“Trouble in Adventure Forest,” Friend, April 2018
Tall pine trees flew past the car in a blur. Owen stared through the back window. If I were Robin Hood, this would be the perfect hideout forest, he thought. Mama drove while Uncle Eric helped with directions. They were going to a big family picnic at his great-uncle’s house.
Owen rolled down his window. The scent of pine filled his nose. Yup, the perfect Robin Hood forest.
“This place is so cool!” Owen said. “Let’s call it Adventure Forest!”
Uncle Eric smiled. “I think you’ll like it. There’s a stream and plenty of woods for you and your cousins to explore.”
“Is there an evil sheriff waiting in the woods?”
Uncle Eric laughed. “I’m not sure. Let me know if you find one, though.”
The car stopped a little later, and everyone climbed out. Owen was itching to start exploring. He saw a small hill up ahead.
“Can I go check out what’s over that hill?”
Mama nodded. “Just stay close enough that you can hear me.”
Another car pulled up. Owen grinned as his cousin James hopped out. “James! Wanna see what’s over that hill?”
“Can we? Please?” James asked his parents. Soon Owen and James took off running. In no time they reached the hilltop.
“Let’s race down,” James said.
As they reached the bottom, Owen saw a pile of soft dirt at the bottom. He jumped right in, pretending he was Robin Hood leaping into a wagon full of bad guys.
Ouch! The tops of his feet felt like they were on fire! He jumped out, yelling in pain.
Suddenly Mama appeared. She grabbed Owen and ran for the nearby stream. Mama plunged his feet into the cold water, sandals and all.
“What happened?” Owen cried. “All I did was jump in some dirt!”
“That wasn’t dirt,” Mama said. “It was hot ashes. Someone must have had a campfire last night and not put it out completely.”
After Owen soaked his feet for a while, Mama carried him in to his uncle’s house.
They found his cousin, who was a children’s doctor. Doctor Mark put medicine on the burns and wrapped them. Then he and Uncle Eric gave Owen a priesthood blessing.
Not much of a Robin Hood adventure after all, Owen thought as they drove home.
That night at bedtime, Mama said, “Remember that Heavenly Father loves you.”
Owen sat up in bed. “I know He does. But why did He let me burn my feet?”
Mama sat next to him. “Heavenly Father doesn’t always stop bad things from happening, but He helps us get through them. For example, I’m grateful I saw you from the hilltop right when you jumped into those ashes.”
She ran a hand through Owen’s hair. “Plus, Heavenly Father helped me know immediately that I should put your feet in the stream.”
Mama and Owen talked about more things to be grateful for—like the priesthood blessing he got. Then Owen prayed. As he started listing what he was thankful for, he was surprised at how many things came to mind. Owen felt warm and happy. He knew Heavenly Father was listening.
Owen hugged his mom. “I’m glad Heavenly Father loves me.”