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“Woof! Woof-woof,” barked Cookie.
“He’s great, Justin! It makes me wish I had a dog, too,” said Jeremy.
Today there was no school, so Justin invited Jessie and her cousins over to play with his new dog.
“He’s so cute!” said Jeremy’s sister, Emily.
“Yeah, until he gets into the garbage.”
“Eww! What do you mean, Justin?” Jessie asked.
“Well, Cookie was a stray, so he used to dig into garbage cans to find stuff to eat.”
“Yuck!” Emily said, sticking out her tongue.
“So now,” Justin continued, “he has a bad habit of knocking over the garbage can.”
“Well, you’re still adorable—even if you do eat garbage,” Emily told the dog, giving him a big hug.
“Hey, kids! Time for lunch,” Justin’s mom called from inside.
During lunch, Jeremy asked Justin, “You wanna come to my house after we eat and play my new game?”
“Sure! That sounds great,” Justin replied.
“Emily and I are going to have a tea party at my house,” Jessie said.
The plans were made as everyone finished their sandwiches and fruit. Justin asked his mom if he could play a game at Jeremy’s.
“That’s fine,” Mom said. “But make sure you take Cookie out back—and don’t forget to put him on the chain so he can’t get into the garbage can or push the gate open.”
“Okay, Mom! Come on, Cookie, here, boy,” Justin called to his dog.
As he was taking Cookie out the back door, he heard Jeremy calling to him.
“Hey, Justin, bring your cleats, so we can play soccer too!”
“Okay!” Justin called back.
He let Cookie out the back door then closed it and ran to his room to grab his cleats.
“See you, Mom,” Justin said as he flew out the front door to catch up to Jeremy.
“Thanks for lunch, Aunt Kristi,” Jessie said as she and Emily left to go to her house next door.
The two girls had a wonderful tea party, but afterward, there were crumbs and wet napkins all over the table.
“Oh my!” said Jessie’s mom. “You sure made a mess. Make sure you clean it up, please. Then you can take the kitchen garbage out for me. I cleaned out the refrigerator, so there’s lots of garbage. Make sure you tie it closed and get the garbage can lid on tight, okay?”
“Okay, Mom,” Jessie said with a sigh.
“I’ll help you,” said Emily. “We can pretend we’re secret spies hiding bags of treasure.”
Jessie laughed. “I don’t think I want stinky treasure like that!”
Emily shrugged. “It makes it more fun though. Come on!”
“Ick! I can’t tie these right.” Jessie frowned as she folded up the edges of the bags. “That’s good enough,” she decided.
“Let’s go, fellow spy,” Emily giggled.
The girls dragged the bags out the back door to the garbage can.
“You keep a look out for the bad guys who want our treasure,” Jessie told Emily as she struggled to get the tight lid off the garbage can.
Emily peeked around the can, pretending to look for bad guys. “There they are! Get down!”
Jessie played along and dove behind the can. “Quick! Get the treasure inside.”
They picked up the bags and threw them into the can.
“Give me the lid.”
Emily tossed the lid to Jessie, who threw it at the can. Then they dove onto the grass as the lid flew near the garbage can but missed. Thunk!
“Let’s get out of here,” said Emily, and they ran back inside the house.
The girls played spies for the rest of the afternoon until they heard Jessie’s mom calling.
“Yes, Mom?” Jessie came into the kitchen, and Emily followed behind. “What’s the matter?”
“Take a look outside,” Mom replied.
Emily and Jessie looked at each other and gulped. They all went outdoors and stopped at the garbage can.
“Oh no!” Jessie exclaimed.
“Eww!” Emily said in disgust.
They stared at the mess all around them. The garbage can was tipped over with the lid lying next to it. The garbage bags lay torn and spread out in the yard. But worse—there was garbage everywhere—slimy banana peels, wilted vegetables, brown apple cores, and stinky stuff that was splattered on the side of the house.
In the middle of it all sat Cookie, licking his chops.
Jessie’s mom grabbed Cookie’s collar and hauled him through the gate to Justin’s yard next door. She clasped the chain onto the dog’s collar to make him stay put.
“Jessie,” she asked coming back through the gate, “did you tie up the bags and get the lid on tight like I said?”
Jessie and Emily cringed as they explained how they had been playing spies and didn’t pay attention to getting the lid on right.
“I guess we only mostly obeyed,” Jessie confessed. “I didn’t tie the bags, and we left the lid on the ground when we ran back into the house.”
“Well, it looks like you girls have some more cleaning to do,” she said, handing fresh bags to each of them. “But this time, will you please obey completely?”
“I’m sorry, Mom,” said Jessie. “This time I’ll make sure and do it right.”
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.