Go Play with Your Brothers

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“Go Play with Your Brothers,” New Era, June 2014, 20–21

Go Play with Your Brothers

Krista Batts lives in Idaho, USA.

When I saw the danger my brother was in, I could hardly believe it. I was so grateful I’d listened to the Holy Ghost.

Go Play With Your Brothers

Illustration by Roger Motzkus

I stared out the window as I washed my hands in the kitchen sink. It was a very warm summer day and the birds were singing. The sun was bright and the grass was green. I could see the little dirt road that ran down the hill past our house to the fields, which were flooded again. This happened all the time when the water was let into the canal so the farmers could water.

I was just about to return to my afternoon hideout in my room when I got a sudden feeling that I should go play with my brothers. And even though I couldn’t hear them and I hadn’t seen them for hours, somehow I knew they were outside playing in the water.

Now, I really like my brothers. Blake was 5, and Morgan was almost 4. And even though I enjoyed spending time with them, I didn’t usually seek them out to play. But this time, I knew I needed to.

As I left the house, heading toward the flooded road and the ditch beyond, my main concern was that I didn’t want to get wet. A small children’s tricycle was sitting next to the road, so I used it like a scooter to begin my journey through the water.

The dirt road that led to the neighbor’s field ran on top of a culvert, a drainage pipe that carried water underneath the road and let the water out into the ditch on the other side. As I was making my way toward the culvert, I heard yelling and instantly knew I had to get there fast! Abandoning the tricycle, I ran through the water to the ditch. As the water drained through the culvert, it made a whirlpool. It was an impressive sight. But when I saw my brothers, I gasped.

Morgan had been sucked in! Blake was standing on one side of the culvert’s opening and Travis, our cousin who was the same age as Blake, was standing on the other side. The water was swirling around their legs and each of them was grasping one of Morgan’s hands. Only Morgan’s head and arms were above water. Only the desperate grips of two small boys were keeping him from being swept into the culvert.

Morgan went under the water. Blake and Travis pulled with all their might and were able to bring him up just far enough that his head came out of the water again. Thoughts of confusion and panic were rushing through my head. The one thing I remember thinking was that it was going to be hard to pull Morgan out of the water, like pulling your foot out of mud that’s halfway to your knees. But when I grabbed him and pulled, it was more like pulling a hot knife out of butter. He just slid out of the water.

The current from the whirlpool was so strong that it had pulled off Morgan’s shoes and socks. I bundled him up in the other boys’ shirts and laid him in a wagon and took him home.

After we got home and told Mom what happened, I went back down to the ditch to get Morgan’s stuff. What I saw there made my heart stop. On the other end of the culvert was a grate that had been welded on. It was there to keep anything other than water from leaving the culvert. The grate was full of garbage, and nothing bigger than a leaf was getting through. Had Morgan been pulled into the culvert, he wouldn’t have come out. He would have been stopped by that grate and drowned.

I know it was the Holy Ghost who gave me the impression to go play with my brothers that day, and it was because of the Holy Ghost that I knew where my brothers were. I’m thankful I have the Holy Ghost with me to help protect me and those I love. And I’m thankful I listened when I was inspired to go play with my brothers.