by L. H. Hall
me shortly after dawn. He was playfully biting on my hand. I put
my arm around him, and told him to go back to sleep, but he wanted
to play. He would not be satisfied until I got up. Breakfast was
in its usual place, waiting to be cleaned.
My leg was a
little stiff and sore, but it was so much better. It seemed like a
miracle. I took care of the morning necessities, and lay down for a
few minutes in the stream, letting the water flow over me and
cleanse my wound.
relaxed in the stream. "This is your day. Lead me, and guide me.
Help me make the right decisions today. We ought to be in Sunday
school, but we don't have one to go to. We'll have our own, but
that won't be the same. Protect us through the day, and keep us
safe. If you will help me, I'll take care of the others. I'll
teach them your word, and lead them in the right direction, but I
can't do it without you."
By the time
the meat was on the spit over the fire, the puppies had the others
up playing with them. I watched them. The three younger ones were
playing with the puppies like normal kids. They did not seem to
have a care in the world. Sarah was pensively stroking Prince. Her
mind was not on the dog. There were no tears; so, she could not be
thinking about her home. Her face wore a very serious expression.
I finally decided that she was trying to see into the future, and
what was in store for us. I did not speak. I just watched her, as
I stood by the fire, slowly turning the spit that held the meat over
After a few
minutes, she saw me looking at her. "What are you looking at? Is
something wrong with me?" she asked.
I was just wondering what you were thinking about. You look so
"I was just
wondering how long we can survive."
"At least as
long as Sheba lives, and is able to hunt for us or even longer. We
can probably survive here until we are old and gray, if we have to.
It'll get easier as time goes by. Sheba will probably teach the
pups to hunt for us, but if she doesn't, we can live on fruit and
vegies. When we get a little more used to the sun, we will explore
the whole island. I can't imagine there being a better place on the
island to live, but, who knows? we might find one. We also have to
start having school."
Who will teach us?"
each other. I know we can't teach something we don't know, but I
read pretty well, and so do you. We need to practice reading
everyday, so we don't forget. Each of us can look up a new word in
the dictionary each day, and teach it to the others. We'll learn
thirty new words every week. Then we have to practice all the new
words, so they will become part of our vocabulary."
the words a person knows the meaning of well enough to use them in a
conversation. Everybody has his own vocabulary."
that means everybody's vocabulary is different."
so," I continued. "I can add and subtract, and I know a little bit
about multiplying and dividing. We can teach each other everything
we know and practice it. If we don't do this, and we have to stay
here very long, we'll be dummies when we get back to civilization."
"Why do you
always talk about staying here a long time?"
promised you a ship would come by next week, and it didn't come, you
would be disappointed, and be mad at me for lying, wouldn't you?"
guess I would."
"If we plan
to be here until we're old and gray, and a ship comes for us
tomorrow, we'll be happy and nothing will be lost, will it?"
I think about being here forever, and pray that we will be found
today. That way we're not disappointed. We have to live one day at
a time, expecting to grow old right here, but hoping to leave before
the sun goes down. Right?"
"I guess so,
but you aren't very encouraging."
I'd rather be honest than encouraging. Have you seen any planes or
ships since we've been here."
"I may be
wrong. We've only been here four days, but I don't think any go by
here on a regular basis. When we get up to the lookout at the top
of the mountain, we might see some, but if we do, how will we let
them know we are here? We can't. If they had search planes looking
for us, they've probably stopped searching by now."
"So do I!
The meat will soon be done. You and the others better be getting
kids. Lets take our baths, and get ready for breakfast." Sarah led
the way to the stream.
breakfast is ready." I cut the meat into pieces after they had been
in the water several minutes. "This is Sunday. After breakfast we
are going to have Sunday school."
teach us?" Jamie came to the table rock.
teach each other, or maybe Julie can teach us. How would you like
know how, Silly," she laughed. "You have to."
know how either."
do. You teach us every day." Debbie argued.
"You do a
good job too," Sarah affirmed. "I never knew a boy who knows so
much about the Bible. Are you going to be a preacher when you grow
might be a missionary like my dad."
breakfast we settled on the patio for Sunday school. We sang a
verse of a couple songs we all knew, Jesus Loves me, and
Amazing Grace. Then, Jamie and I taught the girls, Jesus
Loves the Little Children. After that, I read John
three-sixteen, and told them the story of Jesus. I told them how he
was born, lived and died, so that if we believed in Him, we could
live with Him forever in heaven. Julie had a little trouble
understanding how people could die and still live forever. I
explained that when we die, it's just our bodies that die. Our
souls, the part that makes us see, hear and think, and the part that
makes our bodies move, goes to heaven to be with Jesus forever. She
was a little confused, but she accepted it. Debbie wanted to know
what happens if we do not believe in Jesus.
soul will go to hell and burn forever and ever." Sarah supplied the
know about that, for sure," I continued. My dad says the Bible says
that some people will live in outer darkness. That means that it
will be darker and quieter than you can imagine. You can yell as
loudly as you can, and won't even be able to hear yourself. Dad
says the Bible doesn't say anything about not being able to hear,
but he thinks that's what outer darkness is like. People there will
be all alone forever, and ever, and ever, and never have anyone to
see or talk to."
wouldn't want to go there!" Debbie exclaimed.
neither!" Julie agreed. "I'd be so scared. I wouldn't ever stop
have to believe in Jesus, be sorry for all the bad things you ever
did, and ask Him to forgive you and come into your heart," Jamie
"But I don't
think it works if you do it just because you're scared. You have to
really love Jesus because he did so much for you," I continued his
"I love Him,
and I want him to come into my heart," declared Debbie.
you, Sarah?" I asked. "Have you ever asked Jesus to come into your
"No, but I
get on our knees, and hold hands like we do at night. I'll say a
prayer very slow, and you think about what I say for just a second.
If you can say that, and mean it, then you say it. Then I'll say
some more, and you say that, until we get all done. If you say
something you don't mean, it won't do you any good, so make sure you
mean everything you say from the bottom of your heart."
bottom of my heart, Timmy?" Julie asked.
you really, really, really mean something, like when you say you
want your mommy and daddy." I answered.
have to hurt that much?"
"No, but you
have to mean it that much. Okay?"
begin." I prayed, "Lord Jesus, I believe in you--I thank you for
doing all those things for me--"
"What did He
do for me, Timmy?" Julie interrupted.
beaten, and died on the cross so you can live forever with Him."
said. "I thank you for doing all that stuff for me, but I'm sorry
they beated you and killeded you."
"I love you
for what you did--" I continued. "I'm sorry for all the bad things
I've done--and I ask you to forgive me-- and come into my heart--"
room," Julie added.
"I want to
be your child--and live the way you want me to forever and ever--In
Jesus' name, Amen.
exclaimed after we finished. "When I said that part about Him
coming into my heart, I got goose pimples all over me, and something
warm went all through me. I feel so good."
"And so did
I!" Debbie agreed also.
Jesus' spirit going into you." I explained. "Now He lives inside of
you. You can just think a prayer anytime you want to, and he will
you, Jamie?" Debbie asked.
always feel warm inside when I say a prayer like that, but it was
better the first time. I did that last year."
because we get used to Him being there. At first it's something
new. We pay more attention to it. Later we know He is there, but
we don't think about it all the time, unless we pray," I told
them. "I guess Sunday school is over, unless you have some
"How can a
big man like Jesus fit in my little heart?" Julie wondered.
spirit that is in you. When we talk about your heart, we mean He is
everywhere in you from the top of your head to the bottom of your
feet. And, when you grow, He will grow in you, so he will always
fill you up if you'll let him."
Him, I always want to feel like this," Julie said, and the others
service Sheba, Bruno and I went into the jungle to see what we could
find to eat. We found some air potatoes, and a couple pineapples.
We had only had one pineapple, and I was sure the kids would be glad
to see them.
waiting for me on the edge of the patio, crying, when we returned.
"Timmy, do I gotta wear these ragged panties any more."
"She said I
hadda ask you."
want to run around naked, do you? Jamie and I will see you."
"You can see
me anyway. Look at that big hole, and the rag won't stay in place;
and there's more holes, besides."
right. The panties were not hiding much. "Lord, what do I do?" I
was about to tell her to throw them away, when, suddenly, I got an
idea. "Thank you, Lord."
gave me an idea, Debbie. Come with me." I led her to the cave. I
picked up the dead man's coveralls and the machete. "Give me your
panties and stay in here for a few minutes. I'll see if I can't fix
you something to wear. I promise you'll never have to put these
went to the table rock. "Come with me. I need your help."
"What are we
to try to make Debbie something to wear."
I cut the
sides of the band; so what was left of the panties would lay out
flat in an hour glass shape. Then I slit one leg of the coveralls,
and laid the panties on it for a pattern. "Julie," I called, "will
you run into the cave and get me a pencil. You know where I keep
later she returned with the pencil. "Debbie ain't got nothin' on.
Can I take my clothes off too?"
wouldn't want to do that. Us boys would see you." I accepted the
pencil. "Debbie isn't wearing hers because I am making her some new
make me some too, Timmy?" She asked.
how Debbie's turn out. Then I'll decide whether to make some for
the rest of us." Jamie held the pattern while I drew around it.
Then I sharpened the point of the Machete on the rock and cut out
the pattern, leaving a strip about an inch wide and six inches long
on each corner.
Sarah, will you take this in and put it on her? I think this is the
front. Put it on and tie the sides together."
In just a
few minutes Debbie came out sporting a new garment. "I hope it will
last longer than the others did." I was satisfied. By lunch time we
were dressed in uniform, and each of us had an extra. At least that
problem was solved for the time being.
Leonard H. Hall, Sr.