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

Smoky Mountain Rescue

By Jan and John Mathews

Did you know that being good stewards means that we are kind to animals? The Bible tells us in Proverbs 12:10, “A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel” (NKJV).*

This story is adapted from the book Smoky Mountain Rescue, where Stewardship Jack is the main character. I love this book, and I know you will love it too! As soon as it “comes off the press,” as we say in the publishing world, we’ll let you know! – Bonita Joyner Shields.

 

large, black dog with floppy ears and a long, feathery tail limped alongside the busy highway that led toward the Smoky Mountains. On one side, cars were speeding. On the other side, a river rushed over the rocks, hurrying its way down from the mountains. The dog stopped and looked around. His eyes, usually warm and sparkling, were dull and tired. He sniffed the air, trying to recapture the scent of his master, but he couldn’t. The last time he had seen her, she was lying very still and quiet. Two men had placed her in one of those white trucks with lights and a loud siren. Then the truck raced away and left him there. He was the fastest runner in the neighborhood, but, running as hard as he could, he was not able to catch up to it. 

He ran and walked for a long time in the hot and humid air. He drank water from the river, but had no food. Exhausted, he limped slowly along, panting, and finally stumbled to a stop and flopped on the ground to rest—but not for long. He must keep searching.

“What is it? A bear?” Drew asked, pointing through the car window at a black animal with matted hair.

“Don’t be silly. Bears don’t have long tails and floppy ears,” Tony exclaimed. 

“It’s a dog,” said Grandpa, as they saw the animal stagger and topple over onto the ground.

Grandpa slammed on the brakes and pulled his car over to the shoulder of the road. His grandsons, Drew and Tony, were ready to jump out of the car to investigate this bear/dog—or whatever it was. But Grandpa motioned for them to stay put. He got out and walked cautiously toward the black animal lying on the ground. It looked up at Grandpa and weakly wagged its tail. Drew and Tony jumped out of the car, followed by Grandma.

Yep, that dog was me. Grandpa felt for my collar and found my name, Jack, written on the tag. I was so tired, and it felt good to have someone pat me. I felt myself being lifted and carried by strong arms that gently placed me in the car.

Grandpa felt me over. “I don’t think he’s hurt, but let’s take him to the vet,” he said. I wondered what a “vet” was. Soon learned it was the doctor at the animal hospital.

The vet, Dr. Parker, patted me all over, looked at my teeth, put a funny tube in her ears, and held the other end to my chest. She looked at Grandpa and said, “Sometimes a dog’s owner has an electronic chip placed under the pet’s skin. The information helps us to contact the owner if the pet gets lost.”

She waved a device around my hips and shook her head. “I can’t find a chip. I don’t think he belongs to anyone.”

That wasn’t very nice, I thought. I do belong to someone—at least I did. I wonder what will happen to me now. 

We got into the car and headed down the road into the mountains. That’s how my new life began in the Mountain House with Grandpa, Grandma, Drew, and Tony. The Smoky Mountain Rescue had begun.

 

Pawsitively Important Questions (to ask yourself or discuss with your teacher and class)

1. Why should we be kind to animals? We can think of at least two reasons. Check out the Bible verses below to find our answer. Then think of more reasons of your own. 

Reason 1: Gen. 1:24, 25; Matt.10:29-31

Reason 2: Gen. 1:26

2. Have you ever seen a animal that needed help? What did you do?

3. what are some ways that we can show kindness to animals?