KidsView  | The Adventist Review for kids and those who always will be kids at heart | August 2017

A Sad Cry in the Night

By Elizabeth Boyd

The wind was whipping around the corner of the house that night. Already the snow was piling up on the ramp into the horse barn, where a warm bed of fresh pine shavings, a bucket of water, and a scoop of horse feed awaiting the 10 horses Charlotte was boarding. One of her favorites was Dixi, the big black mare she was boarding for a friend. Tonight’s weather forecast for the state of Maine called for one of those “nor’easter” blizzards. Charlotte wanted to get the chores done and the horses bedded down before going home to her farmhouse for some hot corn chowder.

She opened the barn door to let the horses in and tried to get it closed as quickly as possible to keep the cold and snow out. In typical horse fashion, they hurried directly to their own stalls. All Charlotte had to do was close the stall doors behind them as they were munching on their food.

Then she noticed something. There was no horse in Dixi’s stall! She must have found a way to get through the fence. Maybe she was galloping toward her home 15 miles away. Charlotte called her neighbor to help. Through the blinding snow they walked the fence. There was no way a horse could have gotten out of the pasture. Maybe Dixi had fallen into a ravine and was too hurt to get up. They shone their flashlights down the ravine, but the snow kept them from seeing much, so Charlotte slid to the bottom while her neighbor kept the light on her. But no horse! The two cold, bundled friends crisscrossed the pasture again looking for any sign of the big black mare. 

What were they going to do? It seemed their only choice was to go back to the barn, but how could they leave? Charlotte hoped and prayed the big mare wasn’t slipping and sliding along the road somewhere trying to find her way home in this snowy mess. While there wasn’t much traffic, nobody would be able to see a black horse at night in the blizzard. Someone could get hurt, or worse!

Charlotte and her friend went into the barn and were just about to close the big, heavy doors when they heard the most pitiful whinny.

“That’s Dixi!” Charlotte shouted. “She’s in that big clump of wild thorns. Get the light, quick! She’s calling us!” 

It took clippers and an ax to hack a place for Dixi to go through, but at last she was free. They took the poor mare, soaking wet with cold sweat and icicles frozen into her long, black mane, into the barn to examine her closely. Dixi was chilled to the bone and shaking violently. There were gashes and scratches all over her body. She would not have made it much longer. Charlotte sponged and bandaged Dixi’s wounds and covered her in a warm blanket, while Dixi enjoyed a “hot drink” of warm water from the house. 

“There,” Charlotte said at last. “Dixi is going to be all right.”

When Dixi’s owner returned for her and heard the story, she thought about something. “Hmmm,” she said. “I think we can identify with the Bible story about the shepherd who lost one sheep and went all night through the mountains looking for it. At last the poor thing was found lying on her back, unable to get up. But the kind shepherd hoisted her to his shoulders and carried her home.”

Jesus knows the joy of hearing us cry for help and being ready and able to find us, help us, and one day carry us home.