The Bear Cave

By Barbara A. Lewis

(Based on a true story)

The author lives in Utah, USA.

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Suddenly, sleeping in the basement didn’t seem so great anymore.

“Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer” (Psalm 61:1).

The Bear Cave

Illustrations by Brad Teare

Thump!

Ben had barely woken up when something heavy landed on his back. It was the usual morning attack from his four-year-old brother, Evan.

“Wake up!” Evan’s fingers pried Ben’s eyelid open. “You in there, Benny?”

“Yeah, I’m awake!” Ben said. He wrapped Evan in the blankets and tickled him. Evan giggled and squealed.

Ben and Evan shared their bedroom, but not for long. Today Ben would get his own room! Ben turned 10 today, and he was moving his stuff into the basement. Now he could read in bed at night with the light on without bothering anyone. The cool stuff he built would be safe. And there would be no more pesky attacks from Evan. It would be his own private “bear cave,” as Dad called it.

Ben jumped out of bed and punched his fist into the air. He started tickling Evan again, but he stopped when a worry came into his mind. Will I be scared in the basement? He gave Evan a little hug. Then he rolled his brother out of the blanket. Nah, I’ll be fine.

Soon Dad walked in. “Are you ready to move downstairs?”

Ben’s worry slipped away. “You bet!”

Ben’s family helped him pack his things in boxes. One box was labeled “save,” another was labeled “give away,” and the last box was labeled “trash.”

Ben’s little sister, Marissa, dangled a ragged teddy bear by one ear. “You don’t need this old thing anymore, do you?” She tossed it into the trash box.

Ben tried to act like he didn’t care, but he could feel his heart beat faster.

“I think there will still be room downstairs for Bear,” Mom said. She picked up Bear and placed him in the save box. “But how about all your building stuff? You could leave it for Evan.”

Ben’s stomach flipped.

Dad came to the rescue. “He’s just moving his bedroom downstairs. I don’t think he wants to leave his identity behind!”

Ben smiled a little at Dad, but he rescued two army figures from the boxes just in case.

When it was bedtime, Ben raced downstairs. “My very own room!” He turned on his lamp, flopped onto his bed, and opened a mystery book.

Suddenly he heard water gurgle down a pipe. Then he heard squeaky floorboards above him. The house moaned, hissed, and groaned. Ben dropped his book and hid under the blanket. He missed hearing Evan snore.

I’ll be okay if I go to sleep, Ben told himself. But no matter how tightly he shut his eyes, he couldn’t fall asleep. Ben prayed for help and comfort.

It didn’t work.

He prayed for an angel to protect him. Nothing happened. Why wasn’t Heavenly Father helping him? He thought he would always get help when he prayed. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Hot tears built up in Ben’s eyes.

Then Ben heard footsteps, and his door creaked open. Peeking over the top of his blanket, he saw Mom walk over to his bed. “How are you doing in your little cave?” she asked with a smile.

Ben rubbed his tears away. “I can’t sleep. It’s too scary down here. I prayed for help, but it didn’t work! God can’t hear me way down in the basement.”

Mom stroked his hair. “Ben, He did hear you. The Holy Ghost told me that I should check on you. He sent me.”

Mom lay down beside him and began telling him stories. He didn’t feel so scared anymore. Mom was the angel he had prayed for! Ben shut his eyes and listened, and soon he fell asleep.