How has your week been? Mine has been busy, but good. Here's a glimpse of it.
Last Friday I told you I was at a conference. It's a favorite conference to go to and this year was even better because on Saturday I was able to meet three of my blog readers in person! :) :) (It was very good to meet and visit with you all! Thanks for coming by the booth.)
Sunday found us driving home in time to eat lunch at church before heading the rest of the way home. It was delightful to get home.
Monday was spent trying to catch up on things and working on my long list of "to do" things.
Tuesday was my sister's birthday and my parents' anniversary. So, my brother's family met us at Andy's Frozen Custard after lunch. It sure was fun! The kiddos all (except the little guy) had chocolate cones. What a mess their faces were. :)
On Wednesday morning I was going to work on mowing the yard before breakfast but when I went down, it started raining. So I had to wait. But my dad ended up mowing part of it for me. Then I finished it after breakfast. We've had so much rain that it seems that every time we go to a conference I have to mow when I get home.
Thursday, that was yesterday wasn't it? Well, we had a huge rain storm in the morning! I did get quite a few things done. I even wrote in the evening finishing one short story and working some on TCR-4.
I haven't mentioned it yet, but my Triple Creek Ranch books are going to be at the OCEAN conference in OR later this month! If you are going to be attending, stop by the "Homeschool Authors" booth and take a look. I've been trying to get ready for that as I had to design a flyer with info about my books so I can mail them to the one in charge of the booth.
Thank you girls for your comments on last weeks part. I was going to reply, but was too busy. I did enjoy them though. And now you get to read the end of the story. I hope you'll tell me what you think of it. :) Enjoy!
Even the Beasts
“Let’s have our Bible reading this morning before I go hitch up the team, Val.” It was morning and Harold had come in from milking the cow and breakfast had been finished.
Mrs. Manning, turning from the cupboard where she had put away the clean dishes, sat down in her rocking chair without a word. She was tired and the very thought of the long, lonely days ahead of her nearly unnerved her.
“Praise ye the Lord . . . Praise the Lord from the earth, . . . beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl . . . both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: Let them praise the name of the Lord.” There was a moment of silence after Harold finished the Psalm and had offered a short but heartfelt prayer. “I guess I’ll head out and hitch up the horses now,” Mr. Manning remarked quietly. Standing up he placed the Bible carefully on the mantel and bent to kiss Valerie. “You can take things easy with me gone, Dear,” he said.
Summoning up her courage, Valerie looked up and smiled. She would not have her husband know just how worried she was.
Heading out to the barn, Harold whistled. It was another lovely morning, though not as beautiful as yesterday. Still, the horses ought to make good time. Perhaps they could reach town early and he would only be gone two and a half days. As he rounded the corner of the barn, a large, tawny form came springing from the corner of the corral.
Harold only had time to fling his arms up to protect his face and neck as he exclaimed, “Scat!” before the full weight of the mountain lion slammed into his chest and felled him like a tree under the woodsman’s ax.
The next thing he knew, someone was bathing his face with water and calling his name. Feeling bewildered, confused and not fully aware of what had happened, Harold opened his eyes and moaned.
With a feeble push at the hand dousing him with water, he blinked rapidly and then gazed in puzzlement into his wife’s anxious face.
“What happened?” he murmured.
“I’m not sure,” Valerie answered. “You came out to hitch up the team but you didn’t come back. At last I got anxious and came out to find you lying here unconscious. Oh, Harold, I was so afraid you were dead!” And the poor, frightened woman burst into tears.
This seemed to have the effect of rousing Harold from his half stupor, for with a struggle, he pushed himself into a sitting posture, though his head spun for a minute, and put an arm about his wife. “I’m all right now, Val,” he whispered. “I think a cup of tea will complete the cure. Come on now, don’t cry.”
“Are you sure you aren’t dead?” Valerie whispered.
“Well, I don’t feel dead, but my head aches. Come on, let’s go to the house.”
Carefully Harold stood up and with the steadying aid of Valerie’s arm, he stumbled back to the house where he sank down onto the first chair he came to. After feeling his head, Harold discovered a rather large lump on the back of it where he had struck the ground and soon Valerie had a cool compress on it.
At last Valerie spoke. “Harold, what happened?”
Drawing a deep breath, he replied, “It was Scat.”
“Again. I saw him spring at me from the corral but was unable to get out of the way.”
“What did he do to you?” Valerie’s face was pale.
“Nothing but launch himself at me. I think he wanted to play, but he’s too large for that kind of game anymore.”
“I should say so! What are you going to do?”
“As soon as I feel a little more steady, I’m going to take the gun and go looking for him. I can’t leave here with him prowling around. Even if he just wants to play. What if he had sprung at you when I was gone?” This he asked as Valerie looked reproachfully at him.
“But, Harold,” she protested, “how could you shoot Scat? He’s just doesn’t know better. After all, he’s only a baby.”
“Was a baby, you mean,” Harold corrected. “Val, Scat’s nearly full grown and even if he doesn’t know better, he soon won’t just want to play. He’s growing dangerous.”
Valerie said no more. There was nothing to say for she too could see the wisdom of Harold’s words though she wished it didn’t have to be so.
All day long Harold Manning spent searching for that mountain lion, but only a few footprints could he find. Warily he went out to feed the horses and cow that evening, taking his rifle with him. There was a chance that Scat had come back and Harold wanted to be ready. However, everything was peaceful and the barn was shut up for the night when Harold returned to the house.
As the couple were sitting around the cheery fire that evening, for the nights were still cool though the days were so pleasant, Valerie gave a gasp and dropped her mending.
Looking up in surprise, Harold saw her face pale and heard her rapid breathing. “Valerie, what is it? What’s wrong?”
“The baby,” she gasped, “it’s coming!”
Valerie could only nod.
Several hours later, a pale and tired, but quite happy Valerie, lay in the bed with a little bundle beside her. As she lay silently gazing into the sleeping face of her newborn son, her mind repeated a few verses that Harold had read that morning. “Praise the Lord from the earth . . . Beasts and all cattle . . . Let them praise the name of the Lord.”
“Harold,” whispered the new mother.
“Yes, Dear,” came a soft answer and a moment later Harold was bending over the bed to look into the faces of the two most precious things to him on earth.
“I think God sent Scat to us,” were the unexpected words.
“Harold, God created the beasts to praise him as well as man and I think Scat was sent to us yesterday and today.”
Sitting down beside her, Harold took one of her hands in his. “Val, I’m not sure I understand what you mean. Why do you think that God sent that mountain lion to us?”
“Because if he hadn’t wanted to play with you yesterday and caused you to fall from the loft, you would have driven into town. And if he hadn’t knocked you down this morning and then disappeared, you would have gone into town today. Harold, you were supposed to be in town tonight. Instead, because of Scat, you were home where you were needed. Scat saved the day because God sent him here.”
Thinking it over, Harold realized that Valerie was right. Scat had saved the day. With that realization Harold slipped to his knees beside the bed and whispered, “Val, let us thank God that even the beasts were made to praise Him.”
Now that you've read the end, what did you think?
Did you enjoy the story?
I got the idea for this story from a friend who told me about some friends of theirs who had raised a mountain lion but had to let him go because he got so big that he knocked a guy unconscious when he jumped up on him wanting to play.