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Justin and Jessie stood at the edge of the city park. They had come with their moms for a picnic lunch.
“Wait here with the basket,” said Jessie’s mom. “I’ll go on over to see if there’s an empty picnic table.” She walked off toward the picnic area.
Justin waved at his mom and his little sister, Ellie, who were still waiting to cross the street. “Hurry up, Mom!” he shouted, but his voice was drowned out by the roar of an engine. A shiny, new sports car had just turned the corner and was headed down the street. “Oo-oo! Jessie, look at that!” said Justin excitedly.
But Jessie wasn’t paying attention. She’d wandered over to a nearby bush. It had the most beautiful pink flowers she’d ever seen, and she couldn’t wait to find out what they smelled like.
Suddenly, Justin heard a dog nearby—Woof! Woof!
“Cookie?” said Justin, forgetting for a split second that it couldn’t be his dog. They hadn’t brought Cookie to the park today.
Just as the sports car came closer, Jessie screamed, “Oh no!” as a dog dashed into the road—right in front of the car! The car squealed to a sudden stop—screeeech—just in time.
The dog whimpered then barked and bolted back onto the sidewalk. After a moment, the car moved on, continuing much more slowly down the street than before. The dog ran past Jessie, who stood with her mouth open in shock.
From across the street, the kids saw that Justin’s mom had scooped up Ellie, who was crying and pointing in the direction the dog had run. When it was safe, she carried Ellie across the street and joined them.
“Mom! Did you see that?” exlcaimed Justin.
“Yes! That dog was almost hit. That car was definitely going too fast for this street,” she said.
“Poor doggy! Poor doggy!” cried Ellie.
“Well, the dog’s fine,” her mother said, wiping tears from Ellie’s cheeks. “He didn’t get hit.”
But Ellie couldn’t be comforted yet. “Doggy went in da street, Mommy!”
“He sure did, Sweetie. But the car stopped. The doggy’s okay.”
Just then Jessie’s mom came jogging back from the picnic area. “What’s going on? I thought I heard you scream, Jessie. And I heard a car screeching.”
“Everything’s fine,” said Justin’s mom. “A dog ran out in the street and nearly got hit. I think it shook us up a bit.”
“It’s a good thing that driver could stop so fast,” said Justin. “It was probably because he has such a cool car.”
“Oh, that had nothing to do with it,” said Jessie.
“How do you know?” asked Justin. “All you cared about was that bush.”
“That’s not true! I just love pink flowers, that’s all.”
“You probably didn’t even see it happen, Jessie.”
“Well, not exactly, but I saw the dog before I went over to the bush. And I heard the car screeching. . . .”
“So, you didn’t scream because of the dog?” asked Jessie’s mom.
“No, I was trying to smell the flowers on that bush,” said Jessie, “but then I noticed a bunch of bees all over it.”
“See? I knew you weren’t paying attention,” said Justin.
“Well!” Jessie put her hands on her hips. “All you cared about was that noisy yellow car.”
“It was red! Not yellow!” Justin corrected.
“Simmer down, you two! No need to fuss,” said Justin’s mom. “You just noticed different things at the moment, that’s all. I was here, too, but I had to focus on keeping Ellie calm. So, I don’t think I noticed the color of the car either. And what color was the dog? And where did he go?”
Justin looked at his mother and frowned. “Hm. Well, I do remember he was kind of big.”
“That’s weird,” said Jessie. “He ran right past me, and I don’t even remember what color he was. It happened too fast.”
“Bwown! Bwown!” Ellie chimed in. “Da doggy was bwown!”
Justin and Jessie looked at each other then laughed. “Maybe Ellie saw more than we did,” said Justin. He smiled. “Sorry for fussing at you, Jessie.”
Suddenly, they heard barking. Woof! Woof! They all turned toward the park to see the large brown dog running joyfully toward a man who was stooping to greet him. “Hey, Tucker! There you are,” the man said, laughing. He took the dog’s face in his hands. “What were you doing, taking off like that?” The dog licked his owner’s face.
“See, Ellie? There’s the dog’s owner,” said Justin. “He’s just fine.”
Ellie clapped her hands. “Yay! Doggy’s okay,” she said.
“And that’s what really matters,” said Jessie’s mom. “Everyone is okay—including the dog. Now let’s go eat! I found the perfect table.”
Justin lifted the picnic basket off the ground. As they made their way to the table, he could still see the man walking away with his dog— now on a leash—romping close behind!
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.