Betty yelled at Hannah, “Hannah, come outside.” Hannah slipped down the stairs.
Then she asked, “What is it?” “It’s the middle of the night.” Hannah said shivering a bit from the cool night air.
“She said with deep concern and worry in her voice, “It’s Lorenzo, he’s run away, we’ve got to help them find him!” Lorenzo lived several houses down from Betty’s.
Hannah often found Lorenzo wandering around the streets or in some strange place, simply not being at home when she was there. He told them things weren’t okay there because his new stepfather was mean to him, but the girls had no idea what to do.
In a whisper, Hannah asked, “How do you know he ran away?”.
She told her friend that Officer Duncan and Youth Director Cindy had told him. “He works at the youth center and they have been trying to help Lorenzo.” It was true that Lorenzo had visited Officer Duncan several times.
Although the kind policeman wanted to help Lorenzo, he wasn’t entirely comfortable with him. When Cindy visited Lorenzo at home, he was often mysteriously “not there.” So all of the people who could help him most felt frustrated because he avoided them.
She snapped her fingers suddenly. “Sabine’s woods! He said he walks there sometimes because other people are afraid.” Betty nodded, knowing she was right.
The girls entered the woods fearfully. It was so dark and their dim flashlights didn’t help much. They whispered while calling out “Lorenzo” in fear that they would wake up something nasty in the woods. “Lorenzo, come home with us,” Hannah and Betty whispered together.
Enter: Marvin the Raven
“I can bring you to him.” A voice said firmly, and the girls gasped in surprise. They looked around but couldn’t see anyone. “Up here sillies, on the branch.” They looked up to see a very large black bird watching them.
I’ve never heard a crow speak before. Did you talk?” Betty asked fearfully.
The bird said, “Yes, I did, but don’t be afraid. I’m here to help you find Lorenzo. I know where he is.”.
“Oh please help us Mr. Crow, we are so sorry we were afraid of you.” The girls said together.
“I’ll do it but first of all, I am a raven, not a crow. My name is Marvin the Raven. I believe he’s with Grimly the groundhog. They were making tea. Marvin flew in front so the girls could follow. As they ventured deeper into the woods, a light came on, allowing them to see without their flashlights.
Their ears were suddenly piqued by Lorenzo’s happy voice. “Hannah, Betty, what are you doing here?” Lorenzo came running from a clearing that was filled with animals, many of whom were drinking tea and talking to each other in a very sociable manner. Lorenzo ran to the girls and hugged them.
Lorenzo, how long have you known about all this? Hannah hugged him back.
There are lots of kids who come here. Lots of kids whose parents don’t love them come here because it’s safer here than at home. Let me introduce you to my friends.”
It was a wonderful hour. They met Leonard the Llama who could quote Shakespeare flawlessly, which is rare for a Llama. They met Grimly the Groundhog and his huge family of adorable baby groundhogs who loved to be petted. Grimly made some fine tea. The unicorn liked Betty and let her ride him.
Watching Betty hug Morris’ neck as she rode, Hannah said with amazement, “I didn’t even know unicorns existed.”
“Well, they keep pretty quiet and they like to be around people they feel safe around,” Lorenzo said.
Hannah whispered to herself under her breath, “Everybody wants that.” After the ride, Lorenzo showed them a huge black bear.
“Hannah and Betty, meet Rocco.” He pointed up. The bear stood twelve feet tall, much taller than any they had ever seen.
In a soft voice, the bear greeted the girls and bowed. Betty was a bit afraid of him.
As Marvin the Raven landed on the bear’s shoulders, Betty said, “Don’t be afraid of Rocco.” Yes, Rocco is dangerous, and anyone who hurts these woods will be severely mauled by him.
However, you are friends with Lorenzo, so you are always safe with him and with us. Now Lorenzo, Rocco and I have a special mission to take you to meet the King and Queen of the Forest.”
Marvin the Raven took Rocco, Hanna, and Betty on a treacherous journey to the far end of the forest, where all magical and courageous forest animals had to go. Their destination, to meet the King and Queen of the forest, was only available by invitation.
As they traveled along gold-flecked streams, they encountered deadly dangers from falling poison pods and screaming monkeys intent on stopping or destroying them. A mighty roar from the mighty Rocco sent the monkeys scurrying back to their tree lairs.
Finally, they climbed a tall hill to a clearing before a portal surrounded by ivory pillars and majestic but sometimes spooky gargoyles. On the head of one such gargoyle, Marvin the Raven commanded everyone to kneel and bow to allow the King and Queen into the room.
“BEHOLD THE KING AND QUEEN.” He said with majesty and they entered.
A familiar voice from the forest said, “Hello Lorenzo. Good job saving him.”.
With a gasp, Lorenzo exclaimed, “Officer Duncan, you are the King of the Forest?”.
Every creature there was soothed by the sound of a soft female voice, “Hello Hannah, Hello Betty, Hello Lorenzo.”
Betty said in a rush to her arms, “Youth Director Cindy, what is going on?”.
Taking Lorenzo into his strong arms, Officer Duncan said, “It’s true, children. For as long as this forest has existed, we have known about its magic. Although we help children such as Lorenzo, our role in the Sabine’s woods is a secret, which is kept in the hearts of the residents of your town.
Children like Lorenzo run away from adults who hurt them because of Marvin the Raven, Rocco the bear and all the others you met last night. Children, you can trust the authorities in your lives. The policemen, teachers, and ministers in the church are as magical as we are. This is because Jesus placed them on this planet for the purpose of saving children who need help.
Taking their hands, Queen Cindy said to them, “Let’s go to the youth center where your dad is Betty.” “But you must keep what you have learned here close to your hearts.”
Now you are part of this magical world and you must help bring children to us so that we can cope with their family problems. Is your alliance with Sabine’s Woods and its mission of helping good children get the help they need?
You too have discovered the magical secret of Sabine’s Woods. Lorenzo, Betty, and Hannah swore to remain members of this magical society forever.
You must swear your allegiance to its secrets and to the calling God has on it, on you and on you parents, teachers, policemen, firemen, youth directors and all the rest. In order to rescue children in trouble and bring God’s love and peace to a troubled world, we must pledge allegiance to its secrets.
The magic will be yours if you pledge to be citizens of Sabine’s Woods and raise your hand.
And, they did.
I hope you enjoyed this Christian children’s story from Making Christ Known and will come again to read others. Thank you so much for visiting and God Bless! – Bob