It was a very, very warm day and the boys; Ted, Roy, and Eli were were walking toward town. They had crossed the ball field and were rounding the end of the street near the post office. In the last space, near the sidewalk, was an old truck with a small dog barking at the closed window. As the started to pass by, he lunged at the window and fell back into the seat.
Roy said; “There’s something wrong with that dog. Did you see him?” Ted responded, “Yea what of it? He’s just trying to get our attention.”
“Wait a minute!” Eli countered,”Look at him!”……as he pressed his nose to the glass.”He looks like he is dead or somethin'” as he grabbed the door handle.”It’s locked, ” he complained, as he pulled hard on it.
The other boys rushed to the other side, and found it also locked.
Roy offered,”We gotta do something. He’s hardly breathing, and it’s burning hot in there!”
Eli picked up a stone from the curb and charged toward the window. Ted grabbed his arm and warned him;” You want to get into trouble? Let’s think about this.” Ted was a year older than the other two.
“What if we call the number on the side of the truck first?” It said in faded letters; ED’S HAULING……..513 622 1954. They called on Roy’s phone, only to get a message to leave a number.
“Well, that’s it! said Eli; as he picked up the rock again.
Roy glanced up at the back of the truck and noticed the back window was a sliding glass, and said; “Before we break something, let’s check it out”. He bounced up over the side and dug his fingers into the metal frame. It moved a little “Hand me that stick behind you Eli,” He called.
Roy shoved the stick between the body and the frame, and jerked as hard as he could, and the window moved. He could feel the rush of hot air come out into his face………calling; ” Eli, you’re the smallest. crawl in there and open the door”.
Eli shimmied through the opening and flipped the door lock with his outstretched fingers. His leg caught in an empty gun rack and wrenched his knee in the process.
Ted reached in for the puppy and gently laid him on the ground. He was barely breathing and gasping for air. He bent over and started blowing into it’s mouth. ……It started to move…… then one feeble tail wag.
They were standing there in relief, when there was a buzz that came from within Ted’s pocket. As he put the phone to his ear, a voice said; “This is Ed, You Called?”
Well, the attitude of all three boys immediately changed from joy to anger toward so thoughtless an owner.
Roy answered, grabbing the phone; ” This your truck with the dead puppy in it?”
………….. silence…….then, “Hold on, I’m coming!”
An old man, and a little girl showed up within minutes.
“Is he still inside? I don’t want her to see him.” He said with a crack in his voice’
Eli had turned his back with the small, white, licking bundle in his arms. He turned slowly to see the faces of the two of them. Both immediately breaking into tears as they reached for their new little “Buddy”.
“How’d you?”….the old man began. “We went for some puppy food and toys for him, and we just got carried away shopping”……..as he displayed the bag in his arms. …..”We just got him !”‘……. as he reached for his handkerchief.
Ted, now very serious, shook his head and laid his hand on the old mans arm and spoke:
“Well, I guess it’s never too late to learn a lesson, old or young. Your’s is: God forgives us for being really careless. And, others like us… He uses them at the right time. Anyway we could have broke your window, and we did get in.”
“And, what about BUDDY?” Kate reminded everyone from behind a big smile
” And a stick in time, and my knee is just fine!” Eli chimed in.
They all laughed….
And, as always; God smiled
He had also made the stick!