MISS ESTHER HAS A QUIET TIME
Chapter 1: Miss Esther Has a Quiet Time
Miss Esther snuggled down further into her pillow. It was so very cozy to be tucked up under her dark green quilt. Her nose felt a bit cold so she pulled the fabric up over it too. It must be a chilly night out.
“Wait a minute, I wonder if it is already morning?”
Miss Esther pushed herself up on one elbow and looked across to the large glass window. Sure enough, the sun was coming up!
“That means I should get up too!” Miss Esther threw her arms up over her head and stretched. “Good morning, Lord! ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.’” (Psalm 19:14)
Miss Esther smiled and then threw back the covers.
“Brrr!” She shoved her feet into her red slippers to keep them from getting too cold. “Let’s see, what shall I wear today?”
Miss Esther tapped her chin in thought. “Oh yes, it’s Monday! My sisters and I are going to clean the kitchen. So I should wear my cleaning dress and my pink apron!”
In a few quick minutes Miss Esther had switched her nightgown for her dress. She used her reflection in the window as a mirror to see if her hair looked alright. Fortunately it looked just as she had left it the night before.
Next Miss Esther made her bed, fluffing the pillows and smoothing the quilt down. She always liked to see it fresh and ready for a nap or a good night’s sleep. She moved towards where the trunks stood at the foot of her bed. Her Bible was just where she had left it. She took it up along with her quiet time journal and glanced about the room.
“Now, where shall I sit?” Miss Esther scratched her head. “I guess my choices are the floor or my bed! So I’m going to choose…my bed!”
With a light spring Miss Esther dropped down among the pillows once again. She pulled out her journal and made careful note of the date.
Then Miss Esther bowed her head. “Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for a good night’s rest and the glory of a new day. Would You enable me to understand Your Word this morning? Thank-You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Then she looked to see what her reading for the day was. It was in the gospel of John, the fourth chapter, verses 27-38.
The scent of paper and ink drifted around Miss Esther as she read but Miss Esther didn’t even notice. Her bedroom was on a bookshelf so she was used to it. To her at that moment it seemed as if she was right back in Samaria with Jesus and His disciples.
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” (John 4:34 NKJV)
“Mmm…” Miss Esther paused in thought. “I wonder what that means?” She tapped her pencil on her chin. “Good food nourishes and strengthens us. So maybe Jesus felt that doing God’s will gave Him fresh energy? I wonder if it would be the same for me?”
Miss Esther finished reading and then decided to write out verse 34 as her verse for the day. She made note of her questions and what she’d thought about.
“I’ll have to ask my sisters what they think over breakfast!” Miss Esther closed her Bible and then slipped off her bed so she could kneel beside it.
Miss Esther knew she could pray standing up or sitting down or laying down…in all kinds of positions! But she found she especially loved praying on her knees. It reminded her of how great God was.
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for this verse I had in my reading today. Would You help me to understand what it means?” Miss Esther thought for a moment and then continued. “We have so much cleaning to do today, Lord. Please give us grace to do it cheerfully and well. Thank You. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”
Miss Esther rose and moved to put away her quiet time things. She liked to keep them on her trunk because then she always knew where they were! She straightened her quilt once again and then turned towards the staircase of books.
“Now it is time to get breakfast! I think I hear sisters moving around. They will be hungry!”
And with a skip and a song in her heart, Miss Esther hurried upstairs.
Chapter 2: Miss Esther Makes Breakfast
It was a beautiful Monday morning and almost time to make breakfast!
Miss Esther reached the top of the stairs and entered the library.
She and her sisters had actually had quite a discussion as to what the room should be called. It was so many things all at once! But they had finally decided on ‘library’. It sounded extra special and interesting.
“Whoof, whoof!” Cashew wagged his tail for reply.
“I’m glad!” Miss Esther gave him a warm smile. “Are you hungry for breakfast?”
Cashew’s tail wagged even faster and his black eyes seemed to shine with excitement. Then he slid over to where his empty bowl was waiting.
Miss Esther moved into the kitchen and fetched the box of dog food. She measured out the right size of mix and then put it into his bowl.
Miss Esther put the dog food away and then went to check the stove. The embers were still hot from the day before and it took very little to get them going again. In a few minutes she had a nice fire going.
She moved the pan of water and oatmeal from the back of the stove and set it on the heat.
“I think I should have just enough time to get the apples chopped before it boils!”
There was a step on the stairs and Miss Esther looked up to see one of her sisters coming to join her.
“Good morning, Priscilla!” Miss Esther swept up the apples and dumped them into a serving bowl. “It’s a beautiful day!”
The sound of something sputtering broke into their conversation.
“My oatmeal!” Miss Esther flew for the stove and shoved the pot off the heat just as it boiled over. It oozed over the pan and onto the hot stove surface.
For the next minute the sisters were busy cleaning up the mess. Finally the oatmeal was back on the stove and Miss Esther drew a deep breath.
Priscilla spoke first. “So did you sleep well?”
Miss Esther chuckled. “Yes, I did. How about you, Priscilla?”
Priscilla nodded. “I discovered a new hymn story last night!” She prepared to set the table. “Did you know that…” And Priscilla was off into the description of the background to one of her most beloved hymns.
“That’s interesting.” Miss Esther stirred the oatmeal and tried to decide if it was done.
“Is something burning down here?”
Miss Esther looked up quickly as her youngest sister came sweeping into the library.
“Not anymore, Susanna!” Miss Esther smiled. “The oatmeal boiled over while I was busy talking to Priscilla.”
“Imagine that!” Susanna’s voice still sounded a bit sleepy.
“Good morning, Susanna!” Priscilla set the last of the bowls on the table.
“Good morning.” Susanna smiled and rubbed a hand over her forehead.
“Can you grab the coconut oil and raisins?” Miss Ester gave the oatmeal a few more stirs. “I think this is just about ready!”
Susanna moved to do so and Miss Esther decided the bubbling mass was done. She tossed a hot mat on the table and then set the hot breakfast on top of it.
“Where is Carrots?” Susanna was looking around the kitchen.
“I don’t know!” Miss Esther wiped her hands on her apron. “I was so busy getting breakfast I completely forgot!”
Priscilla glided into the library and looked around. “Carrots?”
“He can’t have gone too far!” Susanna looked under the table. “Was he down in your room, Esther?”
“No, I didn’t see him there at all.” Miss Esther shook her head.
“I’m sure he will turn up in a minute.” Priscilla brought in one of the chairs from the library. “One consistent thing about Carrots is that he’s always hungry.”
“Carrots! Here, kitty kitty!” Susanna disappeared down the stairs for a few moments. Then she was back. “I don’t see him anywhere.”
Miss Esther wasn’t worried. “It’s alright, Susanna. Let’s go ahead and eat. I’m sure he’ll turn up soon.”
The three sisters gathered round the table and Miss Esther thanked the Lord for the meal. Then they began to fill their bowls and enjoy their oatmeal. They shared quiet time thoughts around the table as they ate.
Priscilla had been reminded in 1 Timothy that the Lord was King. Susanna was meditating on the importance of being thankful as she’d read about in the Psalms.
“I read some verses in John 4 this morning.” Miss Esther added a few more raisins to her oatmeal. “In verse 34 Jesus says that His food was to do the will of His Father. What do you think that means?”
“Maybe…” Priscilla motioned with her hand. “Jesus found doing His Father’s will even more important than eating?”
Miss Esther dropped her spoon right into her bowl. “I never thought of that!”
“That’s a good point!” Susanna nodded as she licked the last of the blueberry juice from her spoon. “I also wonder if Jesus found that walking in obedience to His Father satisfied His soul even more than physical food satisfied his stomach.”
“I should ask you girls more often!” Esther threw up her hands with a smile. “I have a feeling I’ll be thinking about this all day!”
In no time they were finished and moved to do the dishes.
“Carrots still hasn’t showed up.” Susanna shelved the raisins and then turned to look around the room. “I wonder if he went outside?”
“Oh Susanna, it’s alright! Carrots is a smart cat.” Miss Esther gave her compassionate sister a reassuring smile. “He probably found a new mouse to be friends with. He’ll turn up when we’re cleaning.”
But he didn’t.
Chapter 3: Miss Esther Cleans Her House
Miss Esther curled up in the big easy chair with a piece of paper and a pencil.
“Let’s see, what do we need to clean today?”
Miss Esther began to make a list. There was the stove to clean, the dusting to do, the sweeping and mopping of the floors, and then the straightening of the kitchen cupboards.
“I’ll never know how the cupboards get to be so mixed up!” Miss Esther shook her head. “We just cleaned them last month!”
She could hear Priscilla and Susanna talking in the kitchen as they finished up the breakfast dishes. Sounded like they were discussing something about the philosophy of the arts. Miss Esther smiled.
She used to live all by herself in a great big house called Maple Sugar Cottage, but it had been very, very lonely. Now that she and her sisters all lived in Walnut House on Woodland Road, there was never a dull moment!
Miss Esther hopped down from her chair and moved towards the kitchen.
“Okay, so here is our list!” She laid the paper and pencil on the table. “Can you think of anything I’m missing?”
For the next hour the sisters were very busy cleaning. Susanna dusted and washed windows because she could reach the highest places without a ladder. Priscilla scrubbed the stove because she liked to serve by taking the hardest jobs. And Miss Esther reorganized the cupboards because…well, she had an eye for that kind of detail. Then they tackled the floors together.
Soon the whole kitchen and library were sparkling clean! Susanna made some tea and Esther set out a plate of cookies she’d discovered in the cupboards. When the tea was hot they all settled down in the library to catch their breath.
“Well done, girls!” Priscilla rocked slowly in the rocking chair.
“It was a team project.” Miss Esther curled up on the floor and Cashew came trotting over to join her. She gave him a cookie too.
“The exercise was delicious!” Susanna leaned back in the armchair with a happy sigh. “We should do this more often!”
“When does your shift start at the hospital, Susanna?” Esther took a sip of tea.
“In half an hour.” Susanna brushed some crumbs from her skirt. “Plenty of time yet. Say, Esther, did you just feed Cashew a cookie?” She sat bolt upright.
“Yes, but there’s nothing in it he can’t eat.” Miss Esther scratched behind the dog’s ears.
Susanna relaxed back in her chair. She was a nurse at the local hospital and knew lots of things about staying healthy when you had fluffy insides.
All too soon the girls had to stop their happy chatter and prepare for the rest of their day. Susanna headed off to the hospital, Priscilla left for the library and Esther prepared to go to market. They were getting low on vegetables.
Esther had just put on her bonnet and swept up her basket when she remembered Carrots.
“Where could Carrots be?” Esther paused on her way out the door. “He loves cookies and would have come flying from any corner had he been here. I wonder if he went to visit Mary and Martha? I’ll look out for him when I go to market. Maybe he got lost?”
Chapter 4: Miss Esther Looks for Carrots
“What a lovely day it is today!” Miss Esther spun around for joy as she walked down the sidewalk. “God gives us so many good gifts!”
She passed the library and saw Priscilla working among the rows of books. Priscilla not only loved to read but had a great mind for numbers. She kept all of Small Village’s library books in excellent order and was always on the look out for new ones.
Miss Esther walked on past the church and saw Martha Mouse pausing at the door of her house.
“Good morning, Miss Esther!” Martha Mouse waved her spoon energetically.
“Good morning, Martha! How are you today?” Miss Esther paused to talk to her friend.
“I’m doing very well, thank-you, Miss Esther. Always so much to be thankful for!” Martha spoke very fast but Miss Esther understood her perfectly.
“How are things at the ‘Bethany Bread House’ today?”
“Just squeaky keen!” Martha waved her spoon for emphasis. “The bread just came out of the oven. Would you like some, Miss Esther?”
“Why that would be lovely! Is it two pennies a loaf as usual?”
In a moment a beautiful, fresh loaf was carefully wrapped in one of Miss Esther’s towels and residing in her basket. Miss Esther counted out two pennies for Martha and Martha scurried to tuck them away in her cash box.
“By the way, Martha, have you seen my cat Carrots?” Miss Esther took up her basket and prepared to resume her walk.
“Come to think of it I haven’t! I’m sure Mary hasn’t either for she always brings him in for bread and milk when she sees him. Mary takes care of everybody, you know.”
Miss Esther nodded. “Thank-you, Martha. If you see him, would you tell him we’re looking for him?”
“I sure will!”
“Have a wonderful afternoon!” Miss Esther waved to her friend and continued on her way.
She went past the lighthouse and shipping dock but didn’t see Carrots there. She went by the Understanding University but the studious professor bears hadn’t seen him either.
“I wonder if he went as far as the market?” Miss Esther pressed a hand to her heart. “Poor Carrots! He’s so small, he’s sure to have gotten lost if he went that far!”
Miss Esther hurried down the hall. To her great joy, Robby Raccoon was working with his Air Basket.
“Why yes, Miss Esther, it is! How are you this fine day?” Robby kept working as he talked because he had so much to do.
“I’m doing very well, thank-you, Robby. But I’m concerned about my cat Carrots. I haven’t seen him since yesterday. Have you seen him?”
Robby’s face furrowed in thought. “Ah, yes, I have. I work the night shift, you know. I believe I saw him go by about six o’ clock this morning!”
“Do you know where he went?” Miss Esther was relieved to hear something of her pet.
“I saw him stroll off towards the market. Maybe he wanted to buy you a flower!” Robby smiled encouragingly. “Alright, Miss Esther. The basket is all ready. May I help you in?”
Miss Esther mounted the small box and Robby gave her his paw. In a moment she was seated comfortably inside.
Robby began working with the ropes. “We’ll have you down in no time!”
“Thank-you, Robby. Just not too fast please. I know Priscilla loves to fly up and down at a great speed but heights aren’t exactly my thing.”
“I know, I know, Miss Esther.” Robby’s tail twitched in sympathy. “Don’t you worry. The speed is slow this morning anyway. Now, have a nice ride!”
Miss Esther held on to her hat and watched as the cliff disappeared from view. She passed the Big Clock and soon could tell they’d almost reached the bottom. There was a gentle clunk and then the basket stood still.
“Whew! We made it!” Miss Esther fanned herself with her hand and turned to see Danny Dog waiting for her.
“Good morning, Danny! How are you today?”
“Just fine, Miss Esther, just fine! Let me help you out.”
“Thank-you!” Esther took his paw and was soon standing on level ground once again.
“Will you be going back up?”
“Yes.” Miss Esther smiled kindly. “I’m going to market and will have a heavy basket to take home.”
“Ah yes, the stairs are difficult in that case.” Danny Dog nodded his head and his ears flapped happily. “Very well. When you come back, you can pay Robby at the top. He’ll give you the round trip discount.”
“Thank-you, Danny. I appreciate it.” Miss Esther took up her basket. “Have you seen my cat Carrots today?”
Danny Dog shook his head. “No, Miss Esther, but I’ll keep a look out for him.”
“Thank-you. See you soon!”
“Good-bye!” Danny waved a paw in farewell and began preparing the basket for his next customer.
Miss Esther moved swiftly down the hall. In a moment she would turn left and reach the market. Perhaps she would find Carrots there?
Chapter 5: Miss Esther Finds Carrots
Miss Esther walked along the road, swinging her basket and thinking of all the groceries she needed to pick up for the week. At the same time she tried to watch for her beloved cat Carrots who had not been home for breakfast or lunch.
And like most people who try to do lots of things at once, she was quickly distracted by something else.
It sounded like someone or something was crying on Tea Cup Street.
“I hope they are alright!” Miss Esther quickened her steps. “If only Susanna were here!”
Miss Esther reached the three way stop and looked to see where the sound was coming from.
Then suddenly Miss Esther’s heart almost stopped.
It was Carrots!
And something was terribly, terribly wrong!
Miss Esther rushed forward and dropped her basket by the side of the road.
“Meow!” Carrots wailed for joy at the sight of her.
“Carrots!” Miss Esther knelt beside her pet. “I’ve found you at last! And ah, you’ve gotten yourself stuck in the grating haven’t you?”
Poor Carrots was stuck on one of the metal rods, his legs hanging down into space.
Miss Esther gently lifted him off and then set him down on her lap.
“Meow.” Carrots leaned up against her and purred with relief.
“Did you try to walk the metal railings?” Miss Esther gave her pussy a wise look. “That is a very risky thing to do, Carrots.”
Carrots hung his head.
“I’m sure it looked like fun, but then getting stuck isn’t much fun, is it?” Miss Esther ran a hand over Carrot’s back.
Carrots looked up apologetically. “Meow.”
“But now we know.” Miss Esther gave him a forgiving smile. “Are you hurt?”
She noticed that Carrots seemed to be favoring one leg. She felt it gently and Carrots yelped in good earnest.
“We’ll have Susanna take a look at it tonight. She’ll know if it’s a sprain or a break.”
Suddenly a new voice broke into the conversation.
“I’m so glad to see you, ma’am. We tried to help him but we were too small.”
Miss Esther turned to see a small mouse with red hair standing just before her. “Hello, sir! I’m sorry. I didn’t see you.”
“Most people don’t.” The little mouse bowed politely. “I’m Mel Mouse and down there is my house.”
“I’m very pleased to meet you Mel Mouse. My name is Miss Esther MaeWell, but everyone calls me Miss Esther.”
“Glad to meet you!” The white mouse shook hands heartily with Miss Esther. “My wife will be delighted to make your acquaintance. We’re new here, you see, and looking for friends.”
Mel scampered over to the grating. “Mellie! It’s alright. The cat is rescued and we have a new friend!”
Miss Esther heard the sound of scurrying and then suddenly from around the corner came another white mouse, with two more just behind her.
“Mellie, this is Miss Esther.” Mel seemed very pleased to be making the introductions. “Miss Esther, this is my beautiful wife Mellie and our twin girls, Milly and Molly.”
“So good to meet you all!” Miss Esther shook hands with each one. “And this is my cat, Carrots. I hope he didn’t disturb you too much.”
“We were more worried about him than we were about our sleep.” Mel tipped his head. “Is he a friendly cat?”
“Very. Everyone in Small Village knows Carrots. The two of us are very good friends with all the mice here.”
Mel beamed his relief.
“Can you stay for tea?” Mellie had a beautiful smile and her voice was very musical.
“I would love to, but I’m afraid Carrots has hurt his leg. I need to take him to my sister Susanna. She’s a nurse.”
“Yes, yes!” Mel nodded his agreement. “Perhaps you can come for tea tomorrow?”
“I would love to.” Miss Esther smiled. “Where do you live?”
“Just down there.” Mel motioned with his hand.
Miss Esther bent forward. Sure enough! There was a small house built right under the floor!
“How lovely!” Miss Esther’s face lit up with joy. “You’ve made it a beautiful home, Mellie.”
Mellie smiled her thanks.
“So I’ll see you tomorrow.” Miss Esther rose and lifted Carrots up in her arms. “Thank-you so much for your help. I hope you have a wonderful evening!”
“You too!” The white mice all waved good-bye and Miss Esther moved back down the street.
“Come on, Carrots, we need to get you to Susanna as soon as possible!”
Chapter 6: Miss Esther Takes Care of Carrots
Miss Esther held Carrots closely in her arms and moved quickly down the street.
“Meow!” Carrots was clearly relieved to be found, but Miss Esther could tell he wasn’t feeling very good.
“It’s okay, Carrots. We’re going to get you to Susanna as quickly as possible.” Miss Esther caught sight of Danny Dog helping a customer out of his Air Basket. “It looks like we might be able to go right up.”
“Why, Miss Esther, so soon?” Danny Dog’s blue eyes were surprised. “Ah, you found Carrots!”
“Yes, and Danny, I’m afraid he’s hurt badly.” Miss Esther paused to catch her breath after walking so fast.
“I’m so sorry!” Danny Dog shook his head. “Well, there’s no one else in line, Miss Esther. I can send you straight up, if you like.”
“Oh, yes, please! Thank-you so much, Danny.”
“No trouble at all, Miss Esther.” Danny Dog held out his paws. “Here, I’ll hold Carrots while you climb in and then I’ll hand him to you.”
Miss Esther carefully gave Danny her cat and then scrambled as best she could into the Air Basket. She tumbled the last inch but was delighted to land upright on her seat.
“There!” Miss Esther straightened her hat and held out her hands for Carrots. “All set.”
“Very good.” Danny Dog handed Carrots to her with great care and then sprang back down the steps.
“Yes, Carrots. We’re going up. We’ll be home before too long.” Esther gathered Carrots close, being careful not to hurt his injured leg.
“Up we go!” Danny Dog rang his bell and gave Miss Esther a warm smile.
Miss Esther felt the basket lurch and then lift off. She concentrated on keeping Carrots still and didn’t look to see how very high they were getting.
There was a quick jerk and Robby Raccoon’s face came into view.
“Ah, Miss Esther, you found Carrots!” The raccoon smiled broadly and then looked concerned. “Is something wrong?”
“I’m afraid he’s hurt himself by mistake. We’re going to find Susanna.” Miss Esther tried to keep her voice calm.
“Here, I’ll take Carrots while you climb out.” Robby held out his paws.
In no time at all Miss Esther found herself once again on the carpeted street of the upper village. She paid Robby for their fare and then took up Carrots.
Soon she was walking quickly past the university, the lighthouse, the Bethany Bread House and the library.
“It’s okay, Carrots, we’re not too far from the hospital.” Miss Esther saw with relief that they were at last on Woodland Street. “Just a little ways now.”
Miss Esther passed her own front door and Sarai’s TeaShop. Then down another flight of shelves to Bubble Lane. At last she raised a hand and knocked at the white entrance.
“Come in! Good afternoon…why Esther!” Susanna looked up quickly from her stand beside a long table. “What is wrong?”
Miss Esther almost laughed with relief. “It’s Carrots. He tried to walk the heater grating and hurt his leg. Can you make sure it’s alright?”
“Of course! Come here, Carrots.” Susanna reached out and took the small cat in her strong arms. “Let’s see what’s wrong.”
Susanna laid Carrots down on her long table and gently felt his tiny legs.
“Meow!” Carrots let out a cry as she felt his right foreleg.
Susanna felt along the bone and then moved it gently. “Praise the Lord, it’s just a sprain! His bones seem fine.”
Miss Esther leaned against the table and took a deep breath. “I was going to wait till tonight but he seemed to be in such pain I thought I’d bring him right to you.”
Susanna nodded. “I’ll bandage it up.”
Susanna rubbed some healthy salve on Carrots injured leg and then tied it up carefully so he wouldn’t move it by mistake.
“There!” Susanna scratched under the cat’s chin. “That should help! I’ll put a new one on in a few days.”
“Thank-you so much, Susanna.” Miss Esther reached into her purse and drew out a couple pennies. She dropped them into the tin on the corner of the table. “We’ll enjoy the afternoon so much more.”
“A pleasure.” Susanna smiled. “Are you okay going back by yourself?”
“Yes.” Miss Esther lifted Carrots up easily. “It’s not that far.”
“Stop and get a cup of tea at Sarai’s.” Susanna began cleaning up her table. “Her peppermint tea is the best.”
“I might do that.” Miss Esther gave her sister a warm smile. “Thanks again, Susanna. I’ll see you at dinner.”
Miss Esther stood to one side as another patient came through the door.
“Ah, Dilly Dolphin, how are you? And how is little Dubby?” Susanna was on to her next nursing project.
Miss Esther moved out into the street. “Susanna is a good nurse, isn’t she, Carrots? God has given her a real gift!”
Miss Esther climbed back up the shelves and found herself at Sarai’s TeaShop.
“Good afternoon, Miss Esther! Can I serve you in any way today?”
Miss Esther suddenly realized her legs were very tired. “A cup of tea would be lovely. It has been a very full day.”
“Peppermint as usual?”
“Yes, thank-you.” Miss Esther sank down on a tin stool and let Carrots rest on the floor beside her.
“And how is Carrots today?” Sarai poured a dish of milk and set it down beside Carrots.
“Better.” Miss Esther looked up with a weary smile. “There was a bit of an accident, but Susanna has bandaged him up. He should be back up and about soon.”
“I’m glad to hear it!” Sarai pushed a small teacup across the counter. “Some cake with your tea? It’s gluten free, sugar free, dairy free and all natural!”
Miss Esther chuckled. “That sounds lovely, Sarai. Thank-you.”
“Yes, Carrots.” Miss Esther ran a hand over Carrot’s back. “I’m hungry too. Shall we pray and thank the Lord for our tea?”
Miss Esther bowed her head and was quite sure Carrots did too. “Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for watching over us this morning and for Susanna’s help. We pray that Carrots leg would heal quickly and that you would give us the patience to wait in the meantime. Thank You for our tea and milk, and the tea cake too. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”
“Meow.” Carrots obviously agreed.
Carrots buried his nose in the dish of milk and Miss Esther turned back to her tea.
The cake was delicious and so was the peppermint tea. She and Sarai chatted about the upcoming concert, the newest book at the library and what they were reading in their quiet times.
“I’ve been so impressed with the selflessness of Christ in the book of Hebrews.” Sarai wrapped her hands around her own cup of tea. “That He would leave His glory in heaven and come to live on earth with us is amazing.”
“It is!” Miss Esther politely licked the last of the cherry topping from her fork. “In between looking for Carrots I’ve kept thinking about what I read in John this morning. Jesus found doing His Father’s will very satisfying. More satisfying than eating.” She chuckled. “More delicious than even strawberry shortcake. This was scrumptious as usual, Sarai.”
“Thank you.” Sarai smiled warmly. “It’s my Aunt Melissa’s recipe. She has the knack for anything sweet.”
Miss Esther nodded and slid a couple pennies across the counter. “It’s been lovely chatting with you, Sarai. You’ve helped make my day.”
“Aw, thank-you.” Sarai slid the pennies into a jar. “I’ve loved talking with you too. I’ll be praying that Carrots feels better soon.”
“Thank-you.” Esther reached down to claim Carrot’s empty milk dish and set it back up on the counter. Then she picked up her cat and rose to go. “Have a wonderful afternoon, Sarai!”
“I will! Princess Ella has asked me to bring tea up to the castle tonight. King Teddy-O-So-Grand is having company.”
“How wonderful! Enjoy.” Miss Esther made sure she had everything. “If you think of it, do pass on my greetings!”
“I’ll do that!” Sarai waved and then turned to serve her next customer.
“Oh dear! I must have left my basket at the side of the road!” Miss Esther pressed a hand to her head. “When sisters get home I’ll see if one of them can go find it.”
There was a gentle tap on the door.
Miss Esther hurried to open it and was surprised to see Less, the grocer’s son, standing on her door step.
“Why, Less, what a pleasant surprise!”
“I found your basket when I was returning from an errand and heard about what happened to Carrots.” Less’s green ears flopped in his eagerness. “Dad filled up the basket with your usual order and I just brought it up. Hope we didn’t miss anything!”
“Thank-you so much!” Miss Esther motioned the bunny in. “Let me get my purse.”
“Hi ya, Carrots!” Less waved a paw as soon as he caught sight of Carrots resting in the basket near the stove. “Sorry you’re not feeling the best. Mom said potato soup is always good when one is feeling poorly.”
Miss Esther found her purse and turned to pay Less for the groceries. “I was thinking vegetable soup would be just the thing for tonight. With your delivery, I can do just that.”
Less beamed and took the coins between his paws. “Our pleasure. While Carrots is getting better, just call and we can send up the groceries. I come up this way to deliver to Sarai anyway.”
“Thank-you, Less. I’d be so grateful. Priscilla and Susanna have their hands full with work right now.”
Less nodded. “Alright! I’ll see you soon. Got another basket to deliver to Sarai! Have a good one!”
Less hopped away before Miss Esther could say more. She shut the door and then knelt beside Carrots to make sure he was still comfortable.
“Isn’t the Lord good to us, Carrots? He just looks out for everything!”
“Meow!” Carrots sounded sleepy.
Miss Esther smiled. “I’ll take that as a ‘yes’.”
Then she rose and turned back to her kitchen table.
It was time to make dinner.
Story Blog Writer
Melanie has been fascinated by tiny things for years and enjoys few things so much as good story. She firmly believes that what we play – with our hands and our minds – influences who we become. Her prayer is that the stories shared here on the story blog encourage girls the world over to seek Christ first in every area of their lives.
Submit a Comment
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture verses are taken from the KJV.
Scripture verses identified as NKJV are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Melanie, this story is so beautiful! I read it to my daughters yesterday and they loved it! Even the boys seem interested.😊
One of my 7yo twin daughters asked me “Mom, do you think the people see the dolls moving in there sometimes?”. I thought it was so cute that she imagined them moving on their own. The story is delightful. We were really into it. The details are so well thought out!
My oldest remarked that she remembered some of her playtime being so much like this.
As you may imagine, today they have a basket going up and down through the railing.💝
This is such a gift! Thank you for creating it. We are excited to read the following books in the series.
Gabrielle, thank-you so much for your comment. Your sweet words have so encouraged my heart! I’m thanking the Lord that the story was such a blessing to you and your children. Your daughter’s idea of the dolls moving on their own is precious – it reminds me of myself when I was younger. And it is so fun to hear an ‘Air Basket’ has launched in another location. :)
May the Lord richly bless your family as you continue to seek Him!
Love in Jesus,
Melanie (for Miss Esther too :)