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FIVE ALIVE

By L. H. Hall


 

FIVE ALIVE

By L. H. Hall

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1 ... The Sea
Chapter 2 ... Aches and Pains
Chapter 3 ... The Cave
Chapter 4 ... Man on the Beach
Chapter 5 ... Fruit
Chapter 6 ... The Journal
Chapter 7 ... Aloe
Chapter 8 ... New Friends
Chapter 9 ... God's Christmas Tree
Chapter 10 ... Sunday School
Chapter 11 ... Hidden Treasure
Chapter 12 ... Swimming Pool
Chapter 13 ... The Dark Night
Chapter 14 ... Workaholic
Chapter 15 ... Christmas
Chapter 16 ... Goats
Chapter 17 ... Julie
Chapter 18 ... The Lookout
Chapter 19 ... Bats
Chapter 20 ... Making Plans
Chapter 21 ... Terraces
Chapter 22 ... Lake Four
Chapter 23 ... The Dolphins
Chapter 24 ... Unhappy Birthday
Chapter 25 ... Homecoming
Chapter 26 ... Disaster
Chapter 27 ... The Handyman
Chapter 28 ... Sarah
Chapter 29 ... The Baby
Chapter 30 ... Debbie
Chapter 31 ... Ridges and Ravines
Chapter 32 ... Growing Up
Chapter 33 ... Trapped
Chapter 34 ... The Big Day
Chapter 35 ... Surprise
Chapter 36 ... Deejay
Chapter 37 ... The Promise
Chapter 38 ... Discovered
Chapter 39 ... Sarah's Ultimatum
Chapter 40 ... Guests
Chapter 41 ... The Wedding

 

Chapter 9

God's Christmas Tree

 

It was nearly bedtime.  The others were playing with their puppies.  I took my puppy, Bruno, and went out to the patio.  I wanted to sit alone in the starlight, and think about our future.  I was hoping God would give me some answers.  I had just jumped up on table rock when Sarah jumped up beside me.  "What are we going to do?"  She asked.

"About what?"

"Our clothes.  We all have holes in our underwear, and Debbie tore a big hole in the front of hers coming back from the trip today."

"I know.  I've been concerned about this ever since I saw your ragged dress that first day and looked at my pants.  I don't know what to do."

"You know, we'll all be worse off than she is in another week."

"I know, and I don't know what to do about it.  I don't know if there is anything we can do about it."

"Does that mean we're going to have to go without clothes."

"I haven't been able to think of any other way, but maybe we can figure something out.  If only those animal skins didn't get so hard and stiff.  There is a way to make them soft.  'Tanning,' I think they call it, but I don't know how to do it."

"I don't either, but, Timmy, what else can we do?"

I've been in some villages in the islands where boys and girls our ages never wear clothes, but we weren't raised that way.  It would be embarrassing.

"It would for me, at first anyway, but I don't think Debbie and Julie would care.  Debbie wanted to take her panties off as soon as she tore them, but I told her to wait."

"I don't think Jamie would care either.  He would probably enjoy it.  He used to always want to take his clothes off."

"I don't think Debbie should be the only one."

"I don't either, but let's hold off as long as we can.  Maybe, we'll figure something out.  Like you said, we all have holes in our underwear.  Hers is just in the wrong place.  Julie's ragged dress was white, wasn't it?"

"Yes.  Why?"

"Why don't you try putting a piece of it inside her underwear over the hole.  Maybe it will stay in place.  That might give us a little longer to figure something out."

"We can try that.  I wish I had a diaper pin."

"Has Jamie been paying a lot of attention to her?"

"I don't think so.  I doubt if he even knows she tore her pants."

"Good.  Send him out here while you fix her up."

“What do you want?" Jamie asked.

"Nothing.  I just wanted you to see how beautiful the stars are tonight.  It kind of reminds you of a big Christmas tree, doesn't it?"

"Yeah!  It does!  It's the biggest Christmas tree ever."

"And it's out here every night for us to look at."

"I never thought of it like that before.  How come you just wanted me to see it, and not the girls."

"Sarah needed to have a few minutes of private time with her sisters.  They can come out and see it in a minute.  Then we need to get ready for bed."

We sat in silence for a minute or two looking into the sky.   My thoughts had drifted to the future, and our survival, when Sarah called, "You boys better come in it's bedtime."

"C'mere," Jamie said.  "Look at the big Christmas tree.   We've got the biggest Christmas tree ever."

"I don't see no Christmas tree," Julie contended.

"Me neither," Debbie concurred

"Just look!"  Jamie pointed at the sky.

"That ain't no Christmas tree.  Those are stars in the sky."  Debbie argued.

"That's God's Christmas tree."  I agreed with Jamie.  "Use your imagination.  Look at all the lights."

"What's a magi--whatever you said?"  Julie wanted to know.

"Imagination?  That's what you, use when your pretending, and playing a game."

"God's big Christmas tree," Sarah pondered.  "I've been wishing we could have a Christmas tree with lots of lights, and God has given us the biggest one ever.  Thank you God for the beautiful Christmas tree."

"I hope Momma and Daddy can see it."  Jamie spoke my own thoughts.

"I hope ours can too."  Sarah choked back a sob, her voice breaking.

"I'm sure they can wherever they are," I assured them.

"If they're not in heaven, they must be having a terrible Christmas," Sarah sighed.

"Why do you say that?"  I asked

"Because if they're still alive, they think we're dead"

"I'll bet they miss us as much as we miss them," Julie stated matter of factly.

"Maybe more," Debbie nodded

"I don't know." I did not think that was possible.  "We miss'em a whole lot.  Why don't we go in and read the Bible, before we all start crying for our folks."

Without a word, my homesick family moved to the firelight in the cave.  I got the Bible, but I did not read.  "I'm going to tell you a story about a boy in the Bible who had it worse than we do."

"Whoever had it worse than we do?"  Jamie sighed.

"His name was Joseph.  He had ten big brothers, a big sister, and a little brother.  His mother was dead, and his ten big brothers hated him, because their dad loved him more than them. 

"One day, when his big brothers were in the fields with the sheep, Joseph's dad sent him to check and make sure everything was all right.  Joseph was wearing a beautiful coat his dad had made for him.  When his big brothers saw him coming, they decided to kill him and tell their dad the wild animals had eaten him.  His oldest brother, who wanted to save Joseph, said, 'Why don't we just throw him in this hole and leave him?  He will die, but we won't have to kill him.'   The oldest brother really intended to come back and save him, but before he could, some merchants from another country came along."

"What's a merchant?"  Julie wanted to know.

"A merchant is somebody who buys and sells things, stupid."  Jamie was upset because Julie had interrupted the story.

"That's enough of that kind of talk, Jamie!"  I reprimanded him.  "Julie is not stupid.  She's just young, and hasn't learned all the words you know.  You owe her an apology."

"I'm sorry, Julie.  I was just getting interested in the story, even if I have heard it before."

"These merchants from another country came by," I continued, "and Joseph's other brothers sold him to them as a slave for twenty pieces of silver.  That's about twenty dollars." 

"Well, these people took Joseph to Egypt, and sold him to somebody else.  His new master liked him, and put him  in  charge of everything in his house.  After a while the master's wife told a big lie on Joseph.  His master was so angry he had Joseph thrown in prison. 

"Joseph hadn't done anything to hurt anybody, but he had been sold as a slave and thrown in prison.  In the same prison were two men who had worked for the king.  They both had dreams, and Joseph told them what they meant."

"Do dreams mean something, Timmy?"  Julie asked. "I have lots of dreams." 

"Everybody has lots of dreams.  Most of them don't mean a thing, but once in a while God tells people things in dreams.  Sometimes they understand what He is saying, and sometimes they don't.  When they don't understand the dream, it bothers them until they find out what it means."

"I don't never have any dreams like that."  Julie admitted

"Me neither," agreed Debbie

"That's because you're little, and God talks to your parents instead of you"  Jamie thought he knew the answer.  "Go on with the story, Timmy

"Joseph told one of the prisoners that in three days the king would take him out of jail, and give him his old job back, and Joseph asked the man to tell the king about him. That is exactly what happened.  The prisoner got out of jail and got his old job back, but he forgot all about Joseph.

"More than two years later, the king had a dream.  It kept bothering him, but nobody could tell him what it meant.  Then the guy remembered Joseph, and told the king how Joseph had told him what his dream meant.  Immediately the king sent for Joseph, and God helped him understand the king's dream.  Joseph told the king what to do about it to save his country.  It was so important, the king made Joseph the ruler of the whole kingdom.  The only person in all of Egypt who didn't have to do what Joseph said was the king, himself.

"Now if God could save Joseph out of slavery and prison and make him ruler of the whole big country of Egypt, don't you think He can save us from this little island, and take us back to our parents?"

"Is that really, and truly, a true story, Timmy?"  Julie asked.

"Yes.  It is.  My momma told me that story." Jamie considered that proof.

"Huh uh!"  That did not prove anything to Debbie.  "It's not really true, is it, Timmy?"

"It's in the Bible, and if it's in the Bible, its true.  Just like it's true, that the dolphins saved you from the sea."

"That part about the dolphins saving us ain't in the Bible."  Debbie said.

"No."  I agreed, "but it could be, if it had happened a long time ago, because it's true.  The dolphins did save us, didn't they?"

"Yes, but they sure hurt.  It still hurts."

"C'mon."  I rose to a kneeling position. "Let's say our prayers."

Another day had ended.  We were all still alive and healthy.  At least we were getting over our injuries, and I saw no reason why we could not survive another day.  We really had much to be thankful for.  I only wished that we could let our loved ones know that we were still alive.  I looked across my little family, and saw Sheba lying there between us and the door.  I relaxed. "Thank you, Lord, for Sheba and her pups who will take care of us, if you leave us here that long.  Please, Lord, send someone to help us, and show me what to do until they come.  And be with Momma and Daddy, and Mr. and Mrs. Jennings.  Let them know that we are all right."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright 1995

By

Leonard H. Hall, Sr.

 

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