets; and don’t bother sending your big black limos to my door with boxes of fruit and nuts and flowers. I will only work ten hours a week on crime fighting, no matter what. The rest of my time goes to God, my wife, my kids, my parents , my sister and my country, in that order. They are a higher priority than my crime fighting business. Only God can change that priority list.”

             

            That is why Daddy was almost always home for Anna Marie and her brother Gary T. He was home the day the Big Every-Color Bird first landed right in their front yard. (Part of the front yard actually belonged to their friend, Farmer Fred. You will hear more about Farmer Fred in another story.)

             

            When the Big Every-Color Bird landed, Anna Marie just laughed and said, “Ha, I’ll bet Daddy arranged this.” Garry T. was a bit scared, even if he was five years old, but he would not let anyone see that he was scared. Besides, who could be scared very much when your big, strong, crime-fighter Daddy was right there beside you holding your hand.

             

            The big bird landed with a whump! The ground shook when the BIG EVERY-COLOR BIRD landed because he was heavy, heavy, heavy! The great thing was that the BIG EVERY-COLOR BIRD was a very friendly bird. The BIRD could talk, and dance and sing, even. The bird said that GRANDFATHER had sent him to take Anna Marie and Gary T. for a ride. He said they could ride on his back all the way to the Canadian Rocky Mountains near the city of Calgary. He said they had to get permission from Daddy and from Momma before they could go.

             

            Daddy said they could go, if they were back before supper time. Momma always agreed with Daddy, at least most of the time. Still, everybody knew that Daddy would bend over backwards to show Momma how much he loved her and his children and his parents and his sister. Well, truth be told, Daddy just loved almost everybody. He did not love people who tried to steal things from the churches, the Pope, the President, or businesses or anybody who rightfully owned things or ideas.

             

            So Anna Marie and Gary T. climbed onto the back of the BIG EVERY-COLOR BIRD and off they flew with the wings flapping slowly and sounding out a WHOMP WHOMP! In only minutes they were high over the Canadian Rocky Mountains not far from the city of Calgary, Alberta. Grandfather had friends there, he said. He had told the BIG EVERY-COLOR BIRD that Anna Marie and Gary T. could go to visit his friends. The friends had a small cabin in the mountains. They also had a big house down in Calgary where they lived most of the time. Since it was summer, they stayed up in the cabin as much as they could.

                                      Granddfather’s friends came running out to welcome Anna Marie and Gary T. Grandfather had called to say that they were coming, so the friends welcomed the children to their high mountain place. They talked and laughed and played and sang with the children all afternoon. Then it was four o’clock. The children knew they had to climb back onto the BIG EVERY-COLOR BIRD and so they did. They waved thanks to their new friends in the high place as they flew ever so quickly home. In a few minutes they landed back in their own front yard. There their Aunt Autny was standing beside her big blue SUV. Momma was working on one of her flower beds; the dogs were barking a welcome back and Daddy stood tall with a big smile and holding his arms wide open for a BIG-DADDY hug for the CHILDREN he loved almost more than LIFE itself.

             

            If you liked this story, let us know. Then we can write about when Anna Marie and Gary T. flew to Montreal, Quebec and then to Italy and Africa and Mexico and on and on and on.


            Updated 1/15/17