“Run!” Friend, Aug. 2005, 33
Anna Kate scuffed the toes of her sneakers into the dirt and watched a cloud of dust puff up around her ankles. Her wonderful week with Grandpa and Grandma was almost over. It had been great fun, especially the part here at Aunt Pru’s cabin. Just yesterday Grandpa had taken Anna Kate to his favorite fishing spot on the Provo River, and she had caught her very first fish!
But this morning had been a disaster. First, she had slept late, and Grandpa had gone fishing without her. Then Grandma and Aunt Pru just wanted to visit in the kitchen about dull, grown-up things. Anna Kate ended up sitting on the front porch by herself, feeling bored and lonely. Worse yet, tomorrow Mommy and Daddy were coming to take her home.
Suddenly she jumped to her feet. “I’m not going to spend my last day sitting around!” she thought. “I’ll find Grandpa by myself. I know the way.” She skipped across the front yard and walked down the lane to the canyon road, looking carefully both ways before crossing. Soon she came to a small bridge over the river and hurried across to the railroad tracks that ran between Heber City and Provo, Utah. This was the secret to finding Grandpa. Cross the river and turn left, then follow the railroad tracks to a huge rock. On the other side of the rock was the fishing spot.
Anna Kate walked a long time. Where was the rock? It hadn’t seemed so far with Grandpa, and somehow the railroad tracks seemed even lonelier than the front porch. Looking for a happier thought, she remembered her baptism day. How proud she had been when her parents told her she was old enough to make wise decisions and could spend a week away from home. Plodding along, she began to wonder if running off without asking Grandma had been a wise decision.
To cheer herself up, she started singing her favorite Primary songs. She was halfway through the first verse of “Give, Said the Little Stream” when she heard a noise in a bush by the side of the tracks. It sounded a bit like a loud cricket, and Anna Kate stopped singing to listen. She decided to look for the cricket, but before she could take a single step, a voice in her head said, “RUN!” She didn’t know who was talking to her, but she didn’t have to be told twice. She ran.
She was out of breath when she finally found Grandpa fishing by the river. He looked up in surprise. “Does Grandma know you’re here?”
Anna Kate shook her head. “I’m sorry. I should have asked her.”
Grandpa smiled kindly and started putting away his fishing tackle. “Let’s hustle back to the cabin before she has a chance to worry.”
They hadn’t walked far when they saw Anna Kate’s older cousin William standing by the tracks. “There you are,” he said. “Grandma sent me to find you, and it’s a good thing.” He pointed to a bush a ways off. When Anna Kate and Grandpa got closer, they saw a huge rattlesnake with a diamond pattern down its back hiding there. “I didn’t dare let it out of my sight with you out here alone,” William said.
After that, Anna Kate always told someone where she was going. It was a long time, though, before she told anyone about the loud cricket or the voice that had saved her life. She would realize later that it had been the Holy Ghost. She already knew that it was a voice to be obeyed.