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Davy and the Lightning Bolt

Daniel looked at his clean room and sighed. Mom said that her cousin Jane was coming by to visit. “She has a son named Davy,” Mom had told him. “He’s seven, and I’m sure he’d like to play with your train set or build something with Legos.”

It would have been much easier to play outside. But it was windy and wet outside. “Maybe I’ll set up the train,” Daniel said to himself. “At least there are not so many pieces to lose.” But as he reached under his bed for the box, Daniel spotted his toy car collection.

Daniel had a box full of toy cars. Some of them were really old and nearly junk. But last month Grandpa had given him a new set of three racers. One was fire red, one was lemon yellow, and one was blue with black stripes. Rosie didn’t like playing cars, and Chad was usually too busy. Daniel pulled out his racing board and leaned it against the bed. Racing cars with Davy would be fun.

“Daniel, they’re here!” Rosie called down the hall. Daniel left the cars in a neat row and joined his sisters at the living room window. Sure enough, a tall lady and a boy in a bright yellow jacket were coming up the front steps. Except the boy wasn’t really coming up the steps. He was sliding down the railing.

Mom greeted them at the door and soon a loud voice was saying, “Hello! I’m Davy! Who are you? Do you have toys? My mom said you would play with me. Do you have Nintendo?”

“Not so many questions, dear,” Cousin Jane said with a laugh. “I’m sure you will get along fine and have a good time.”

Daniel led the way to the bedroom while Davy chattered about everything he saw. “Are those your Thunderjet racers?” He asked when he spotted the cars. “They’re cool! I have five racers, but I’m missing the Lightening Bolt. Yours is new isn’t it?” As Davy talked, he picked up the yellow car and looked at it closely.

“Yes, my grandpa gave them to me,” Daniel said, smiling. “Maybe you would like to race them on my racing board?”

“That would be super!” Davy was eager for action. After a few tries with the “old timers” the boys left them for wrecks and set the new racers to flying. Along the bookshelf, over the dresser, and down the wooden track with a zoom!

When they hit the racing board, Davy would scream, “Lightning wins every time!” He never seemed to get tired of the yellow car or want to play with any other. But he always made sure that Daniel knew that he had won.

“Ha, ha, ha!” he laughed when Daniel’s Firebird tumbled off the edge of the runway. “He’s busted now! I won and I bet a million that I’ll win next time.”

Daniel didn’t say anything, but when his cars went sailing straight down the track he couldn’t help grinning. Davy gave Lightning Bolt a quick shove and knocked the other two out of the way. “When speedy man comes, better watch out!” he cried.

“But you can’t push them on the runway,” Daniel said. “That’s not fair.”

“Who says? I can do what I want!” And with that Davy started a one-car race all around the room. Daniel just sat on the floor and watched. It wasn’t much fun to play anymore. Not when Davy always had to win.

“You can play with the cars if you want to,” he said. “I’m going to read a book.”

“Books are dumb. You just don’t like losing,” Davy said. “I don’t care if you go away. Lightning still rules! Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!”

Daniel walked off down the hall. His head hurt from all the noise and he was glad to find a quiet spot in the corner of the living room. But it was only a few minutes later when Davy appeared.

“Hey, when are we going to eat? I’m starved!”

Daniel looked at the clock. It was almost supper time. “It will be time to eat when we clean up, I guess. Are you done playing with the cars?”

“Yeah, your little brother has them.” Sure enough, Kyle had a car in each hand when Daniel came into the bedroom. He grinned and pushed an old truck along the racing board. Daniel looked around for his racers.

“He can play with those old ones, but where is the yellow racer?” Daniel asked.

“Dunno,” Davy said quickly. “He could be sitting on it, or maybe I left it under the bed.” Daniel hunted, but the yellow racer wasn’t anywhere.

“It isn’t in your pocket?” Daniel asked. He was beginning to feel suspicious. But Davy had slipped off down the hall. Daniel found him in the kitchen standing next to his mom.

“Davy, did you take my yellow car?” Daniel asked, looking at the boy closely.

“Oh, I’m sure he didn’t,” Cousin Jane said quickly. “You don’t know about his yellow car, do you, Deary?”

“What yellow car?” Davy asked, opening his eyes wide.

“I guess he doesn’t know about it,” Davy’s mother said, smiling sweetly. Daniel felt angry. He wanted to say something, but he knew he shouldn’t contradict. Davy did have his yellow car, and now he was lying to cover it up. A cold bitter feeling crept into Daniel’s heart.

“Davy stole my car!” he whispered to Rosie, when they sat down at the table.

“Which car?”

“The new yellow racer Grandpa gave me. He was playing with it, and now I can’t find it. Davy says that he doesn’t know where it is, but he’s lying! I know it’s in his pocket.”

“Daniel, is there something important you need to say?” Dad asked, looking sharply across the table. Daniel felt his face turn red and he shook his head.

As they were clearing the table, Dad took out his Bible. “We usually read a Bible story each night and you are welcome to join us,” he said to Cousin Jane. Everyone sat quietly as Dad told the story of the man robbed on the way to Jericho. He described the well-dressed priest and the careful Levite who passed by on the other side of the road. As Daniel listened, a quiet voice whispered, Are you going to pass by, too?

Pass by what? No one is hurt near here, Daniel told himself. But then he thought of why Jesus was telling the story. Jesus wants me to love Davy—but I can’t! Not when he’s stolen and lied to me like that!

As soon as he could, Daniel slipped away to his room and shut the door. Toy cars lay all around the floor and he hit his toe on one as he knelt down by the bed. Even his cars seemed mean and untrustworthy. I can’t forgive him—I can’t—I can’t. Daniel’s heart hurt and the tears came to his eyes.

Daniel lifted his head and found himself staring at a picture on the wall. It was Jesus with a lamb. And that lamb was him. I was naughty and bad, and Jesus loved me. He forgave me. Daniel felt the tears came to his eyes again, but they were different tears.

When Davy left with his mom that night, Daniel whispered something in the boy’s ear. Davy looked surprised, and then looked at his feet. “Thanks,” he said gruffly and then disappeared out the door. Daniel smiled. In his bright yellow coat, he looked liked a streak of lightning.