Lil Bit Needs Duchess’ Help
By Nita Wilson
Lil Bit is eating fresh cucumbers from the Queen’s garden. She’s been told not to eat more than one as burps could interfere with flying and send her into a tailwind, resulting in a dizzy spell. She is just finishing the one she’s allowed and looks over at the bell peppers, plump and shining in the sun.
“I need you, Lil Bit.” She hears Jesus say and rushes to his side.
“Look down there; do you see the fire starting?” Lil Bit looked down through the big portal and saw a log house beginning to burn with both humans still asleep and dreaming separate dreams.
“Should I wake them?” She asked Jesus, looking back to see one little boy hiding in the privy, holding on to his dog.
“Why is he hiding, why doesn’t he call to his mom and dad?” Lil Bit asked Jesus.
“He’s frightened and he doesn’t know how. He’s a special child with a special heart. If he’s not saved immediately, he will gather his courage and run to wake his parents, but he will run straight into the fire.”
“Can his dog help?” She looked again and saw the boy wasn’t clutching the dog, the dog was holding the boy back, protecting him.
“The dog’s name is Poko, and knows to keep the boy in the privy and not let him run into the fire, but the dog is misguided. You need to get the boy out of the privy and into the open, but the dog will try to stop you. You’ll need to take Duchess. She’s brave and can talk to the dog. Now, off you go.” Lil Bit thought Duchess to come to her and suddenly she and Duchess were outside the privy. Lil Bit smiled as she opened the door and reached for the boy.
“You must come with me, you’re in danger. I will help you to safety.” The little boy started crying and tried to pull the door closed again. At the same time a burning curtain from the little window of the cabin floated and landed on top of the dried wood of the privy and caught the dead pine straw covering the little roof on fire.
“Mama, Papa.” Screamed the little boy and ran out of the privy toward the cabin.
“Catch him, Duchess.” Lil Bit yelled and flew into the burning cabin ahead of the boy. She parted the flames and ran into the area of the one room cabin where ma and pa were still sleeping. She held the fire at bay and called for Duchess.
“Tell Poko to bark and wake them. They must get out now.”
Duchess nodded and disappeared. Lil Bit heard the loud incessant barking of Poko as the dog got closer and closer to the front door without going into the burning building. Duchess was holding the little boy by his shirt tail in her mouth. To a human it would look as if the boy was walking against a strong wind while his shirt tail was caught on an invisible branch. Lil Bit would have found it funny, but the ma and pa were just waking up and they had no time to lose; Lil Bit could hold the mean fire back only so much longer. It was already angry with her for saving the little boy. Lil Bit didn’t know at the time, she was robbing the devil’s fire of the two adults and wrecking his well laid plans.
Lil Bit began to howl like a mighty wolf and bent down to pa’s ear. He jumped as he woke fast and pulled his wife out of bed. She looked around for her son, but pa yelled he was outside and the two rushed for the front door just as the burning roof fell onto their bed. For a split second, pa looked back and saw Lil Bit hovering behind them holding the roaring flames back while they escaped. Once they were outside and re united with their little boy, pa looked around for Lil Bit.
“I saw you. I know you saved us. God bless you. I won’t forget this.” He yelled into the night.
Lil Bit and Duchess sat next to Jesus and told him everything. They knew he knew already, but it was exciting in the telling. Lil Bit had smoke in her wings turning them a strange gray and a few soot streaks across her little cheek, but Jesus kissed the top of her head and in a flash she was pristine white again. Duchess sat panting and smiling. She couldn’t wait to tell Duke. She was still surprised Jesus asked for her; as a rule when dogs were needed to save humans, they sent for the souls of the mighty canine units of the human’s law enforcements or the brave souls of the war dogs. She was a proud hound dog soul, yes sir, very proud, Duke would be proud of her too.
Lil Bit was helping Punkin Seed polish his halo. He’d been caught in the rain and hadn’t properly dried the little circle of light. He was lying on his stomach over a large pine tree felled by God’s lightning in the big forest, trying to hold still as Lil Bit polished it with a willing, giggling bunny soul.
“I don’t understand this, Punkin Seed. You know Jesus wants us to keep these things shining and new.” She was polishing with all her muscles.
“I know, I forgot. I couldn’t help it Lil Bit, the rain came down on purpose because I dared it to make a puddle on one of the gold streets and I think I made it angry.”
“Well, yeah, you did, duh. The rain is much bigger than we are, Punkin Seed. We don’t dare the rain.” She stood back and admired her handiwork.
“Well done. Now try not to get it wet again. Want a fresh cucumber? The Queen’s garden has nice ones ready to eat.” Within a split second they were each choosing a nice size cucumber.
“Do you know why Jesus sent Duchess with you to save the pioneers from the fire?” Punkin Seed asked as he willed a cucumber to peel itself.
“Because she’s a good dog and could help?” She hadn’t thought why Duchess was chosen to go with her, she thought it odd, but hadn’t really questioned it.
“The being-that-is-all-bad sent the fire to kill the settlers; intending the soldiers to blame the Sioux and start a mighty fight. Jesus knew if he sent a war dog, it would anger the one-that-is-all-bad and make it worse, but Duchess is no threat to the devil, (he whispered the name), so he was only mildly annoyed.”
“Wow, I felt evil while I was in the cabin and I knew the fire was angry, but… wow. You mean I was that close to… him?”
“Yep. See how brave you are? Better not tell Duchess, she may be upset.” Lil Bit handed him a big fat bell pepper and the two sat quietly in the garden, reflecting and eating God’s bounty; two little angels learning new things every day.