The Andersons’ Ark

Make thee an ark of gopher wood; … And of every living thing … shalt thou bring into the ark, … And take … of all food that is eaten … ; and it shall be … for thee, and for them (Gen. 6:14, 19, 21).
“Hey, Mom, I’m home!” I yelled, closing the door.
I hung up my coat (but it fell to the floor).
“Hello, dear,” Mom answered. “Come in here and see.”
And—like every day—I knew where she’d be.
Hands sticky with dough, flour dusting her cheek,
She looked at her bread loaves—enough for a week!
“All ready for baking,” she said with a smile.
“It’s good to make bread, though it does take a while.”
“Then why do you bother?” I asked, op’ning the door
Of the oven. “Why don’t we buy bread at the store?”
“Now, that would be easy,” Mom said with a sigh.
“No wheat to be ground, no yeast cakes to buy,
“No mixing the flour, no bread dough to knead—
All that takes much effort, and hard work, indeed.
“But if we don’t use what we keep stored away
In our food storage room, it will spoil and decay.”
“So why do we store all the food that we do,”
I questioned my mom, “when it’s so hard for you?”
“For years now,” Mom answered, “the Church leaders say
To keep one year’s food saved for a rainy day.
“In fact, you might think—and not just as a lark—
Our food storage room’s like our own Noah’s ark!
“We do as we’re told, just as Noah did back then.
Remember, he built it before the rain came!”
“But an ark?” I asked Mother. “I don’t understand
How an animal boat is like food, dried or canned?”
“Oh, you’d be surprised!” Mother said with a grin.
“Would you take this flour back to its storage bin?”
So down to the basement and into the dark
I hurried to board our own “Andersons’ Ark.”
There weren’t any lions there roaring aloud,
But I saw all the fruit we had canned, and felt proud.
I didn’t see bears, either growling or funny,
But I thought of the sweetness we get from our honey.
Though nary a glimpse of even one otter,
We’d never go thirsty—we’d jugfuls of water!
No rabbits were hopping about to and fro,
But canned garden veggies were neat in each row.
No cow was there to moo or to wink;
However, we’d powdered milk our family could drink.
No elephant stood there to trumpet a call,
But I saw our wheat stored—a half ton in all!
I looked everywhere, but there wasn’t a trace
Of one single animal found in that place.
I saw enough food for my parents to feed
The whole Anderson family if there’s ever a need.
We don’t know what problem, if any, we’ll face.
It’s good to be ready, prepared, just in case.
I went back upstairs to where Mom was still cooking.
“So how is our storage? You spent quite some time looking.”
“I know it’s important; I just can’t deny it.
And without all those animals, our ark’s much more quiet!”

[illustrations] Illustrated by Pat Hoggan