“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Prov. 17:22)
As he came out into the open ﬁeld, I could deﬁnitely see that he was a pig. But he didn’t look like the farm pigs that I had known.
He was dark gray, short, and very big and very round. He had stubby legs and his belly touched the ground when he walked.
He had leaves and dirt stuck to his nose, and as he came near he said, “Yeah, what do you want?”
“Hi, my name is Jake and these are my friends. I couldn’t help but notice that you were digging under the fallen leaves.
Are you looking for food? We’ll be glad to share our food with you if you’re hungry.”
“Why would I want any of your old food? I have the best food that money can buy fed to me every day by my people. I’m a prize winning potbelly pig.”
“Why would I want any old dog food, or stinky goat food, or whatever it is that an ugly old possum eats?”
I started to get angry again, but then I remembered something Daddy had read from the Bible.
God says that we should love one another, even those who are unkind to us. If that is what the Creator wants me to do, then that is what I must try to do.
Maybe I just needed to try harder to be friendly.
“You must be new around here,” I said. “We always like to make new friends. What’s your name?”
“My name is Rambo,” said the pig.
“More like hambone instead of Rambo,” said Marvin under his breath. “Shhh,” I whispered to Marvin. “Be nice.”
“My full title is Rambo sire of champions,” the pig continued on with his nose in the air.
“I told you that I was a prize winner. Don‘t you pay attention? I‘m surprised that you haven‘t heard of me before. My people and I just moved into a house on the other side of that field.”
“Well,” said Chester, “Perhaps you should go home. Maybe your people are worried about you.”
I gave Chester a stern look. That wasn’t a very nice thing to say.
“Ha,” replied the pig. “I’m the big hog in my house. I come and go as I please. I made a hole in the fence behind the pigpen and I’m the only one who knows it’s there.”
“I only came over here because I could smell the mushrooms growing under the leaves at the back of the field. I think I’ll come over here whenever I want to and eat mushrooms, and you can’t stop me.”
I couldn’t resist it any longer. My fur rose up on the back of my neck as I growled and barked my stay away bark, and Rambo waddled back to the end of the ﬁeld to ﬁnish eating mushrooms.
“Hooray!” said Marvin. “That’s showing him, Jake! I guess he knows now who the boss is!”
“I have never seen such a prideful pig,” said Chester. “He’s just a big, rude bully.”
Maybe Chester was right about Rambo, but I was starting to not feel very good about myself. I had that sick feeling in my stomach that I get when I know that I have done something wrong.
“I shouldn’t have growled at him,” I told Marvin and Chester. “I’m only supposed to growl and show my teeth when there is a real danger.”
“But what about all the mean things he said?” replied Marvin.
“He was just being loud and rude,” I answered. “I don’t think Rambo is really dangerous. If he really tried to hurt anyone, then I would stand up to him and protect us. But he just tried to hurt our feelings with bad words.”
“Daddy read from the Bible one night that we are to ‘turn the other cheek’. I’m not sure exactly what that means, but I think it means if someone hurts our feelings we should forgive them and give them another chance.”
We all decided to give Rambo another chance. We ended up having to give him another, and another, and another.
Our wonderful fall season when animals feel frisky and playful was fast becoming a time of trouble because of Rambo.
He wouldn’t come into our ﬁeld when I was outside. He would come early in the morning before the sunrise and eat all of Chester’s food out of his trough.
Mom would always replace it, but she didn’t understand how Chester could eat so much and not gain any weight.
Rambo would come out at night and ﬁnd Marvin wandering through the ﬁelds and chase him back to his house of branches.
He even tried to go into the cow’s ﬁeld and run at Spots the calf, but Spots’ daddy the bull chased him off.
With each day that passed, Rambo got bolder with his bullying. Finally, Marvin said that he had enough and that something had to be done about the pig.
Marvin called for a secret meeting of The Rescue Club to decide what we should do.
The night before the meeting of our club, I was lying down by Mom while Dad was reading from the Bible.
While Dad and Mom read and talked about the words the Creator had spoken, it became clear to me what we should do about Rambo.
The next morning, Marvin, Spots, and I met together under the big oak tree by the chicken coop and called to order the meeting of The Rescue Club.
We decided to let Chester listen in even though he was not a member. Marvin was the ﬁrst to speak.
“Something has got to be done about that pig,” Marvin said. “I can’t even wander through the ﬁelds at night looking for things we can use in our rescues. He comes tromping through the ﬁeld, snorting through the leaves, and as soon as he sees me he chases me until I get to my branch pile.”
“It’s just not right for someone to treat another creature like that.”
“That’s right,” said Spots. “Why, he tried to run at me and bump my legs, but my Dad chased him away. And what about poor Chester?”
“That big bully eats all of his food before Chester gets a chance to eat any of it. It’s just not fair.”
“Baaaaaa” replied Chester.
“What about you, Jake? What do you think we should do? After all, you’re the only one that he’s scared of anyway. We notice he never comes around when you’re outside,” said Spots.
“Well, I was trying to think of what we could do to change Rambo so that he would stop being a bully.”
“And then last night Daddy was reading from the Bible where it teaches that it is the goodness of God that causes men to change.”
“So I thought, if it is the Creators goodness that causes men to change their mind about Him, maybe our goodness to Rambo will change his mind about us.”
Everyone was very quiet for what seemed like a long time. Marvin slowly began to nod his head and said, “I believe that Jake is right. God created and loves Rambo just as much as He loves us. The Creator has a plan, and we just have to pray and wait on Him.”
We all agreed that we needed to be patient just a little longer and wait for God to work in Rambo’s life.
We didn’t have to wait very long.
(TO BE CONTINUED)