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Bruno woke 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.
"Lord," I 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 the flame.
After a few minutes, she saw me looking at her. "What are you looking at? Is something wrong with me?" she asked.
"No, Sarah, I was just wondering what you were thinking about. You look so serious."
"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."
"School? Who will teach us?"
"We'll teach 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."
"That's all the words a person knows the meaning of well enough to use them in a conversation. Everybody has his own vocabulary."
"I guess, that means everybody's vocabulary is different."
"I guess 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?"
"If I 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?"
"Yeah, I 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?"
"That's why 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'm sorry. 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."
"I hope you're wrong."
"So do I! The meat will soon be done. You and the others better be getting ready."
"C'mon, kids. Lets take our baths, and get ready for breakfast." Sarah led the way to the stream.
"C'mon 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."
"Who'll teach us?" Jamie came to the table rock.
"Maybe we'll teach each other, or maybe Julie can teach us. How would you like that, Julie?"
"I don't know how, Silly," she laughed. "You have to."
"I don't know how either."
"Yes, you 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 up?"
"Maybe. I might be a missionary like my dad."
After 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.
"Then your soul will go to hell and burn forever and ever." Sarah supplied the standard answer.
"I don't 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."
"Ooooh, I wouldn't want to go there!" Debbie exclaimed.
"Me neither!" Julie agreed. "I'd be so scared. I wouldn't ever stop crying."
"Then you 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 told her.
"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 thought.
"I love Him, and I want him to come into my heart," declared Debbie.
"Me too," Julie agreed.
"How about you, Sarah?" I asked. "Have you ever asked Jesus to come into your life."
"No, but I want to."
"Let's all 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."
"What's the bottom of my heart, Timmy?" Julie asked.
"That's when you really, really, really mean something, like when you say you want your mommy and daddy." I answered.
"Does it have to hurt that much?"
"No, but you have to mean it that much. Okay?"
"Okay," they all agreed.
"Okay, let's 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.
"He was beaten, and died on the cross so you can live forever with Him."
"Okay," she 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--"
"If there's room," Julie added.
"I want to be your child--and live the way you want me to forever and ever--In Jesus' name, Amen.
"Oh!" Sarah 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."
"Me too," Julie agreed.
"And so did I!" Debbie agreed also.
"That was 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 hear you."
"How about you, Jamie?" Debbie asked.
"Oh, I always feel warm inside when I say a prayer like that, but it was better the first time. I did that last year."
"That's 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 questions."
"How can a big man like Jesus fit in my little heart?" Julie wondered.
"It's His 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."
"I'll let Him, I always want to feel like this," Julie said, and the others agreed.
After the 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.
Debbie was waiting for me on the edge of the patio, crying, when we returned. "Timmy, do I gotta wear these ragged panties any more."
"What did Sarah say?"
"She said I hadda ask you."
"You don't 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."
She was 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."
"God just 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 back on."
"Jamie," I went to the table rock. "Come with me. I need your help."
"What are we gonna do?"
"We're going 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 them."
A moment later she returned with the pencil. "Debbie ain't got nothin' on. Can I take my clothes off too?"
"You 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 ones."
"Will you make me some too, Timmy?" She asked.
"We'll see 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.
"Here, 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.
Copyright © 1995
Leonard H. Hall, Sr.
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