They heard a chuckle, and then a man with a large dog on a leash walked into view. He was a young man with a beard and a friendly smile. "I heard your prayer. I'm glad you kids know Who to call on when you're afraid! But ol' Jonah here won't hurt you. My name is Zak, by the way."
Willie replied, "Happy to meet you, Zak. I'm Willie, and this is Grace. We heard your dog growl, and we thought we were goners!"
"Well, you do have cause to be a little concerned, kids. There are mountain lions up here, one at least. In fact, I found some tracks by the creek- want to see them?"
"Sure!" Grace responded. "I brought some supplies so I can make plaster casts. By the way, what kind of dog is Jonah?"
"Ol' Jonah is a little of this and a little of that... kind of a mutt, like me. But praise the Lord, God loves mutts!"
Willie and Grace thought they had never seen such a happy person! As Zak turned to lead them to the creek, they saw he had an "I Love Jesus" patch sewed on the back of his worn-looking backpack. Jonah walked slowly by his side, and the kids realized that he was a very old dog.
When they got to the creek, they were astounded at the size of the paw prints! They were the size of a saucer! Grace set to work making casts of the two clearest prints.
Zak looked at Willie strangely. "What makes you ask that?" he asked.
"Mrs. Parker, the lady who has the produce stand at the bottom of the mountain, thinks her prize calf was stolen by a mountain lion," said Grace as she wiped plaster of Paris of her hands onto her jeans. "Do you think that's possible?"
Instead of answering, Zak scratched his beard and stared thoughtfully down the trail. Willie thought to himself that Zak knew a lot more about the missing calf than he was telling!
NEXT STORY: "Zak"