Thomas, Kate, Mother, Father, and Pupwere on vacation! It was summer, andMother’s younger brother, Ben, had invitedthem to visit his farm in the countryside.Kate and Thomas loved helping Uncle Bendo chores. They milked the cows and madea game out of gathering the eggs from thehens, seeing who could find and collectthe most.Today was a special day: Uncle Ben’s bigblack Labrador had a litter of puppies, andthe puppies were now old enough to taketo town to sell.Pup, Jet, and theGreat Big Forest
"Oh, Daddy, please can we keep one?"Kate asked, looking at the puppies thatFather had put into one box."What about Pup?” asked Father.“Pup is Thomas’ pet,” Kate said as shestroked an especially cute, black puppy.Father and Mother looked at each otherand then smiled. “All right,” agreed Mother."Just be sure you take good care of himand dont let him wander off into theforest. He’s still young and could easilyget lost."Kate immediately chose one of the littlepuppies from the litter and named him Jet.He was jet-black.“I’ll take good care of Jet!” said Kate.“And I can help too,” Thomas chimed in.
Father and Uncle Ben went to the nearbytown to find homes for the other puppies,and Kate and Thomas hurried through thechores they had agreed to do. As soon asthey were done, they could go outside andplay with the new puppy.When they had finished their chores,Mother gave them permission to go playoutside. “Be back when you hear thedinner bell ring.”Kate carefully carried Jet outside. Thomasand Pup followed. They all went past thechicken coop, past the goat pen, past thestalls where the horses were kept, and outto the very edge of Uncle Ben’s farm.They played with Jet, throwing sticks andteaching him to bring them back so theycould throw them again. Pup chased andtumbled and played with Jet too. Katebrought both dogs a little snack.
It seemed barely any time had passedwhen they heard Mother ring the dinnerbell from the porch. "Mother told us to go inwhen the dinner bell rings," Kate said.“Aww. We barely had any time to play,”said Thomas.“Okay, let’s just play for a few moreminutes,” Kate said as she picked up astick and threw it as far as she could. Jetbounded off after the stick. But instead ofpicking it up and coming back, he ran intothe forest and didn’t stop. Kate yelled forJet to stop. Thomas chased after Jet till hereached the edge of the forest. He couldn’tsee Jet anywhere. Pup barked at thedark forest.
Thomas began to run again, when Kate,remembering what Father had said aboutthe forest being a dangerous place, cried,"No, Thomas! Dont follow him intothe forest!"Thomas went just a little farther, thenturned around and came back. "I cant seeJet anywhere."“We should have gone inside when weheard the dinner bell,” said Kate sadly.They waited and looked for a few moreminutes, but Jet was nowhere to be seen.They walked sorrowfully back to the housewhere Mother was waiting for them.Kate tearfully explained how Jet had runinto the forest and hadn’t returned. Theywere both sorry they had not come insidewhen they should have.
As they ate supper that evening, theyheard rumbling overhead. Soon rain beganto splatter on the window panes.Before going to sleep that night, Kate prayed,"Jesus, please keep Jet safe. Please help him tofind his way home."“Amen,” Thomas whispered.Early the next morning, the rooster crowed,and Thomas and Kate went to help UncleBen milk the goats and collect the eggs.But this time they didn’t run and play theirusual games. Even Pup, who was usually soplayful, was quiet.
Thomas and Kate thought about Jet, theforest, and the rain, and how next time theywould be sure to obey right away whenMother asked them to do something. Andthen they heard Pup making a ruckus in thechicken coop."Pup should know better than to disturb thechickens," muttered Kate to herself as shewalked over to find out what was happening.Following Pup’s excited barks to the cornerof the chicken coop, she looked down and …there was Jet! He looked wet, cold, and dirty,but he was alive and unhurt.“It’s Jet!” shouted Kate to Thomas. “Jet hascome home!”
Kate picked up the puppy and held him inher arms.Thomas joined the little circle that hadformed around Kate and Jet. Mother andFather and Uncle Ben had heard thecommotion and had come outside too.“Jesus answered your prayer,” said Thomas,petting Jet on the head.Kate was overjoyed. And from that day onwhen Mother would ask Kate and Thomasto come in for dinner, Kate and Thomas, Jetand Pup, would race each other to see whocould get home first.The EndAdapted by Aaliyah Smith, based on a story by Jess. Illustrations by Alvi. Design by Stefan Merour.Published by My Wonder Studio. Copyright 2013 by The Family International