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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



She pulled back on the ropes, making the homemade swing fly higher and closer to the leafy branches of the tall sycamore tree. The breeze swished cool against her cheeks. She was five years old, and, at that moment, stomping mad at her eleven-year-old brother, David.

How could he be so mean? She asked herself, remembering how he had made a face and called her a "big baby" at the breakfast table. He hates me, she thought, just because I took the last muffin out from under his nose. He hates me!

The swing carried her up so high that she could see for miles. It was fun looking down at the farmyard below. Her red sweater flashed brightly in the morning sunlight. She stopped thinking about being mad at her brother and started singing a swinging song. On a distant hill behind the swing, a huge bull with long, sharp horns watched the red sweater flashing in the sunlight. The bull had broken out of his pasture. He was cranky and ready to charge at anything that moved. He snorted and scraped the ground with his hoof. Then he lowered his massive head and began lumbering across the field toward the red sweater he saw swinging back and forth beneath the sycamore tree.

Meanwhile, David was in the barnyard, feeding the chickens. He looked out and saw his little sister on the swing. Sisters are a pain in the neck, he thought. Then suddenly he saw the bull charging across the field, heading straight for his sister. Without a second thought, David screamed as loudly as he could, "Look out behind you! Get out of there! Run!" His sister didn't hear him; she just kept singing and swinging. The bull was halfway across the field and closing fast. David's heart pounded. It was now or never. He ran across the chicken yard, jumped the fence and dashed toward his sister. He ran faster than he had ever run before.

Grabbing one of the ropes, David jerked the swing to a stop, tumbling his sister sideways to the ground only a second before the snorting bull charged at the place she had been. She let out a terrified yell. The bull spun around, scraping the ground again with his hoof. He lowered his head and charged again. David yanked on one sleeve of the red sweater and then the other. Pulling it off his sister, he flung the sweater as far away as he could. The bull followed it. With horns and hooves, he ripped it into a hundred shreds of yarn, while David half dragged, half carried his frightened sister to safety.

I was that little girl. And ever since that day, I just laugh when my brother calls me a "big baby." He can't fool me - I know he loves me. He doesn't have to face a charging bull to prove it. But I'll never forget the day he did!

Written by:  Diana L. James

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward