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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Time (11/15/12)

TITLE: Three Hours had Gone By
By Deborah Sampson


“Well, I can remember the time we had to travel to Uncle Charles’s by horse and sleigh.Yes sir, it was a Thanksgiving Day to remember.” “Ma was sure upset that we might not get to go. The old snow storm just seemed to come out of nowhere. Pa told me he’d try to get us there. He told Ma to get things ready and they would start out. If they left at ten thirty, it would give them more time for the dinner at noon.” That was Grandpa’s exact words.

The children at the Library loved hearing this account. Rebecca knew that it was this time in his life that made Grandpa decide to become a Pastor. There was not a finer man of God you could find, and telling the story always brought her near tears, but she continued with the story.

The family had started out with the old sleigh gliding across the snow. But as they went further the snow started coming down harder, heavy at times, it was hard to see.

Grandpa’s Pa had remembered to bring a lantern. They stopped long enough to light it.

The three mile trip became treacherous. It seemed to be getting colder, and the extra blankets felt good.

Deep down grandma knew that they should have stayed home. She was sorry she had been so insistent. Instead of praying about this trip, she just let her wants get the best of her, after all, just three miles, the car could have got them there in a matter of minutes; it would be fun to travel by sleigh. Little did she know.

Tom, Grandpa’s youngest brother had to use the bathroom. There was nothing to do but stop along side of the road. Tom jumped out and ran toward the wooded area.

“Stay close, son, be careful and hurry up.” A few minutes had gone by. Pa yelled for Tom to get back to the sleigh, they needed to travel on.

“Tom, did you hear me,” Pa’s gruff voice seemed to bellow out the words. Now how could a twelve year old boy not hear him?

No answer came. Grandpa became scared, his brother wasn’t answering. “Where is he Pa?”

“John, which way did your brother run off in?” Pa questioned him.

“I don’t know Sir.” Grandpa said. “I didn’t pay attention, but he couldn’t be far.”

Pa yelled Tom’s name again. He knew that something must have happened. There was no choice but to stay in this area, they could never find this spot again in this snow.

The old barn to the left looked like a place for Ma and little Sadie. They had coffee and the Thanksgiving food with them. “We can stay there till we find Tom.”

They lit a fire for warmth and it would be light for Tom to see. Time was not on their side. But Grandpa prayed then that God would grant them time to be able to find his little brother. He asked the Lord to help them find Tom.

Grandpa and his Pa started off on a semi-circle around the area calling out Tom’s name. “Stay in sight of the fire son, don’t go beyond this. Just call his name and shake these bells, I borrowed them from the horse.”

Three hours had passed with no sign of Tom. They had gone back to the barn to warm and get a bite to sustain them. They put more wood on the fire and started out again. The wind had stopped blowing and the snow seemed to be letting up, you could see the fire at the barn much clearer now; Grandpa kept jingling the bells, as he called out for his brother.

“Listen, Pa that’s Tom, He heard us, Tom’s over there.” A couple minutes later Tom appeared before them. The three hugged. It was truly a Thanksgiving Day.

What happened as Tom describe it was that he ran into the woods without thinking and then got confused and walk away from the sleigh, he then ran in hopes of finding his way back, not knowing he was going further away.

Grandpa just started praising the Lord, for he knew that it was the Lord that brought him back, and he knew then about the power of prayer. They gathered everything back into the sleigh, and soon they reached Uncle Charles place, with a thanksgiving story to tell.

The children cheered, they were so happy that Tom had been found.

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This article has been read 220 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Christina Banks 11/22/12
That would be a reason for celebration! I'm glad that Tom was found.
Lynda Lee Schab 11/23/12
Not sure if this is a true story or not, but you have a knack for storytelling.

Technical-wise, it could use some tightening up, and there are a few grammatical, punctuation, and formatting errors, but overall a great effort.

Looking forward to more entries from you!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/25/12
This is a really sweet story. It reminds me of a Little House story or episode.

I did get a tad confused at times because of the quotation marks. Like in the opening paragraph you have two sets so I wasn't sure if someone else was talking. Then having Pa be older than Grandpa was a tad confusing too. It may have been a bit easier had you used his first name.

However, you did do a nice job of building the suspense. I liked how Grandma had a feeling in heart that they should stay home. Sometimes I think God does try to talk to us. Then you went in a direction I wasn't expecting and had Grandma think instead of spending her time worrying or nagging she should have prayed. That's a message I often needed to be reminded of. Good job.
C D Swanson 11/27/12
I loved this story! Nicely done and told. God bless~