“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Prov. 17:22)
A large tree limb had fallen across the fence and knocked it down close to where Marvin’s branch pile had been. Another big limb had fallen and blocked the gate that led to the back field.
Jasmine and I ran to the back corner of the yard where Marvin would stay in the trees and we barked for him, but there was no answer.
Dad yelled for Chester, “Chester! Chester! Where you at old boy? Come here Chester.” But there was no answer from him either.
Then suddenly, from far away, a distant “baaaaaa, baaaaaa” of a goat could be heard.
“Jasmine,” I said. “I know that sound. That’s the sound Chester makes when something is wrong. We have got to go find him!”
“How are we going to get Mom and Dad to let us go?” she replied.
About that time Mom said, “Honey, I believe I hear Chester crying way out past the field. We have to go find him.”
Dad looked at the fallen limb and back at the big red tractor. “We can’t get through the gate until we move that limb with the lawn tractor, and I don’t think we can crawl over the one that knocked the fence down.”
“Maybe they can’t, but we can,” Jasmine said.
Jasmine started to whimper and run from the broken fence, to Mom, and back again. I ran to Dad and grunted “oink, oink, oink,” trying to make him understand what we wanted to do.
Dad looked into my eyes, thought for a moment, and then said, “Go get him Jake. Go find Chester.”
“Let’s go Jasmine!” I barked, and in just a few moments we were up and across the limb and running through the grassy field.
Jasmine and I hopped over the boards and branches that littered the field, and it wasn’t long before we were under the barbed wire and through the fence by the cedar tree.
We were running through the woods and toward the sound of Chester’s cry, when suddenly we heard dogs growling and the loud hiss of a very mad possum.
“Faster Jasmine,” I barked. “I think that’s Chester and Marvin and it sounds like they’re in trouble!”
As we came around a big tree into a clearing, we saw Chester with his leg caught in some old fence wire. It looked like he was trapped and couldn’t get loose.
With their heads down and growling, two of the biggest dogs that I have ever seen were pacing back and forth trying to get to Chester.
But they couldn’t.
Standing between that lovable old goat and those two big dogs was Marvin, the bravest possum in the world!
With his fur standing straight out full of dust and dirt, he was hissing and trying to scare those dogs away with everything he had.
They were circling in closer and it looked like he wouldn’t be able to hold them off much longer.
The dogs were so intent on Marvin, they hadn’t noticed Jasmine and I as we crept up from behind.
“Remember how we run and jump over the fence when we have to leave the yard?” I whispered to Jasmine.
“Let’s do the same thing and jump over those dogs and land by Marvin. Maybe it will surprise them and they’ll run away.”
“One for all,” I said.
“And all for one,” Jasmine whispered back.
We both ran with everything we had, and just as they heard our paws on the ground behind them and started to turn around, Jasmine and I were through the air, over their heads, and landed next to Marvin.
Barking and growling, we turned to face the dogs with the fur standing up on the back of our necks, snarling our lips, and showing our teeth.
They were so surprised; they turned and ran as fast as they could yelping and whining with their tails between their legs.
“Hooray!” shouted Marvin. “Boy, am I glad to see you two. I was trying to look as scary as I could but I don’t think I could have fooled them much longer.”
“I think they wanted to have possum and goat for a snack!”
Jasmine giggled, “One would have been too tough, and the other would have been too sour.”
“Ha, Ha, Ha” said Marvin. “Very funny!”
We all laughed while we hugged each other, glad that our surprise had worked and we were all safe.
“AHEM!” snorted Chester. “If you are all through playing jokes and squeezes, do you think we could get this wire off my leg and let’s go home?”
“Well,” said Jasmine. “Now we know who the sour one would have been.”
Even Chester laughed as the three of us got his leg loose from the wire.
Chester was limping a little as the four of us started walking slowly back home. He turned and smiled as he said, “Thank you so much for saving my life again.”
“One for all, Chester.” Marvin said. “And all for one!” We all shouted back.
(TO BE CONTINUED)