OUTTAKE: Board Book

Apple Tree

Board Book

Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! My God
sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths, so that they
have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him;
and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.”
DANIEL 6:21–22 NKJV

Once a month, Prissie Pomeroy took a turn in the church nursery. Although they could be a handful, she loved helping with the twos and threes. Koji was holding true to his promise to stay by her side, but his eyes were wider than usual.

“How do I communicate with someone who knows so few words?” the young angel asked in an undertone.

“Use small ones.” She patted his back and whispered, “Fear not.”

Several minutes later, Mrs. Ruggles tapped Prissie’s shoulder and pointed to the corner. “Looks like they’ve warmed to each other!”

Her best friend leaned against an oversized stuffed tiger while reading to a thumb-sucking boy. “Where’s the tree?” prompted Koji. “The sun? Do you see a cloud?”

A little girl with polka dot shoes scooted closer, and Koji tilted the picture book so she could see. Then in a sing-song voice, he resumed the story of Daniel. Corralling more youngsters, Prissie said, “It’s time for a Bible story. Come listen to Koji.”

The young angel embellished the story with extra details. But because he matched the book’s rhyming style, the children couldn’t tell. They were enthralled, and Prissie was impressed. Koji had to be composing each little addition on the spot.

“Point to the king’s crown,” Koji prompted. “Good. And which one is Daniel?”

“Big kitty,” lisped the little girl.

Koji gravely replied, “There were lions in the pit.”

One of the boys said, “I see’n angel.”

“Indeed. An angel was Sent by God.”

“How come?”

“To keep Daniel safe,” Koji replied. “No bites or scratches.”

“How come?”

“Because he was innocent.” When that didn’t register, he simplified. “Daniel was a good boy.”

The little girl asked, “Can I have a big kitty?”

Koji shook his head. “Lions do not make good pets.”

“How come?” asked the boy who was all questions.

Before their storyteller could answer, another boy asked, “If I’m a good boy, can I have an angel?”

Prissie saw Koji’s lips twitch before he answered, “Angels do not make good pets either.”

 ♦ ♦ ♦

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