CHAPTER 2 - The BIG Flood
(Front and Back Page) |
We will never forget that night, it had been
raining all evening and the river next door was roaring as
it swelled with water rushing down from the Mountain Range.
English 'And Puppy' Chapter #2
(Page 1 and 2) |
The entire family huddled around the radio
listening to flash warnings. It was about 7pm, a loud crash
had us all scrambling to the window only to see the electricity
pole outside our house being swept away but the flash flood.
That was when we were glad of Uncle Achu ’s flashlight.
Even though the sandbags were blocking the door still water
was seeping in and Mummy and Aunty Ushang were trying to mop
up water with old towels. I was holding Puppy close and hoping
no one noticed she was inside.
Suddenly there was a huge crash and the door broke and a lot of
dirty water came rushing in and we realized that the river next
to the house had broken its bank. We all backed into the bedroom
where Granny was on the bed. The noise was terrifying with the crashing
of falling trees and roaring water, it sounded like a monster. We
could hear the neighbors screaming. We slammed the bedroom door
and put more sandbags by the door. But it got worse the water was
now up to our knees and it was time to evacuate, we were told the
Primary School being on two stories was the best place of safety.
I found my coat and put it on pulling the hood up tight. I held
on to Puppy and stuffed her inside and stepped into the water. We
had to get to the Primary school. Even though I walked on the side
of the road the water was up to my knees. Aunty Ushang was holding
Uncle Achu's phone shining a light for me, squeezing my hand so
tight it hurt. Mummy and Uncle Achu were following, carrying Granny
at least I thought they were.....
Suddenly the light went out and something hit my legs under the
water. I fell over and felt myself being sucked away by the water......
All I heard was “Akpan , Akpan… ” my
head banged into something. Puppy put her foot in my mouth, that’s
all I remember!
CHAPTER 3 - The Morning After
and Back Page) |
I woke up under a car, kind of jammed against
the tyres. I was wet and had mud in my mouth and my head was
hurting but thank God I was alive. I could not really work
out where I was. I could see the sea and, where the ravine
usually was, there was a big river, with great big stones.
And mud - mud, mud, mud everywhere. You could not see the
road because of the mud. I had a big lump on my head. And
where was my puppy? I called him and looked and looked.
English 'And Puppy'
(Page 1 and 2)
People were standing in the street just looking.
Cars were smashed and crushed. Electricity poles were down
and wires everywhere. I could not understand how I had got
to the Bay. Our house was much further up the ravine. I thought
I saw my puppy down by the sea and I went to look, but it
was a bigger dog.
Whilst I was there on the stony beach, a policeman in army uniform
called to me. I asked him if he had seen my puppy. The Policeman
took me to the Shelter and I expected to see my mother, Aunty Ushang,
Achu and Granny. He gave me to the nurse instead. She touched my
head and said I had to go to the Hospital in Town. I thought maybe
my mother was hurt and so I was going to see her. People were just
sitting and staring. One lady was crying, I heard someone say she
had lost her baby that seemed careless. I thought someone should
help her look for it. The Policeman said we would have to go to
the Hospital by boat. Someone gave me Plantain Moi Moi and a RC
On the way back to the bay we went past a crushed car and I heard
a whimper. I saw a tail. I told the Policeman "wait a while"
and looked under the car and there was Puppy wet and muddy but there......
I picked her up and hugged her tight she was shivering. The Policeman
said Puppy could come too, at last something good had happened.
The Policeman told me I was a champion and not to focus on what
I had been through I was to focus on where I was going in life –
where ever that was – the Hospital right now, unless this
I remembered the story Auntie had told about floating in a bath
tub and I was thankful that I was in a wooden boat speeding along
with Puppy’s ears flying behind her!
CHAPTER 4 - The Hospital
and Back page) |
We went on the boat to the Police Headquarters.
Someone gave me a Sweet Crunchy Nigerian bun and I shared
it with Puppy. She liked it a lot. A young police woman gave
me a string to tie round Puppy's neck so I did not have to
carry her all the time. Then the policeman took me to the
Hospital. It was quite a long walk up a steep hill and there
was lots of mud and a funny smell. The river was very full.
I saw a helicopter coming over my head with a flag underneath.
English 'And Puppy' Chapter #4
The Policeman said it was a United Nations flag and that it was
stuck under the helicopter was so people would know which countries
were helping. There was roofing sheets and tiles everywhere from
the roofs and cars were blocking the road sitting where the river
had put them. Some people seemed to be carrying a lot of shopping
which was odd as the shops were mostly broken.
When we got to the Hospital there was a grumpy nurse who was vexed
and said that Puppy could not come inside Casualty! I was tired
and sad. I wanted to see my Mummy and Aunty Ushang and my Granny
and Uncle Achu ! I said I did not want to stay there.
The Policeman said it was OK and that he would hold puppy for me
whilst I went in with the Nurse. I thought I was going to see my
family, I looked in the room but there was just a little girl crying,
an old man who was very still and a very pregnant lady moaning.
There was a young boy like me with blood running down his leg into
the water on the floor making a horrible mess. The nurse took my
temperature, and put a tight thing round my arm and then put a clothes
pin thing on my finger and stuck something under my arm. She said
I had to see a doctor.
The doctor looked very tired. She said she had been there for 24
hours, all the way through the storm, but no one had come to relieve
her. She said that I had "con cushion" or at least that
is what it sounded like. She said I should go home and rest. I told
her our home was gone and I did not know where my family members
were. She called the policeman in and Puppy peed on the floor. You
can imagine the nurse was not happy!
Whilst the nurse was shouting and getting a lady to come with a
mop the police whispered in the Doctors ear. Then the Doctor told
me to go and sit outside on the chairs with Puppy.
After a long time when the Policeman came back with a bottle of
Coca-Cola and Meshai, I love those fried noodles and eggs, it smelt
wonderful! He told me that I was going on a big adventure. He also
told me that they were looking for my Mum and Uncle Achu and Aunty
Ushang and that very sadly they had found my Granny and she was
not alive any more. He told me that I had to go to a nice Big House
and wait to see what would happen. I was worried in case the people
at the Big House would not like dogs. I began to cry I thought I
might lose Puppy and I would be so lonely. I did not really understand
what he said about Granny, how could she not be alive any more.
The Policeman told me that he would tell them at the Big House
that Puppy had to come as well.
I felt lost and lonely, totally abandoned, all I really had to call
my own was Puppy. I felt I just had to cheer Puppy up so I told
her a story my Granny once told me.
It was about a big strong ‘Rottweiller’ dog called
Orion, who officially recognized for his role in rescuing people
during the tragedy years ago in another Big Flood. A mudslide forced
Orion and his owner Mauricio Pérez to leave their home and
go to a safer place. They came across a young girl trapped by turbulent
water. Orion guided the girl to shore by swimming at her side, then
jumped back in to pull a second girl out of the water. He then helped
eight children climb to high place and over time he saving 37 people
from drowning, ranging from a girl of 8 years old to an elderly
man of 80 years old. He was awarded the Medal "Honor The Value"
and a certificate for the role he played. He also received plaques
and medals from private institutions and governments, international
I told Puppy she deserved one of those Medals and one day I would
give her one for sticking with me.
CHAPTER 5 – Life in the Big House
and Back Page) |
I was waiting at the hospital and suddenly,
things happened in a rush. Some strange soldiers came and
the Policeman told me to go with them. I was pleased when
I heard him tell them "the Puppy goes with Him –
it’s all he has left". We went to the savannah
in front of the hospital and there was a helicopter already
there. The blades of the rotor were spinning and it was very
English 'And Puppy' Chapter #5
The dust and leaves were blowing at me like the hurricane wind
all over again. The policeman did me high five and gave me to a
big soldier who made me do up my coat and put a helmet on me. He
put ear plugs in my ears and a sort of life jacket on me.
Two soldiers pushed me up some big steps into the helicopter. I
looked back and waved to the Policeman. Then they strapped me into
a seat and they told me to hold Puppy tight.
A lady soldier told me this was a Wild Cat Helicopter. She was funny
and blocked Puppy's ears when she said “Wild cat” as
she said dogs like to chase cats! She had a red cross on her shoulder
and she said she was a nurse as well as a soldier. She said they
were just giving me a ride to the Children's Home as the bridge
on the way was gone and there was lots of rubbish blocking the road.
I asked if my Mum would be there but it was too noisy I could not
understand her answer.
When the helicopter landed, they undid all the straps and took
off the lifejacket and I got out still clutching Puppy. It was further
than I thought and I fell down. I felt stupid as there were loads
of children watching from the steps of the big house. They seemed
disappointed that it was just me and Puppy, until behind me the
soldiers brought out bottles of water and boxes of biscuits. "Come
on Boy" said a Lady in an orange T shirt, “come away
from that helicopter.” She took me into the kitchen with the
puppy and I heard the helicopter flying away. I never got to say
goodbye to the nice Nurse Soldier Lady.
The Home was huge. There were lots of bedrooms for boys downstairs
and upstairs there were lots more for girls.
The flood had ripped through the ground floor, so the girls were
all in just two of the rooms, and there were piles of wet clothes
everywhere. There was a very big dining room and kitchen. I was
in a room with three other boys and I had my own bed. The home had
a generator that was noisy but it was nice to have light. There
was no TV or Internet as the flood had messed up everything. To
save gas they just put the generator on from 6.00 -8.00pm then we
went to bed and used flash lights.
The Lady in the orange T Shirt was called Miss Unung she was a beauty
and her name suited her. She said Puppy had to live in the dog house
under the building but that I could see her when I wanted. She gave
me to a man called Mr. Irifo also in an orange T Shirt and he showed
me where Puppy would stay. He even had dog food for her. He said
their dog had got lost in the storm. No one knew about my Mum and
Aunty Ushang or Uncle Achu . I told them the Police said Granny
had died but they were looking for the others. Another younger staff
member said she heard they were all washed away and said “accept
her sympathy, the Lord is with you boy, all these things will make
you strong” I thought that must be a mistake and at that moment
I felt rather weak not at all strong. I asked for my Dad but they
said they heard that they were all gone. I did not think that could
I was beginning to feel frustrated, trapped and hurt. Pain started
to take over my feelings, I had to find someone to blame. I started
getting angry it seemed a way of releasing energy, it was my little
protest to the loss of my family, it just didn’t make sense,
it simple wasn’t fair and I wanted to lash out and hurt someone.
Nurse came to talk to me she wanted to know how I was feeling physically,
I told her I felt drained and empty. I seem to be having difficulty
making decisions or staying focused. I was becoming easily frustrated
and ended up arguing more with people, I was feeling tired, sad,
numb, lonely and worried. This was hard, I needed help.
CHAPTER 6 – Good and bad secrets
(Front and back page )
Another problem was Mr. Irifo. He always looked at me as if
I was in the way and said I should not hug Puppy as I would
get 'Leap To Spring Osis'! And he told , Ebeyin my only friend,
to stay away from me. I began to avoid him. Then one Monday
he just did not come to work any longer! I was glad he was gone.
English 'And Puppy' Chapter #6
One day Ebeyin told me she had a secret to tell me. Ebeyin was
my best friend, she was indeed a precious present, I told her she
was a gift from God. We sat under the house with Puppy and she told
me........she told me Mr. Irifo had left because of her. He had
been trying to get her to do bad things. He told her that he would
get her ready to have a boyfriend. He had been trying to touch her
under her panties. He told her if she did not do what he said he
would kill Puppy. She said she ran straight away and told Miss Unung
what he tried to do and the police came and took him away. She said
Mr. Irifo was in the prison waiting for the court to decide on his
punishment. I was so mad! How could he say he would hurt Puppy!
I was pleased he had left as I felt like doing him something.
Ebeyin said she knew what to do about Mr. Irifo's bad intentions
towards her as it was not the first time. She said her mother's
boyfriend had done something wrong to her before and she had told
her Sunday School Teacher. She said that is why she was in the Home.
As her mother did not believe her but the Sunday School teacher
did. She said the Sunday school teacher told her to "tell
the truth and truth would set her free" and that she had
prayed with her, then she got brave and when the Police came with
the Welfare officer she told them all about it and they were sorting
it all out.
Ebeyin said she knew that you should always run from people with
bad intentions and tell someone. She said she knew now that some
bad secrets should not be kept. She explained that “Good
secrets” were like not telling about a surprise party
or what was in a present. But “Bad secrets”
were those where the person threatens you if you tell what they
did and where they touch you. No one except your mum or the nurse
should touch you where your underwear goes and then tell you not
to tell anyone that is a bad secret to keep.
Ebeyin said that after that experience with her mother's boyfriend
she had been different. She said her Sunday School Teacher had told
her that God loved her and that it was not her fault. She said she
had decided to serve Christ. I did not know what she meant but I
did know I was pleased Mr. Irifo was gone.
CHAPTER 7 – Life in the Tent School
and Front Page) |
After about two weeks in the Big House, which
turned out to be a Children’s Home, with more new people
coming each day, the staff said the roads were clear and that
we would have to go to school. They made us walk about a mile
as the bus had been crushed by a tree falling on it. School
was weird, no uniforms, no books, and, because the roof tiles
had blown off, we were in a tent.
English 'And Puppy'
1 and 2) |
Tents are funny things. When the sun comes
out they are hot, hot, hot and you have to roll up the sides.
When it rains and some of the children cry because they think
the storm is coming back, then you have to let the sides down
again and be hot and sweaty again.
Our tent had UNICEF written on it which meant that nice people
from overseas sent it.
In the afternoon foreign workers came in blue T shirts they said
they were our friends and they set up something called a Child Friendly
Space where we played games. Their names were funny and if you did
learn them then they left for good! So in the end we just called
them "Miss" and "Sir"
I did not have any friends in the Home except for Ebeyin. She was
12 and was already at Secondary School so she did not come with
me to the Tent School. She had lived in that Home for months before
the BIG Flood. She would sit with me under the house and pet Puppy
and talk to me. I told her that I did not believe that my Mum, Aunty
and Granny and Uncle Achu could all be dead.
Granny was old so I could believe that she had not made it but not
the others. I had dreams that Mummy was calling me, and when it
rained, the smaller boys would cry and I would I dreamed I was under
the car covered in mud. (With Puppies paw in my mouth!)
The other children all seemed to know each other and the three
in my room were all from the same village. They called me Helicopter
Boy and would make helicopter noises every time I came in. One big
boy said that he hated people from my village and that he would
poison my dog as she wasn't a fierce breed of dog like the Basenji
. He loved Basenji es and so after a while, that is what we called
him, even the staff. "Basenji" became his name. Everyone
would have a job in the Home. Basenji’s was to take out the
garbage to the bins. He always made me do it so that he would not
hurt Puppy. He said he would tie a block round his neck and throw
him in the sea. Sometimes I was very sad and lonely I would hide
and cry quietly hugging Puppy my only comfort.
I didn’t do too well in the Tent School, my mind was easily
distracted and I got muddled up at times and couldn’t concentrate.
I wish I could remember where I use to live, I guess it was that
bump to my head!
Some nights I would dream about my old home, Puppy and I were playing
by the river and dad was home for the week end, it was such a good
dream. I was told that sometimes God can talk to you through a dream.
I wondered when my Dad would come and rescue me.
CHAPTER 8 – Giving my life to Christ
and back page) |
"Come and meet my Sunday School teacher
Akpan" So the lady who had helped Ebeyin ‘tell
the truth’ had come to visit. She was pretty and she
smelled nice. She had a guitar and played songs with the children.
She gave us Bible story books and crayons to colour. She said
that Jesus could sleep in the storm when he was on a boat.
I thought that was incredible!
English 'And Puppy' Chapter #8
I could not sleep properly in a nice bed as the storm kept troubling
me in my dreams and I kept crying for my mother. She told us that
Jesus had a special power not to be afraid and not to hate people
who hurt him. She told us that because Jesus loved us he died on
the cross and wanted to help us to be friends with God and have
power not to be afraid and not to hate people. She said we had to
decide whether to follow Jesus or go our own way. She said the way
to become a Christian was to Repent and Believe.
I thought this sounded interesting I have always wanted special
powers!!! Also I was very troubled about how much I hated Basenji
and Mr. Irifo too!
I knew God had saved my life and I really needed to be able to
sleep in the storm. I decided to give my life to Christ and to be
a Christian. I am not a great reader but the Bible Books had loads
of pictures and the Sunday School Teacher said that God loved everyone
whether they were top or bottom of the class, good or bad, pretty
or ugly, that Jesus still died for them so they could "tell
the truth and the truth would set them free" She taught us
about Noah who had survived a flood and how God had put the rainbow
in the sky to give us all hope that He would never destroy the earth
by flood again. I liked that story because I had seen a big rainbow
when I woke up under the car that awful day of the flood.
Basenji somehow heard that I had put my hand up when the Sunday
School Teacher prayed. He straight away said I was a Bible bashing
He said Christians were selfish, only helped their own church people
and taking people's money. He said he would kill Puppy then I could
pray for him to be raised from the dead. I felt myself getting red
I just wanted to punch Basenji on the nose! That night I remember
the boys in my room were especially tormenting with their helicopter
noises and saying that nobody wanted to be friends with Helicopter
I pulled the sheet over my head and asked God to switch on those
magic powers as right now all I could think about was all the bad
things I wanted to do to those guys.
It started to rain, the wind was howling and the thunder rumbling
and the littlest boys started to cry but I went sound asleep I dreamt
about Noah in the Ark and God sending the rainbow but I wasn’t
sure I could trust that, I was frightened the flood would return.
All of a sudden I felt so lost and lonely all I really had to call
my own was Puppy, she made me smile, but then I remembered I could
call on my new friend Jesus.
CHAPTER 9 - I'm a new creature
and Back Page) |
Next week Ebeyin and I were the first in Sunday
School, I could hardly wait to learn more. She had told us
this week we would learn about a butterfly that really started
out as a fuzzy little caterpillar. I didn't like caterpillars,
my dad had always warned me that they ate lots of his vegetables
in the kitchen garden, I knew I didn't like them they were
ugly, no one would say that caterpillars are beautiful.
English 'And Puppy' Chapter #9
A caterpillar is a worm -- and worms are not beautiful! In fact
the only good thing about worms was that you could put them on a
hook and go fishing. Ebeyin squirmed when I told her my fishing
stories, with wriggling worms.
But then I learnt in Sunday School that one day the caterpillar
spun a cocoon about himself and stays there for several weeks. Just
hanging upside down, occasionally twitching, who would imagine that
anything good was happening. But it was like the caterpillar was
being born again and when it comes out, it is no longer a caterpillar,
it has been miraculously changed into a beautiful butterfly, it
was a new creation.
But it took time, it was like the caterpillar died in the chrysalis
or cocoon and eventually the butterfly emerged but it was a struggle.
One day Puppy and I were in the field next to the Children's Home
and we saw a chrysalis hanging from a twig, it started twitching
and cracking open. We watched as the butterfly struggled to get
out. It made me think of all the struggling I had to do over the
time since the ‘BIG Flood'. I later learnt that a butterfly
must struggle out of its chrysalis to start the blood to flow into
its wings to make it strong and able to fly. It must do this to
complete its life cycle into a butterfly. I felt I wanted to help
the struggling butterfly but by assisting the butterfly and helping
it to free itself, I would never let it fully develop and fulfill
its destiny. I would actually be hindering it and prevented it from
becoming who it was meant to be. What God showed me was that what
He does, sometimes in our lives, is to allow the struggle, the hurt,
the process because we must fight to become fully who we are meant
If He stepped in to help during the most crucial part in our lives,
we would never become who we were made to be. As I pondered this
thought out came the butterfly, flying away … with Puppy in
the chase, she chased that butterfly all around the field until
she eventually fell into the ditch which was filled with muddy water,
you should have seen her she changed from a white puppy to a brown
dog! "That's it Puppy you are going to have a bath even
you will become a new creation!"
The Bible says, "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!" When we invite Jesus
to come into our heart, we become a new creation. God doesn't just
clean us up, He makes us into a new person.
So now when I find myself in a huge struggle or fight I can have
hope. I now understand that this could be in the most important
part of my life that will make me into who I am destined to be.
I know that Jesus is with me and what I am to become is so great
that all I have been through and am going though will pave the way
for what I am to become. Strong, free, and soaring high with beautiful,
colorful butterfly wings to carry me onto the next adventure of
life with Puppy.
CHAPTER 10- I'm in the Lord's army
and Back page) |
I was so excited because today the Missionaries
from America were coming to visit us in the Children's Home.
We were told they were brining lots of toys from Europe, I
could hardly wait, even Basenji was excited and seemed in
better mood than usual.
English 'And Puppy' Chapter #10
1 and 2) |
When they arrived I was given a brand new skateboard and
not only that but all the protective gear needed to keep me
They told me the first thing was to make sure I had the right
kind of shoes. I know you wouldn't go skating in a pair of
cowboy boots, would you? Your shoes should have a flat bottom
to help you get a better grip on the board. Next, I was told
every skateboarder should wear a helmet.
You might think that wearing a helmet makes you look like a dork,
but, believe me, it is the smart thing to do. Another thing you
will need is pads. It is important to have pads to protect your
elbows and knees. Now that I had all the right gear, it is time
to go skateboarding. Even professional skateboarders make sure they
have the right protective equipment.
Just as we need protective gear in skateboarding, the Bible teaches
us that we need protection in life. The Bible calls it the armor
of God and it tells us that we need the armor of God to protect
us from Satan's evil schemes. We were taught this in Sunday School
and marched around singing ‘I'm in the Lords army' I loved
it, Ebeyin thought it was for boys only but we got to learn about
the armor of God.
The belt of truth - The Bible tells us that Satan is the "father
of lies," but he can never win if we will hold on to the truth
that Jesus Christ is Lord
The breastplate of righteousness - Satan can never harm us when
we choose to do what God says is right
Feet fitted with the gospel of peace - Satan tries to create worry
and confusion in our lives, but knowing Jesus brings peace
The shield of faith - Satan will try to plant seeds of doubt in
our hearts and minds, but those seeds of doubt can never take root
if we have faith in Jesus
The helmet of salvation - Jesus came from heaven to earth to save
us from the evil one, if we accept salvation in Jesus' name, we
will win the battle against Satan
The sword of the Spirit - the Bible, God's Holy Word, it is a powerful
weapon against Satan.
I know no skateboarder should ever get on his board without the
proper equipment, and I should never try to go through life without
the armor of God.
CHAPTER 11- Free at last
and Back page) |
That Sunday School Teacher came back again
the next week and asked if any of us had any questions. I
said "How do you turn on the magic powers?" She
told us that God loved us and wanted us to be free from fear
and free from hate. She told us we had to take our fears and
tell them to God. She told us that God always listens to us
and that one of the special powers is prayer and that this
is like a private phone to God.
English 'And Puppy' Chapter #11
1 &2) |
She said this private phone is only connected
to God. He must have millions of ears to hear everyone at
the same time. She said that fears and nightmares are like
ropes that tie us and that God can cut them if we ask him
in Jesus name. (We all made cell phones out of cereal packets
and started talking to God!
Then she said that hating people was the opposite of what
God wanted us to do. She told us it was hard to have love
for God in your heart if your heart was filled with hate.
She told us we could open the tap of our heart and say we are sorry
and let the hate run out. She said this is called repentance.
She told us a neat story about a woman who did some bad things
in her life. She didn't say what they were but we know that she
was very, very sorry. She felt so bad in fact, that she went to
see Jesus in someone's house–when she wasn't even invited!!
She didn't know anyone, the people in the house didn't want her
there but she was meeting Jesus! I imagine she must have felt very
scared and very little. I don't mean little like she was tiny, I
mean little like she was with people who were very important. She
probably felt UNimportant. Not only did she go, but she knelt down
behind Jesus and washed his feet WITH HER TEARS! Then she washed
them with perfume. You can imagine how the other people in the house
felt. One of them got upset with her and with Jesus! Simon the Pharisee
didn't think Jesus should be letting her do that. But Jesus not
only let her do it, he told her that her sins—all the bad
things we do in our life—were forgiven. She was able to leave
with a happy and peaceful heart. There were so many lessons to be
learned from this story, firstly the woman did something wrong and
wanted to make it right. I could think of lots of things I had said
and done that I wish I could now make right. Ebeyin told me this
is what Jesus wants me to do. If we do something wrong, what could
we do to make it right? What are some things we could do to make
The other thing we need to get from this story is how Jesus reacted.
Did Jesus throw the woman out? Did he say—"you did something
wrong, leave me alone?" What did Jesus do? He let her stay,
he let her ask for forgiveness, and then he forgave her. It's important
for us to do the same. I decided to give it a try. After all, what
had I got to lose except horrible dreams, bad feelings and loneliness?
I gave God my fears, my memories of that scary storm, the sadness
and the loneliness. Then I gave God the anger and the hate. It wasn't
easy but I chose to stop hating and to forgive those mean kids and
Then I remembered Mr. Irifo and his threats to hurt Puppy and I
thought of him in the State Prison and I even decided not to be
angry with him any more too. I was free at last, free to forgive.
CHAPTER 12– I'm sorry
and Back Page) |
I just have to learn how to say ‘I'm
sorry' it just doesn't seem to come naturally, Basenji has
made my life a misery and I have been mean to him as well.
How do I say I'm sorry? These were the questions I was asking
myself, Ebeyin and our Sunday School Teacher.
English 'And Puppy' Chapter #12
She told me that sincere apologies can lead to forgiveness, which
takes the sting out of hurts. I knew this was necessary in a happy,
healthy life. But I had to learn how to say I'm sorry, how to apologies
and really mean it even to someone like Basenji, because up until
now I was glad I had punched him on the nose. Then I learnt how
to successfully apologize:
1) Remorse: Feeling sorry for the action.
2) Repentance: Expressing what's in your heart.
3) Recompense: This is when you try to make amends,
which is not always possible, but always worth a try.
I knew "I'm sorry" means nothing unless it comes
from a repentant heart. So I first had to ask God to forgive me
for being so nasty to Basenji.
I had read in Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to each other,
sympathetic, forgiving each other as God has forgiven you through
So I had no choice but to go and find Basenji and tell him how
sorry I was for punching him in the nose. “I'm sorry Basenji.
I blew it. I was wrong, please forgive me Basenji." Guess what
Basenji put his hand out and we shook hands, it was the beginning
of the healing that was so needed
I felt better after unpacking all those super powers but I was
still lonely...... That night I dreamed of my Dad. He was looking
for me in the mud, and all the nightmares and fears of that terrible
night came flooding back, but then, in my dream Jesus came walking
into my room and turned on the light and I wasn't afraid any more
and Jesus took my hand and led me outside. There was dad and he
and I and Puppy started playing on a lovely green lawn outside of
a beautiful new house, it was a good dream and I woke up feeling
CHAPTER 13– Daddy
and back page) |
Miss Unung and the other adults in orange
T shirts were always asking me what I remembered about where
I came from. I told them my name and my village and my Mum's
name is ‘Aniefon‘ she always told me
she was a good girl. But I could not remember Granny's real
name or Aunty Ushang’s or Uncle Achu ’s surname.
I told them my Dad’s name is ‘Akpe’,
mum always said he was always singing her praises! That is
why I am ‘Akp-an’
English 'And Puppy' Chapter #13
1 & 2) |
They told me that the Police said that they
did not find my Mum and them and that the house went in the
sea. I kept hoping it wasn't true. They said they would try
to find my Dad.
Then one day Miss Unung came into school and said I had to
come now, now, now! I was worried that maybe something had
happened to Puppy or that he had escaped and chewed up someone's
shoes. It would not be the first time. She said no, I had
I went into the office and there was a very dirty tired looking
man with a beard. It was ......my Dad.....He held his arms out and
we just hugged and hugged. He said he was sorry, that he had only
just found out where I was as he had been told I was lost with my
Mum and Auntie Ushang and Uncle Achu . He had walked for days to
get to get to our village. He said that people said that the whole
family was lost. Then he met that Policeman from the first day and
he told him I was alive and in the Home. As I listened, I realised
that it was true my Mum was actually gone in the flood, all swept
away by the flood water. I cried and cried and cried and then Miss
Unung suggested I take my Dad to meet Puppy.
When we sat under the house my Dad gave me a special present, all
wrapped up, a Teddy Bear toy, soft and squidgy, little did I know
how precious ‘Teddy’ would become to me.
Dad told me that he had been so sad when he thought that I was
dead and that seeing me today was the best thing that had ever happened
to him. He told me that he was so sorry that he had not come before.
He asked me to forgive him for not being there. Dad said our lives
may have taken some strange twists and turns but the One who holds
our tomorrows is still in control. It kind of reminded me of the
story of Joseph in the Bible. Dad said that he had asked God to
help him find me and now that he had, we would serve God together
for the rest of our lives. "And Puppy”
CHAPTER 14– Peace like a river
and back page) |
Dad and I along with Puppy moved back into
the country side, it was where we were from, it’s where
‘we belong’ Dad told me.
Dad started planting vegetables and keeping fish, goats and
even rabbits to eat and distribute among the community. He
taught me about Moringa and we planted it all around our property
and all the animals ate it and were very healthy. We even
drank the tea and began to feel stronger and healthier, dad
showed me how you can purify water using Moringa.
English 'And Puppy' Chapter #14
1 & 2) |
Sometimes we would all go down to the river
to play. Those times I felt most at peace, Puppy would splash
around at the edge and try to pick up rocks from the river
bed, when she did bubbles would come out of her nose! It looked
so funny I would laugh at her.
Dad taught me how to swim in the river, I loved those times with
Dad, he made me feel special and it almost made up for not having
I continued to go to Sunday School and I learnt more about peace.
This was a whole new experience for me. I learnt that Jesus said
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart.
And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t
be troubled or afraid."
But sometimes at the end of the day, when it was time to turn out
the lantern, we still did not have electricity, and go to bed, I
wanted to know that I was not alone in the darkness. That is where
my Teddy Bear came to the rescue.
Dad gave me Teddy the day we were united at the Big House and at
night Teddy was never very far away. Somehow, the darkness was not
so frightening with "Teddy" in the bed with me, and Puppy
sleeping at the foot of the bed in his special bed that Dad had
built for her.
Our Sunday School teacher told us if we want to know peace, we
can only know that peace when we know Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
If we don't know Jesus, we can have no peace.
That is how I was at the Big House before Jesus became my best
friend and gave me that super power to forgive Basenji and even
that nasty man that threatened to kill Puppy and did nasty things
to my friend Ebeyin. I had no peace only fear and anger and loneliness
but those days are now way behind me. In another life it seems.
I have moved on, now I have my Daddy and my Heavenly Daddy and
Puppy, what more could a boy ask for!
CHAPTER 15– He watches over us
and back page) |
As time went by the crops started to grow
again, the bananas were bearing and there was more to eat.
The trees were green again with leaves and some of the fruit
trees that we thought were dead after the flood started to
spring. There was a new sense of hope. Dad said that I was
growing up, I was very pleased, I pushed my chest out and
stuck my chin up in the air and went on tip toe to make myself
a little taller. Dad said I was now his big boy, he had my
back, he was watching over me.
English 'And Puppy' Chapter # 15
One day I noticed that Puppy was growing up as well in fact she
was getting very fat!
I didn’t understand why until she started to pull leaves
together and she found some rags in the shed and it seemed she was
making a bed for herself under the house. Then she lay down and
I sat down and watched over her as she gave birth to three beautiful
little puppies. They were perfect except their eyes were shut, but
Dad explained they were born that way and very soon he was right
they opened their eyes and saw me for the first time.
What ‘Fun Fabulous’ days we had. Puppy and I playing
with her new puppies, I just knew I could never be happier than
I was those days. Puppy always watched over her puppies, she would
pick them up and bring back into the shelter if they wondered off
and that is when I began to think that my Heavenly ‘Daddy’
knows everything that I go through. There is nothing that happens
to me that He doesn't know about. Just like Puppy He is watching
over me. When I felt lonely and totally abandoned at the Big House,
when everything seems hopeless, I began to realize that even then
God knows and God cares.
And if I wonder off track a bit, He comes after me just like Puppy
rounds up her puppies so my Heavenly ‘Daddy’
comes after me, gives me a big hug and brings me back into the pack.
I was happy the sun was shining and the birds were singing and
a little sparrow came hopping up to look at Puppy’s puppies.
Then it all came flooding back, the smell of roast corn and Plantain
Bread baking in the oven as Granny pottered around the kitchen in
our ‘old house’ the one the BIG Flood washed away, and
I can hear her now, singing at the top of her old crackly voice
“Why should I feel discouraged?
Why should the shadows come?
Why should my heart feel lonely, and long for heaven and home?
When Jesus is my portion, a constant friend is He.
His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches over me.
His eye is on the sparrow; and I know He watches me.”
And I wept with joy, I knew my hurting heart was healed and for
the first time since that dreadful night of the flood I sang that
same old song I had heard at Sunday School so often.
“I sing because I’m happy. I sing
because I’m free!
His eye is on the sparrow; and I know He watches me.
His eye is on the sparrow; and I know He watches me.”
Not just sparrows, He watches
over Dad and I
'And Puppy and her puppies'!
English Great Storm
and Flood Recovery
Children's Stort &
(To be translated into Efik for the children
English Disaster Preparedness
(To be translated into Efik for the children
Heal a Hurting Heart Curriculum
The total number of coronavirus cases in Nigeria have
risen to 36,663, bringing the death toll in the country
to 789, according to figures from the Nigeria Centre for
Disease Control (NCDC) at the end of July.
The hardest-hit states are the commercial capital Lagos
with 13,438 infections, the capital Abuja with 3,027 infections,
and Oyo with 2,167 infections.
on the picture link to view our Yoruba COVID 19 children's
HEAL A HURTING HEART - NATURAL DISASTER
HEAL A HURTING HEART - CORONA CRISIS
SOWING SEEDS OF SUCCESS - MORINGA CURRICULUM