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“Welcome to the McPherson Farm! I’m Mrs. McPherson,” a gray-haired lady introduced herself. “And who are these fine young people?”
“I’m Justin, and I love your farm!”
“I’m Jessie, and it’s my first time here. I can’t wait to pick strawberries!” Jessie added.
“I Ellie, and I wuv stwawbewies!” said Ellie, Justin’s little sister. Justin’s parents laughed.
“When you’re finished picking berries, say hello to our goats, take a hayride behind Mr. McPherson’s tractor, and pick up some goodies from our store.” Mrs. McPherson pointed out each area she mentioned.
“Thank you,” said Justin’s mom. “And I love your farmhouse. It looks so homey and inviting with the big front porch.”
“It’s one of my favorite places on the farm,” replied Mrs. McPherson.
Justin’s family collected their baskets and headed down the dirt road to the strawberry fields. Many people were already spread out among the rows of green plants, filling their baskets with the juicy red berries.
“When your baskets are full, we’ll see about taking that hayride,” said Justin’s mom as she helped Ellie pull a berry off a plant and place it in her basket.
Everyone moved down the rows and spread out as they filled up their baskets with juicy, red berries.
“Here Ellie, you can help me,” offered Jessie. Ellie smiled and trotted over to Jessie, where she trailed along, chattering and adding a berry, once in awhile, to Jessie’s basket. The girls walked all the way to the end of the row when Ellie announced, “I thirsty.”
“Oh, your mom has the drinks.” Jessie looked around and saw Justin’s parents several rows away in the field. “There she is. You can go to her.” Jessie watched Ellie scurry back down the row of strawberry plants. She was halfway there when Jessie felt something slither over her foot.
“Eeeeeekkk!” she screamed, dropping her basket in terror.
Justin ran toward Jessie. “What wrong?”
“A, a, a s-snake!” stuttered Jessie.
“Cool! Where’d it go? I want to see what kind it is!” Justin set his basket down and searched the nearby plants.
“What if bit me? I could’ve DIED—and you want to find it?” Jessie scolded.
“The little snakes they have here won’t hurt you. I bet the snake was more scared of you and your scream anyway.” Justin grinned then helped Jessie pick up her spilled strawberries and put them back into her basket. Jessie stood and stretched her back. Then she remembered. “Ellie!”
“What about her?”
“I was watching her go back to your mom when the snake attacked me.” Both kids shaded their eyes from the sun, searching the fields for Ellie.
“Let’s head over there to make sure she made it,” suggested Justin. The two friends hurried back toward Justin’s parents.
“Mom! Where’s Ellie?” asked Justin.
Mom looked up with alarm. “I thought she was with you kids.”
“No, she was coming back here to you. I was watching her until a snake went over my foot and scared me. By the time Justin came to help me, I couldn’t see Ellie anymore,” explained Jessie. She felt a knot in the pit of her stomach. “What do we do?”
“She can’t be far,” said Justin’s dad. “You kids stay together, and we’ll all look for her. Hurry!”
The strawberries lay forgotten as everyone scattered in different directions, calling Ellie’s name. Justin’s dad ran up and down the strawberry fields, stopping to ask anyone he passed if they’d seen his little girl. But no one had.
Justin’s mom ran to the goat pen. But Ellie wasn’t there.
Justin and Jessie ran to the small store but didn’t find her there either. When they came out of the store, Justin’s parents arrived from their searching.
“Did you find her?” Mom asked breathlessly.
Justin shook his head.
“Where could she be?” moaned Mom in distress.
“It’s all my fault! I lost her!” Jessie put her face in her hands and burst into tears.
Justin put his arm around her. “We all lost her, Jessie. I’m her big brother. I’m supposed to watch out for her.”
“She just wanted a drink!” sobbed Jessie.
“If she was thirsty, I wonder where Ellie would go?” Mom looked around. “Let’s check the farmhouse. C’mon!” Jessie wiped her eyes and followed Justin and his parents toward the house. As they neared the front porch, they spotted something pink by the front steps.
“It’s Ellie!” Justin yelled.
“Oh, thank you, Lord!” exclaimed Mom. Sure enough, there was Ellie sitting on the front steps, clutching a kitten that looked like it would rather be anywhere else than in Ellie’s hands!
Mrs. McPherson was sitting next to Ellie sipping lemonade. She waved when she saw Justin and his family coming.
“Ellie! Baby, are you all right?” Mom scooped Ellie and the kitten into her arms.
“I figured you’d find us here. I didn’t want to leave her alone. This little gal came to my porch and asked for a drink, and I just couldn’t refuse,” Mrs. McPherson explained as everyone surrounded Ellie in a group hug.
“Ellie! You’re okay! You scared us!”
“Why did you leave us?” Dad asked.
“I find a dwink AND a kitty!” Ellie said, holding the kitten up to show her dad.
“Thank you so much for keeping her safe here with you,” Mom said to Mrs. McPherson.
“It was my pleasure! I’m glad you’re all back together. Now, who else would like some lemonade?”
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.