Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page Story

Written by Mrs. Doreen Tamminga
ÒLook, Tom! Look!Ó Pauline called excitedly from the window.

ÒWhat?Ó Tom asked in a bored voice. His sister was always calling him to come look at things.

ÒCome quick!Ó Pauline cried as a truck door slammed outside. ÒDadÕs got a puppy with him!Ó She dashed out of the door to meet Dad.

ÒA what?Ó Tom called after her. Had she said puppy? He threw down the Lego airplane he was working on and ran to the back door. Sure enough, into the laundry room came Dad with a dirty pup wriggling in his arms.

ÒWhere did he come from? Whose is it? Is he for us? HeÕs so dirty!Ó Pauline and Tom both spoke at once.

ÒFound him nosing along the creek in the back field. DonÕt rightly know where heÕs from,Ó Dad answered. ÒCould be heÕs one of JeffersonÕs pups; his dog had a litter a while back. IÕll give him a call and find out.Ó Dad tucked the pup under one arm and shrugged off his coat. ÒCouldnÕt rightly leave the little feller out there. Here, Tom, why donÕt you see what a rag and a little warm water can do to clean him up.Ó

Dad handed the wriggling pup to Tom and headed for the kitchen to phone Jefferson. Pauline began filling a low bucket with warm water. ÒHe might not like this, Tom,Ó she warned, as Tom lowered the struggling pup into the water. And he didnÕt! As soon as the puppy touched the water, he began to leap and squirm, sending water all over the floor, drenching TomÕs legs.

ÒSit still, you wildcat!Ó Tom begged through clenched teeth. ÒYouÕre making a mess!Ó He held tightly to the warm lively body, now dripping wet, as Pauline sloshed a wet rag over his dirt-matted fur.

ÒThere, youÕre almost clean,Ó Pauline said, when with a sudden twist and jump the pup escaped TomÕs hands and leaped out of the bucket. Like a mad thing he tore around and around the laundry room, tumbling over the shoe rack, skidding through the dirty laundry, and sending water everywhere. Pauline and Tom could only jump out of his way and rescue the bucket of water from his path.

At last the pup stopped and stood trembling and panting by the door. Just then Dad returned. He looked at the mess: shoes everywhere, laundry everywhere, water everywhere. At last he said, ÒItÕs one of JeffersonÕs pups, all right. We can keep him if we want. This pup kept running away on him and at last he gave up on him.Ó Dad looked at TomÕs dripping pants, ÒYou sure you want him, Tom and Pauline?Ó

ÒI donÕt think he wants us,Ó Pauline said doubtfully.

ÒBut I want him,Ó Tom answered. ÒWeÕll keep him.Ó

Later that afternoon Tom fed the pup a little dog food. He was so hungry that he gobbled up the food in moments. But when Tom reached for the bowl to fill it again, the little pup growled at him and tried to nip his hand. Frustrated, Tom got another bowl and filled it with more dog food before setting it down. Hungrily the little pup ate all that too, then lapping up some water from his bowl, turned his back on Tom and lay down near the door.

After supper Tom went over to the puppy and tried to coax him up to play with a rubber ball. The pup showed no interest, however, and showed his little white teeth in a growl when Tom tried to pet him.

That night Tom went to bed feeling disappointed. He had done everything he could think of to make the puppy happy. Before turning off TomÕs light, Dad came in and sat on his bed. ÒHeÕs not a very friendly little guy, is he?Ó Dad said referring to the puppy.

ÒI guess not,Ó Tom said. ÒBut whyÕs he got to be so mean? I gave him food and water, and we cleaned him, and I only wanted to play with him, and all he does is growl at me and try to bite me. WhatÕs the point of being nice? How would he have liked it if we just left him at the creek instead of taking care of him? ItÕs not fair. I wanted a pup so bad, and we took good care of him, and he doesnÕt even like me!Ó

ÒThat does seem hard,Ó Dad agreed. ÒStill, I think your pup is just a little scared. HeÕs been hungry and alone out there, and everythingÕs new to him. Give him a few days. HeÕll come around. Soon you wonÕt know what you ever did without him!Ó Dad got up to close the curtains.

ÒI hope so,Ó Tom sighed, ÒÕcause I sure donÕt like it. When youÕre nice to someone, you expect them to be nice to you.Ó

ÒYeah, I know what you mean,Ó Dad said, sitting back down on the bed. He went on, ÒWhen weÕre kind to others, we expect them to be kind and thankful to us. And it hurts if they donÕt. But it reminds me of what we read tonight at suppertime: the story of the servant that owed his master lots of money. Remember how he was going to be taken to jail, but he begged his master to give him more time to pay the money?Ó

ÒYeah,Ó said Tom, Òand then his master forgave him and he didnÕt have to pay any of the money.Ó

ÒThatÕs right,Ó Dad said, Òso you would think that now he would be thankful and kind to other people. But what did he go and do?Ó

Tom thought a moment. ÒHe went and found another servant that owed him money and said if he didnÕt pay right away, heÕd throw him in jail. He was a mean guy. Is that what you meant about the puppy? That we were nice to him and heÕs just mean back to us?Ó

ÒYeah, that does sound like the puppy right now,Ó Dad said, Òbut I was thinking more that we often act like that too. WeÕre so disappointed when someoneÕs unthankful to us, but we do it all the time to God. God gives us so many good things and we donÕt show any thankfulness to Him.Ó Dad stood and pulled the covers up over Tom. ÒHow do you figure we can thank God for His blessings?Ó

ÒWe can tell Him weÕre thankful when we pray,Ó Tom said.

ÒThatÕs right,Ó Dad said stopping in the doorway. ÒGoodnight, Tom. Before you turn out that light, why donÕt you look up Psalm 66 and see what else we should do when GodÕs been so good to us?Ó

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