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“Good morning, Pumpkin!” said Jessie’s dad as Jessie sat down at the table.
“Good (y-a-w-n) morning, Daddy,” said Jessie as she peered at him through sleepy eyes.
“Would you please pass me the butter?” he asked.
Jessie passed the butter to her dad. “Huh? What’s this in the butter?” he asked as he looked more closely at it.
“What do you mean, Dear?” Jessie’s mom came over to look at the butter, too.
Jessie smiled. Her parents looked kind of silly staring at the butter. She was about to laugh when Mom turned and said, “Jessie!”
“What?” Jessie replied. She had no idea what was wrong with the butter.
“Guess who’s been licking the butter?” asked Dad. “I’ll give you a hint: he leaves paw prints.”
“Oh no!” Jessie gasped. “Did Mr. Freckles eat the butter again?”
“It sure looks that way,” said Mom as she opened the refrigerator for some fresh butter.
Just then Jessie’s cat came trotting through the kitchen. Jessie picked him up and took him into the other room. “You’re going to get us both in big trouble,” she said as she put him down on a chair.
Jessie was worried. What if her parents got tired of her cat and told her to get rid of him? That would be awful. She loved Freckles—he was her very own kitty. “I’ll just have to make sure he doesn’t get into anything ever again,” she thought.
Later, as Jessie walked down the hall, she heard a strange scratching sound. She peered into her parents’ room. “Oh no! Freckles, stop that!” Jessie ran into the room.
There was Freckles sitting on her parents’ bed scratching at the flowers on the pillows. Jessie heard her mom coming, so she quickly threw a blanket over the cat. His little head bobbed around underneath.
“Stop wriggling,” she whispered and sat down on the bed beside him trying to hide the bump he made in the blanket.
Mom was surprised to see Jessie sitting on her bed. “What are you doing?” she asked.
“I’m just, um, sitting here. I like your bed, and the pillows are pretty,” said Jessie.
“Mew!” Freckles cried.
Jessie coughed, trying to hide Freckles’ meows. Suddenly, to her horror, the bump under the blanket started to move again. Jessie dove over to the other side of the bed to block Freckles from escaping.
“Hmm. You sure are acting strange today, Jessie,” Mom said as she left the room.
Freckles skittered to the end of the bed and popped out from under the blanket. He jumped down and ran from the room as fast as he could go.
Jessie gave a sigh of relief. “Whew! I didn’t really lie,” she told herself. “At least Freckles isn’t in trouble again.”
And that was just the beginning. All week long, Jessie tried to keep Freckles out of trouble. He dug up flowers in Mom’s flower bed, he made claw marks in the curtains, he knocked over his water dish, and he even ate part of Jessie’s cupcake! But each time, Jessie found it easier and easier to tell her mom she didn’t know what happened.
Jessie felt bad for not telling the truth. “It must be okay,” she said to herself, “since I’m only doing it to keep Freckles safe—and that’s a good thing . . . right?”
Finally, at the end of the week, Jessie’s family sat at the dinner table. Dad opened his Bible and read how Jacob tricked Isaac and lied to get the blessing God had promised. Then Dad said, “So Jessie, what do you think?”
Jessie looked up from her chocolate pudding. “Huh?”
“What do you think of Jacob? Was it right for him to lie and trick his dad?”
“No, that’s sin,” said Jessie.
“You’re right, but is lying always wrong?”
“What if we lie for a good reason?” Mom asked. “Jacob was only trying to get something that God said should be his.”
“What do you think, Jessie?” Dad asked again. “Is it okay to lie when we’ve got a good reason?”
Jessie thought for a minute. “No, I think Jacob was wrong ‘cause God doesn’t want us to ever lie.” She smiled proudly.
“So you don’t believe God wants us to lie for any reason?” Dad asked. “OK. I’ll be right back.”
Jessie’s dad went into the other room. A moment later, he walked back into the kitchen.
“Meow,” said Freckles as he sat in Dad’s arms.
“So Jessie,” Dad said, “is Freckles a good enough reason to lie?”
Jessie’s eyes got big. She knew she had lied about the things Freckles did, not just once but many times that week. “I’m sorry I lied. I was afraid you might get mad at Freckles and give him away,” Jessie explained.
“You don’t have to be afraid.” Dad rubbed the cat’s soft fur. “We know you love Freckles, and we certainly don’t want you to lie about what he’s done. Cats always get into things. That’s just part of their nature.”
“We can all do better at putting things away,” said Mom, “so he can’t chew on them or tear them or break them.”
Jessie pointed to the butter still on the table. “Or lick them,” she added.
“Or lick them,” agreed Mom as she put the butter away.
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.