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“Have a fun time!” Traci, the babysitter, called as she closed the door behind Justin’s and Jessie’s parents. “Well,” said Traci, turning to the kids, “let’s eat dinner, and then we can play games.”
Justin and Jessie both grinned. They liked Traci. She was a teenage friend from church. Tonight was the first time they had a babysitter together.
They all tromped into the kitchen, and Traci put Ellie in her high chair. “Ooh, yum, pizza tonight,” Traci said as she put the pizza box on the table. They were all ready to eat when the phone rang, and Traci ran to answer it.
Justin and Jessie munched on their pizza. Suddenly, Jessie got an idea. “Let’s play a trick on Traci,” she giggled. “I’m going to hide her pizza.” She grabbed Traci’s plate and stuck it in the refrigerator.
After a few minutes, Traci came back and sat down. “Huh? Where’s my pizza?” she asked. “Where are you pizza? Here pizza, pizza,” she said in a sing-songy voice as she searched the kitchen.
Justin and Jessie laughed as they watched Traci hunt for her dinner. Ellie pointed to the refrigerator shouting, “Pizza there! In the fwidge.”
“Ah ha!” Traci exclaimed as she opened the refrigerator door. “Well, I like cold pizza, too,” she said as she bit into the chilled pepperoni.
They gobbled down the pizza then went into the family room to play games. “Oops, you dropped your cards, Ellie!” Traci crawled under the table to pick them up.
Jessie poked Justin and pointed at Traci’s game piece. They both snickered as Justin moved Traci’s piece back to Start. Traci sat back in her chair. “There, now where was—hey! What?” She stared at her game piece suspiciously. The kids laughed as Traci tried to remember where her piece had been.
After two games, Ellie gave a big, noisy yawn. “Whoa! Ellie, it’s time for pajamas,” Traci said as she carried Ellie upstairs to put her to bed.
Justin and Jessie put the game away. “It sure was funny playing tricks on Traci. Now what?” asked Jessie.
“I know!” said Justin. “We could hide outside in my fort!”
“Yeah, that will be the best trick ever!” Jessie agreed.
“Let’s go!” said Justin as he led the way out the back door. The sun was just setting, but they could still see their way up the ladder into the fort.
Jessie crawled in and sat down. “Do you think she’ll find us?” she asked.
“I don’t know. It would be funny if she can’t though,” Justin replied.
“I think my mom would be mad if she couldn’t find me,” said Jessie.
“My mom would get mad, too,” said Justin. “But Traci’s not our mom, so it’ll be funny.”
In the house, Traci laid Ellie down in her bed. “Night, night, Ellie,” she said. Ellie yawned and hugged her stuffed bear as Traci headed downstairs.
“Yoo-hoo!” she called out to Justin and Jessie. “Where are you?” Traci looked in the family room, the kitchen, and behind the couch. “Hey, guys? Are you playing hide and seek?” She searched all around the house, even in the closets. “Where could they be?” Traci was getting nervous.
As Traci hunted around the house again, she heard a voice calling, “Hello? We’re home!”
Traci gulped and whispered, “Oh no! Their parents are home—and I’ve lost their kids!”
“Hi, Traci, how’d it go?” asked Justin’s dad as Traci timidly greeted them.
“Okay, until I came downstairs from putting Ellie to bed,” Traci said. “I can’t find Justin and Jessie.” Tears trickled down her cheeks as she told them how she had looked all over the house—twice!
“Maybe they hid outside for a joke or something,” Jessie’s dad suggested. “Let’s look out back.” Traci and the two dads headed for the door while the moms searched around the house, calling the kids’ names.
Justin and Jessie peeked out the window in the fort. “She’s coming,” Jessie giggled as they watched the back door of the house open. They scrunched down in the fort trying not to laugh out loud, until they heard a voice calling—but it wasn’t Traci’s voice.
“It’s my dad!” Jessie gasped.
“What are you two doing out here in the dark?” Justin’s dad shined a flashlight into the fort. “Come down from there.”
When they all came back into the house, the kids were surprised to see Traci’s red eyes and streaky makeup. “What happened?” they asked.
“I was really worried about you,” explained Traci. “I was responsible for you, but I didn’t know where you were or if you were okay.”
“When we left you here with Traci, we gave her authority to watch over you. We expected you to obey and respect her,” Jessie’s dad explained.
“Yes,” said Justin’s mom. “Traci was in charge. Just because she’s not me or Dad doesn’t mean you can disobey the rules. You two know not to go outside at night without an adult.”
“We’re sorry,” said Justin and Jessie together.
“I guess we really bungled it up,” Justin said sadly. “We were just trying to have fun with Traci.”
“Having fun isn’t bad. But you must remember to respect the person in charge, whether it’s me, Mom, a teacher, or Traci,” said Justin’s dad.
The kids looked at Traci. “We’re sorry. Will you forgive us, Traci? We like you, and we didn’t mean to scare you.”
Traci forgave Justin and Jessie and gave them big hugs. “Okay,” she said. “But next time, if you want to play outside in the fort, let me go with you.”
“We will,” Justin and Jessie agreed. “And we won’t bungle it up next time. We promise!”
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.