Scaredy-Cat
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“Scaredy-Cat,” Friend, Feb. 1999, 40

Fiction:

Scaredy-Cat

Be strong in the Lord (Eph. 6:10).

My little brother, David, is a real scaredy-cat. Mom said he was named after the David in the Bible. She told us that that David was brave and had a lot of faith in God. But I can’t imagine my brother slaying a giant warrior like Goliath.

Every Tuesday when we walk to Sister Johnson’s house for piano lessons, David insists that we go all the way around the block to avoid a big, barking dog, even though she is behind a strong fence. He’s such a chicken sometimes.

Maybe Mom and Dad thought that being named after the Bible’s David would help their son become a great hero. Maybe they were right. My brother sure isn’t brave near barking dogs or giant Goliaths, but one day I learned that he is a different kind of brave. …

All the kids in our neighborhood went sledding during Christmas vacation. The school had the greatest sledding hill around, and zillions of kids were there that day. It had snowed the night before, so the hill was perfect for trying out our new sleds.

We trudged up the hill, and I was the first one to jump on my sled and slide down. I found a great path that had a bump halfway down the hill and sent you flying through the air. What a ride! Everyone else followed me on that path—everyone else, that is, except David. He went over to the kiddie hill, where all the moms and dads were clapping and saying “Wheeee!” every time a little one slid to the bottom.

Some of our friends laughed at David and called him “chicken” and “baby.” But mostly they left him alone because they were used to him being afraid. I felt kind of bad for David, but he didn’t seem to care what other kids were saying about him.

Sledding was great fun, but after a couple of hours, we were cold and hungry. One of our friends suggested that we go into the drug store to look around and warm up. So we went inside and checked out the comic books and clearance toys. After five or ten minutes, we decided to head home. That’s when something really horrible happened.

On the way out of the store, someone—I think it was the new boy—dared everyone to take a candy bar from a big bin near the door. I couldn’t believe what was happening! Before I knew it, the other kids were stuffing candy bars into their hats or pockets.

I just froze. I didn’t want to steal anything. Then someone said I was scared, “just like your baby brother.” Fortunately David saved me before I had to decide whether to grab a candy bar or not.

“He’s not scared,” David blurted out. “He’s just smarter and cooler than you are. He turned and locked his arm through mine and said, “Let’s go.”

My heart was still pounding hard as David and I walked home. We didn’t say much to each other, and I thought a lot about what had just happened back at the store.

I think that what David did that day took a lot of courage and faith. It was just like in the Bible story when David slew Goliath because it was the right thing to do. I was pretty proud of my brother for choosing to do the right thing. And I’m especially glad he helped me do the same.

I don’t think of David as a scaredy-cat anymore. In fact, he’s pretty brave. I told him so, too.

Illustrated by Mark Robison