It was a quiet ride to the airport. There were so many things Brad wanted to say to Jamie, but now didn’t seem to be the appropriate time.
What if she didn’t come back? What if her father needed her to stay and help with her mother? There was a solution. One that Brad would keep tucked away in the back of his mind as he and Jamie both waited to see how things unfolded.
“Here we are,” Jamie said. “I can’t thank you enough for bringing me, Brad. It made it so much simpler.”
“Come on,” Brad said. “I’ll grab your bags and help you get all checked in.”
When it was down to only a few minutes before Jamie’s flight boarded, Brad took her hand in his and squeezed it tightly. Jamie had tears in her eyes. Poor emotional little Jamie. His heart went out to her.
“I’m here if you need anything. You know that don’t you?” Brad was trying his best to do and say the right things. “I don’t think you have any idea how much you mean to me. I love you, Jamie, and I want to do whatever I can to make things easier for you.”
“I’ll be in touch.” Jamie smiled as she turned to leave. Brad waited for her to turn around so he could see her beautiful face one more time, but she didn’t. Instead, she rushed to board the airplane.
Clark had been enjoying all of the attention Miss Bessie and Grandma Helen had been giving him, but by the afternoon of the third day, he found himself avoiding them. He had eaten more pie and cookies than any human ought to in a month much less a couple of days. He was grateful that Brad was going to take him to Jamie’s farm tomorrow and teach him how to do her chores.
He was outside sitting under a tree when Arf came over and started barking at him.
“Why are you barking, boy? You want me to come with you? Okay, I’ll come along with you, Where we going?”
Arf led Clark to the pole barn and when they were inside, he went right to a bunch of fishing poles hanging on a wall in the back. In a storage cabinet beside them, he found a tackle box.
“Do you think it would be okay if I borrowed a pole and some lures?” Clark was excited. He loved to fish.
Arf barked and turned to lead the way to the river. He knew where all of the good fishing spots were.
“Okay,” Clark said. “I’m going to trust you. Now let’s go catch some fish!”
If anyone had been upset by the borrowed fishing poles, all would have been forgiven when they saw Arf and Clark had caught enough catfish to feed a small army. Clark cleaned them and the ladies fried them up for supper.
“Clark,” little Katie asked? “How did you learn how to catch such good fish?”
“Well, I guess that I’m a natural.”
“What’s a natural?”
How could he have forgotten how difficult it was to communicate with an eight year old. He had three little sisters and two younger brothers.
“A natural is someone who doesn’t really have to learn something. They naturally know how to do it.”
“Oh,” Katie said. He was about to offer another explanation when he realized she had already forgotten the question and was busily eating her fish.
Clark couldn’t help but notice how Arf and Annie watched over everyone at the table. He had never seen anything like it, but then he had never been allowed to have a pet. I like it here, he thought. I really like it here, so why do I feel so lonely?
Clark excused himself early that night and went to his room. It was the nicest room anyone could ever want. He went to the place he had found to keep his treasure. He pulled it out and for the first time in months, he opened up the case. After a few minutes he reached in and took out his beautiful guitar. He began to play and the music was sweet, and his voice was even sweeter.