Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Amanda's Love," A #YA Short Story

Douglas Winslow Cooper and Brian Maher

“Kids, I want you to see this true story on the Internet,” Mr. Williams said as dinner was getting over.

“What is it, Dad?” Rick asked.

“It is about a dog named ‘Amanda,’ her six puppies, and a fire that was burning up their family’s house.”

The Williamses gathered around the computer and gazed at a series of color photographs that had written explanations alongside them.

The first photo showed the rear corner of a fire engine, with two tiny puppies already on the back part of the fire truck, and a dog, Amanda, bringing a third puppy in her mouth to place with the other two.

The fire department had come to the house in the early morning, and the fire was already going strong, with lots of heat and flame and smoke. In fact, the fire had the house surrounded.

The series of photographs showed Amanda bringing more puppies to the fire truck, then cuddling with all six protectively.

The writer of the comments noted, “The mother dog, Amanda, raced back and forth from the house, putting her 10-day-old puppies in the safest place she could find ... a fire truck! An onlooker photographed it with his cell phone after she already had a few in one of the truck's equipment compartments….She didn't stop racing back into the smoke and fire until all of her puppies were safely away from the fire. The firemen on scene could not believe their eyes. Most people have never seen a dog this smart or this brave!”

Once the fire was put out, Amanda and her pups were taken to a veterinarian’s office. Amada’s fur was singed in spots, as was one of the puppies, but all soon healed completely.

Mrs. Williams told the children that a mother’s love for her children is particularly strong, and this extends to the animal kingdom. A favorite expression of hers is, “Love casts out fear,” meaning one can do some amazingly brave things when one loves someone.

“Love is very powerful. Husbands and wives can overcome major family problems if they are still in love. Parents will often give up what they want so their children can have what they need. Children sometimes do that for their elderly parents, too. Even brothers and sisters have been known to perform brave acts for one another,” Mr. Williams said.

Tess added, “We read in school about four chaplains who gave up their life jackets to four other soldiers when their troop ship was sinking during World War II. They showed love and bravery, too.”

Her mom said, “I went to the Dutch Reformed Church as a girl, and my minister was related to one of those chaplains, Rev. Clark V. Poling. We learned the story of the four chaplains in Sunday School. We were taught ‘greater love hath no man than that he give up his life for another.’”

Rick asked, “They say that ‘love conquers all,’ but that is not always true, is it, Dad?”

“Not always, Rick. Love can conquer fear, but not death, although the memory of such love and bravery lives on even after death. As firefighters, we know we risk our lives every time we leave the fire station. You might say we love what we do. We certainly care about the people we rescue and they surely appreciate us.”

Heroism and love elevate those who are brave and loving, bless those who are rescued, and inspire those who learn about such nobility.

On of our series of 50 short stories that are instructive.

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