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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Marvelous Day
by M. Robbins

Even before 10 year old Casey peeked out from under
the bed covers, he knew the day was going to be more
than just a Saturday. It was the day after his birthday
and he had $20 just waiting to be spent.

“I’m going to make this day marvelous,” Casey said
to himself as he dressed.

“I’ll help you make this a marvelous day,” volunteered
Casey’s older brother, Donald, during breakfast. “You’ll
need help in spending all that money.”

As Casey glared across the table, Donald laughed.
“No, really, I’ll just walk with you to the stores.”

Now Casey really didn’t want his brother to go along,
but Casey knew his mother wouldn’t let him walk
to the shopping mall alone. And since Donald was
almost 14 years of age.......”You can go,” said Casey
grudgingly. “Don’t forget that it’s my money and
I get to say how I spend it.”

So after breakfast, Casey and Donald rushed
to the shopping mall. Neither boy spoke a word.

“I’m going to have a marvelous time with my money,”
thought Casey as his feet crunched the dry winter leaves.

“Maybe I can get him to spend some on me,”
contemplated Donald as he made sure for a change he
didn’t outrun his momentarily rich brother.

The first store they visited was the sports shop. In there
Casey ran his hands around a bright orange basketball.
It felt rough - almost like a kitten’s tongue.

“That’s a special ball,” urged Donald as he thought of
the fun he could have himself.

“But it isn’t marvelous,” stressed Casey as he put
the ball down.

In the hat department, Casey and Donald gazed
at baseball caps. Casey grinned as he imagined himself
wearing a blue Kansas City Royal’s cap.

Oooooo,” said Donald as he fingered a St. Louis Cardinal’s
cap and twirled it around his hand.

“But they’re not marvelous,” argued Casey. He walked on.

As they walked out of the store and continued down the mall,
Donald tried to lead the way.

“Look at that black and white rabbit,” said Donald as he stopped
at the pet store. Then Donald grabbed Casey’s arm and led him
into the store.

Soon Casey found himself looking at the cuddly looking rabbit
as it wrinkled it’s nose. He felt its fur. Not even Casey’s tiny
baby sister’s skin felt as soft. He held the rabbit close against his
shirt. And there for a moment he stood with the rabbit....
heart to heart.

“Here is something marvelous,” Casey found himself thinking.

But the rabbit’s price was marvelous too....$35.

Casey and Donald walked out of the store.

After seeing the rabbit, Casey was in no shopping mood. That is,
until he saw the magic shop.

In there every item was unbelievable.

There were magic wands.

There were vases that disappeared.

There were flowers which reappeared.

And then there were the magic ropes.

Casey like the magic robes. He watched as the store clerk
cut a piece of rope into 3 pieces and then made the 3 pieces
become one again.

“Fascinating!” exclaimed Donald.

“Fascinating?” asked Casey. “That’s simply marvelous!”

Then as Casey reached with one hand for the magic rope, he
reached into his pocket with the other hand. But the $20
was gone! Casey had forgotten to put the money into his pocket.

As both boys walked back home, Donald only said
one thing, “Dumb!”

But Donald repeated that same word all the way back
to their house.

“Oh, I’m so glad you’re home,” greeted their mother as the boys
walked angrily through the kitchen door. “We have a chance
to go to the pastor’s house and eat lunch with a visiting
missionary. Since we don’t have much time, don’t bother
changing clothes.”

Donald walked back outside, but Casey raced up the steps
to his room. Reaching into a birthday card, he brought out
the $20 bill. He tucked it in his shirt pocket.

“Just in case we stop at the mall later,” he explained
to the hidden bill.

At the pastor’s house, Casey politely ate chocolate chip cookies
with his brother and all the grownups. But when the missionary
started doing magic tricks, Casey almost spilled his hot chocolate.

“I didn’t know missionaries had fun....especially with magic
things,” said Casey. “I thought they only preached.”

“Well, I do preach, Casey,” said the missionary. “But kids and
many grownups like to watch magic tricks. So sometimes
I do tricks to get a crowd of people around me. Then I tell them
about Jesus.”

Suddenly Casey had a marvelous idea. Reaching into his pocket,
he brought out his $20. “Could you use this to help tell others
about Jesus?”

As the missionary smiled and accepted the gift, Casey knew
he had done something marvelous. "In fact,” Casey thought,
“today hasn’t been marvelous at all. It’s been a SIMPLY

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Terrible, Terrible Day
by M. Robbins

“Everything about today has been terrible,” moaned Happy as
he sat trembling on a table in the vet’s office waiting the doctor’s
presence. He lifted one paw hesitantly from the table’s smooth
surface as he thought how nice it would be just to jump off and flee
from the room, but Happy placed his paw back on the counter.
“My whole family is here. I just can’t run away.”

Despite his fears, Happy slightly wagged his tail as he looked at
the group surrounding him.

First, there was Mr. Newman. He was a large man who had wide
shoulders but a small waist. His head was strange in that he didn’t
seem to have much hair. What brown hair he did have seemed
to resemble the color of Happy’s own curly hair. Happy didn’t
know yet what Mr. Newman did all day, but Happy knew
Mr. Newman left the house early each morning and came home
smelling like leather footballs.

Next to Mr. Newman stood a lady. Mr. Newman called her
“Marie” and the two kids called her “Mommy.” She had
the length and texture of brown hair which Happy desired:
long, silky, and wavy. Happy didn’t mind that her eyes were
green like a cat’s or that the ring on her left hand had already
been entangled in his fur. She had a way of saying, “Puppy,”
which made him all tingly inside. He did think it was kinda
funny that her waist was a little larger than Mr. Newman’s
waist, but Happy thought it was all right. It helped to cushion
the baby which Mrs. Newman now held in her arms.

Next to her wiggled a boy who wore a “I’m Ten” shirt and
was absent-mindedly fingering a loose tooth while at the same
time trying to untie his sister’s green hair ribbon.

“Ouch!” Amy protested as the ribbon refused to be pulled
away from her hair. Amy swung her arm around and gripped
the hair ribbon which was now snagged in her red curls.
“That hurts, Jason!”

“That’s enough, Jason,” Mr. Newman sternly spoke as he
glimpsed a twinkle in his son’s black eyes. “Amy might be
only nine years old, but remember, you can’t out run her.
Now, if you want to act silly, Jason, you can just sit out there
in the waiting room while the rest of us talk to the vet.”

Jason looked at Happy and slowly placed both hands in his
already stuffed pockets. It wasn’t every day that he got
to show off a new dog.

Happy again wagged his tail as he looked at his newly
acquired family. Three days ago he had been a lonely dog.
He had been longing for someone to love him. He had been
so unhappy that no one cared about him. Now, he had a
family of five now to care what he did and a family to love him.

Yes, the past few days had been wonderful. “But everything about
today has been terrible,” Happy repeated as he relived the present
day’s events.

The day had started off wrong with a car ride. Oh, sure, the ride
had been a joyous affair for Amy and Jason, but Happy had been
terrified by every minute. While they sang songs like, “Jesus Loves
Me,” Happy could hardly breathe. Each second in the car had
only reminded him of the other time he had been out for a car
ride. That car ride had left him standing lonely beside a
busy street.

Happy shuttered again at the though of that “other” car ride. Then
he walked slowly across the examination table and licked
Mr. Newman’s left hand which rested upon the counter top.
“This man is different. He would never leave me. He loves me.”

Then Happy’s brown eyes gazed at the blue colored leash which
Mrs. Newman held. That was another of today’s terrible things.
One part of the leash was in her right hand and the other end
was attached to something which encircled Happy’s neck.
The thing around his neck felt tight and somehow kept him
from moving too fast and too far.

Happy knew he had been wearing it for only about 40 minutes,
but he already hated the thing. “I can’t even see the thing,”
Happy wanted to wail.

“It’s a funny feeling....being happy and scared at the same time.
Yet, that is just the way I feel,” Happy thought to himself. Then
the door opened and that was really all Happy officially
remembered in sequence.

Somehow his mind got muddled at the sight of the doctor entering
the room and the events became fuzzy.

Happy knew when he was being poked...but for how long?

He remembered his mouth being closed by the doctor, but Happy
didn’t actually remember his mouth being opened.

He remembered hearing the words, “Nice doggy. Pretty....,” but
Happy didn’t hear what came after the word “pretty.”

Fortunately, the examination was quickly over and Happy felt
himself being taken off the table. Jason carried him outside and
gently began whispering in Happy’s ear. Happy didn’t catch
the first sentence or two which Jason spoke, but Happy heard
what he considered to be the most important words in the
world, “I love you, Puppy.”

Then Jason said them again, “I love you, Puppy.”

The ride back home went fast. In the front seat, Mr. and
Mrs. Newman spoke of worm pills, obedience training, and dog

In the back seat, Amy retied her hair ribbon and Jason sang a song
he had composed for the occasion of owning a new dog.

“Oh, my Puppy,
Oh, my Puppy,
Oh, my Puppy, Puppy dog,
How I love you,
How I love you,
How I love you,
Puppy dog.”

In a queer way, the car ride ended too quickly and they
were home. The door opened and Happy was led into
the back gate. Amy gently took his leash, blew him a kiss
and ran into the house, her green ribbon falling off onto
the ground.

Jason rubbed Happy’s hair against the grain three or
four times and ran after Amy, tucking her ribbon into
his pocket.

Mr. Newman parked the car in the garage and walked
out carrying a gray trash can.

Mrs. Newman walked into the house with the baby. But she did
promise Happy “something special for being such a good dog.”

Happy wearily sank onto the ground. He was dizzy with
the emotional happenings of the day. He was too tired to think
anything clearly. He looked at Reddy as the Irish setter walked
up to sniff him. Then Happy closed his eyes and slept.

Reddy stood watch over his new friend. The sounds of dinner
plates being carried into the Newman’s dining room and being
placed on the table brought Red’s ears up, but he continued
to stand guard. The delicious smell of baked chicken made
Red’s stomach rumble, but he didn’t move. His friend needed

Finally, Happy moved and opened his eyes. He shook his
head once to see if the thing the Newmans had called a
“collar” had disappeared while he slept. But it definitely
hadn’t budged. Happy sighed and looked at Reddy.

“Reddy, why has today been such a terrible, terrible day?
I mean, I didn’t know being loved could bring about such
dreadful happenings!”

Reddy slowly licked his left, front paw as he thought about
Happy’s question and wondered how he should answer.
Suddenly Reddy found himself questioning Happy. “Do
you really, really think that today has been terrible?”

“Do you really think the car ride, getting that collar placed
around your neck, and the visit to the vet has been so
terrible? You don’t understand. All those things have been
wonderful! You need to see them as being marks of love.”

“Marks of love? I was scared and this collar is still trying
to keep me from breathing. If the Newmans love me so
much, I don’t see why today even had to be,” pouted Happy.

“Now, listen, Happy,” Red sternly spoke.

“The collar shows you belong to the Newmans. It will help
identify you if you should ever get lost.”

“The visit to the doctor was meant to make sure you are well
and will stay well.”

“And the ride in the car,” Red hesitated. “Well, it was just
something you had to endure. What you have to understand
is that you belong to someone now and that love has to act
now and then.”

Happy had never heard of such things. “You mean I went
through all this because I’m loved?” he asked Reddy for

“Yeap,” Reddy said. “If you weren’t loved you would be roaming
the neighborhood without a collar around your neck and without
anyone to give you hugs and kisses.

Just then, the backdoor opened and out rushed Amy and Jason.

‘Hey!” yelled Amy, “I bet our new Puppy would like to go for a
walk around the neighborhood. I’ll go back and get the leash.”

“Jason,” called Mrs. Newman as she stood just inside the
back door, “go ahead and take Reddy with you.”

With the sound of those words, both dogs rushed to the gate.

And Happy began to think that his terrible day was now just great!
Happy Gets a Home
by M. Robbins

Happy, a homeless curly hair dog, was the envy of all the dogs
in his neighborhood who had masters.

Happy could jump in the air after butterflies without anyone
telling him he looked silly.

He could chase squirrels around tree trunks without hearing
a voice yelling after him to leave the poor things alone.

He could even lie down for a long nap in Hazel Brown’s petunia
bed if he wanted, though Hazel Brown did usually yell at him.

Yes, Happy was the envy of all the dogs in the neighborhood and
he should have been happy; but Happy wasn’t.

Whenever Happy saw Mrs. Crockett leave her house with her
poodle, Pal, tucked underneath her arm, Happy wished he was
tucked under Mrs. Crockett’s other arm.

When Mr. Jones took his English setter, Frisky, out on a leash
each evening for a walk, Happy wished he was walking on the
other side of Mr. Jones.

And whenever the sky would grow dark and it would start to
thunder, Happy certainly wished he could run into the safety
of Tina Sampson’s house with Jonathan, Mrs. Sampson’s
German shepherd puppy.

And though Happy tried to remember to look both ways
before he crossed the congested street, he wished Mr. Smith
would grow as pale as Mr. Smith did when Rocket, his boxer,
frolicked too close to the highway.

There was no doubt about it, Happy was not happy and he
envied the other dogs. They had masters and homes; he did not.

On his rounds in the neighborhood one day, Happy greeted a
newcomer into the neighborhood. “Hi! My name is Happy,”
he said as he tried to sniff noses with the Irish setter who
was standing behind a white picket fence.

The newcomer eagerly pushed forward his head. “My name is
Reddy, but everyone calls me ‘Red.’ I am new on the block and
haven’t met any of the dogs. You’re my first friend here.”

Red peered between the gaps of the picket fence to look at
the houses in the neighborhood. “I bet you live in the green house
right across the street, though I am surprised that you are allowed
to cross such a busy street.”

Happy sadly looked down. “No,” he said, “that’s not my home.”
Then he wagged his tail. “Though I don’t live there, the people
who live there have a neat yard. I usually sleep on the grassy
slope beside their house.”

Red cocked one of his silky ears. “Surely you don’t live two doors
down on this side of the street, do you? I didn’t think they owned
a dog.”

Happy laid down this time and said nothing for a long minute.
Then he quietly spoke. “No, that’s not my house, but I wish it
were. The people in that house try to regularly feed me, but they
rent the house and their landlord won’t let them have pets. I’m
afraid that I’m just a homeless dog,” Happy sighed. “Oh, how I
wish I had a nice master who loved me!” Happy turned his head
as he started to cry.

And then it happened! As thunder rumbled through the air,
Happy heard the unfamiliar voice of Red’s master.

“Red, you had better come in. It's really going to rain and you
know how frightened you get when...,” Reddy’s master stopped
speaking as he saw Happy sitting on the other side of the fence.

Love, hope and disappointment can exist in the same moment
and this was such a time. Happy held his breath as Mr. Newman’s
large hand squeezed through the fence and touched Happy’s
curly hair. As Mr. Newman’s fingers searched for the non-existent
collar, Happy trembled, and as Mr. Newman stood and walked a
way, Happy hesitantly backed up. “Surely I’ve missed another
chance to have a home,” Happy thought sadly.

Then it happened! Suddenly Happy found the picket gate opened
and found himself surrounded and being petted by a young girl and boy.

Happy looked up into their faces and threw back his head in a
half howling - half barking voice. He was so glad to feel their hands
on his fur.

Mr. Newman laughed at Happy’s excitement; then he placed his
hands into his children’s hands and said simply, “Kids, I think
God has sent us another dog to love.”