"Maybe he smells the mountain lion!" suggested Willie.
"Maybe... or maybe he smells something else!" Zak replied mysteriously.
Zak, Willie and Grace hiked together to the top of the mountain. Zak told the children about his adventures as a missionary to Indonesia. He said he didn't have to worry about mountain lions there- he had to worry about tigers!
Willie and Grace enjoyed the company of their new friend. They learned that he was home from Bible College and was hiking through California. Willie invited him to spend a few nights at his house.
"Now Willie, shouldn't you ask your mom before you bring a stranger home to stay?" Zak asked.
"Yeah, I guess I should ask her first. But I'm sure it will OK. And you can come to church with us tomorrow!"
"I'd like that a lot. Looks like we've reached the top of this mountain. Let's head on down, kids."
As they walked down the trail, they sang some songs they all knew. Jonah still growled now and then, but they couldn't see what was bothering him. When they reached Mrs. Parker's farm at the end of the trail, they found Mrs. Parker was still at her fruit stand, getting ready to close up for the day.
She said to the kids, "Well, I see y'all made it back without gettin' eaten up! How 'bout that lemonade I promised?" She frowned when she saw Zak. Zak had a strange expression on his face.
"Kids, I think we ought to be heading on towards home. It's getting late, and it will be dark soon. You guys take your bikes, and Jonah and I will follow along on foot. I hope you gave me good directions to your house, Willie!"
So Willie and Grace got their bikes and began to pedal back to Beantown. But as Grace looked back, she noticed that Mrs. Parker and Zak seemed to be having a very serious conversation. How did Zak know Mrs. Parker? What could the two of them be talking about?
NEXT STORY: "Last Fling Before School"