“Riding to the Rescue,” Friend, February 2020
“This is going to be great!” Sterling said as he looked out the truck window. The sun was just rising over the horizon. The range stretched as far as he could see, full of sagebrush, a few twisted cedar trees, and one lonely cabin.
“Yeah!” his friend Glen said back. “I can’t wait to ride the range with Marcus.”
“And eat his famous sourdough biscuits,” Sterling said.
Sterling’s dad drove up to the cabin and parked the truck. He was dropping them off to help Marcus with their families’ cattle. The boys ran to the cabin as the 70-year-old cowherder walked out, smiling big. A cowboy hat covered his head.
“Here are my cowhands!” Marcus said. “I was starting to think you wouldn’t make it. I’m sure glad to see you.” Marcus spoke a few minutes with Sterling’s dad, then waved as the dust settled behind the truck.
Marcus fed them breakfast—delicious sourdough biscuits, eggs, and bacon. Then they saddled their horses and began riding the range, looking for cattle who were wandering. They set out big blocks of salt for the cattle to lick so they would be healthy.
After lunch they rode under the cloudless sky to a far corner of the range. It was hot and dusty, so Marcus led them to a spring of water to have a drink and cool off. Soon they were ready to get back to work.
But as Marcus swung his leg over his horse, his sharp spurs accidentally hit the horse under the tail. The horse bucked and threw Marcus to the ground on top of a big rock. Marcus screamed in pain.
“Marcus!” yelled Glen.
“Are you OK?” said Sterling.
“I can’t move,” Marcus moaned. Then his eyes closed. He had passed out!
The boys looked at each other, eyes wide. “What should we do?” said Sterling.
“We need to find someone to help us,” said Glen. “He needs a doctor.”
Sterling and Glen were scared. They were miles away from other people and didn’t have phones to call for help. They didn’t even know exactly where they were.
“I’ll be right back,” Sterling said. He walked around a pile of rocks, knelt in the dirt, and bowed his head. “Heavenly Father, Marcus is really hurt, and we don’t know how to help. Please let me know what to do.”
Sterling heard a clear voice in his head. Ride north.
He hurried back to Glen and Marcus. “I’m going to find help,” he said to Glen. “You stay here with Marcus.” Glen looked relieved.
Sterling climbed on his horse and started riding north. After about an hour of nothing but sky and sagebrush, he saw a cloud of dust in the distance. A truck was coming slowly across the range. Sterling galloped to the truck and waved it down. It was two sheepherders looking for their lost sheep!
Sterling told them about Marcus. The sheepherders knew where the spring was and drove right to Marcus and Glen. They carefully lifted Marcus into the back of the truck and drove him to the hospital. Sterling and Glen took the horses back to Marcus’s cabin and waited for their parents to pick them up.
“Thank you, Heavenly Father,” Sterling prayed quietly. “Thank you for helping us help Marcus.”
A few months later, Sterling saw Marcus after his broken bones had healed. “There’s my brave, smart cowhand!” Marcus said. “Thanks for saving my life with your quick thinking.”
Sterling smiled. He was glad Marcus was OK. “It wasn’t me,” he said. “I was just following Heavenly Father’s directions.”