When I was about six years old, I had an adventure I’ll never forget. Mom and Dad decided to raise chickens and sell the eggs to earn money. Every day Mom or Dad would take me to the chicken coop to gather eggs. One day Mom needed my help.
“Bobby, I need two eggs for a cake I’m making,” Mom said. “I know we already gathered the eggs today, but do you think you could go and find two more for me?”
“I will, Mom,” I said. “I’ll find those eggs for you.”
This was the first time I had searched for eggs by myself. It made me feel important. Off I went to begin my search. I went inside the chicken coop, first looking in all the corners because that’s where Dad usually found eggs. But there weren’t any. I peered into a nesting box—there was an egg! I was reaching for it when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a rooster enter the chicken coop. My throat went dry. In my excitement to gather eggs, I had forgotten about the roosters.
We had big white roosters that didn’t like people. They would chase us and peck us with their sharp beaks. Usually Dad or Mom was with me and would chase them away. But now no one was there to help me.
“Stay there, rooster. Just stay there,” I muttered under my breath as I backed toward the door, keeping my eyes on the rooster. I carefully moved past the rooster until I got to the doorway. The rooster’s bright eyes watched me, but I thought I could get away by backing out and running to the house.
I turned, and outside I saw two other roosters facing me. I was surrounded! If I went back in, the two would follow me. If I tried to run, they would all chase and attack me. I didn’t know what to do. Tears filled my eyes. No one was around to help me—except Heavenly Father.
Mom always said if I needed help, I should kneel and pray and Heavenly Father would be there. Even though the roosters were surrounding me, even though they were coming closer, I dropped to my knees. Trembling, I began to pray.
“Heavenly Father, please help me get away from these roosters. Don’t let them peck me. Please make the roosters go away.”
I ended my prayer, wiped my tears, and slowly got to my feet. As soon as I stood up, a sound came from my mouth: “Putt putt putt … putt putt putt,” like the sound a tractor makes. It surprised me. The roosters stopped, looked startled, and suddenly turned their tails toward me and ran away.
I hadn’t thought to make the sound myself. I knew the Holy Ghost had put the idea into my mind. Heavenly Father had answered my prayer. I was safe. I quickly gathered two eggs and then hurried to the house to tell Mom what had happened. She was proud of me for remembering to pray when I needed help.
I was happy that I could help Mom with an important job, and I was even happier to know that Heavenly Father is always near and will always hear and answer our prayers.
“God hears and answers the prayers of His children.”1
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency
“Waiting on the Road to Damascus,” Ensign, May 2011, 70.