Year after year, the tree grew stronger and greater. Her branches and leaves spread wider and wide, and every creature in the woods loved her.
Then one day, a dreadful sound was heard throughout the woods: WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! And after many Such "WHACKS!" there would come a thunderous crash. All the animals and plants and trees shuddered. They knew what those "WHACKS!” were! THE WOODCUTTERS HAD COME BACK!
How frightening it was for all the creatures and growing things in the woods! Each tree wondered, Will this be the year I am cut down and hauled away in a truck? And what will happen to all the birds and squirrels who live in me? Where will they go? What will they do?
On a shelf above the cash register sat the most amusing and interesting item in the whole store. It was a wooden boy, a puppet, recently delivered by an old wood- carver. The little fellow perched on the shelf, his eyes twinkling and his lips curled in a mischievous grin. He had a shock of unruly hair that kept falling in his eyes. The few customers who entered the store glanced about with disinterest until they saw the little boy. They would often laugh out loud and point. The puppet brought instant joy and laughter. But no one seemed to want to buy him and give him a home.
However, he never complained.
He couldn't. In fact, the puppet couldn't do anything unless he had a friend who would love him and work all the controls placed in his back by the wood-carver.
Long after Dave had returned to the room and had gone to bed, Dan continued practicing with Louie.
While Dave Slept through the night, Dan quietly bowed his head and asked his Heavenly Father to give him wisdom and ability to make Louie "live." As Dan prayed it seemed that God was giving him many ideas. The voice, the personality, the kinds of Bible stories—it all began to come to Dan, faster and faster. Louie's voice would be high-pitched, full of energy and fun. And the puppet would speak words which any child would easily understand. Dan practiced the voice in front of a mirror for a long while. Then he picked up the puppet, held him in his lap, put his hands on the controls inside, and Louie‘s mouth opened‘
"Hi~ya, Dan! Boy, am I glad you came along! I thought I was gonna sit on that shelf in the store until I had dry rot!"
Dan found a private room for Louie in the attic of his house. The puppet didn't need much room actually. He was only about 3 feet tall. Whenever Dan entered Louie’s room, he had to bend over and stay in that position, which often made the puppet laugh and laugh.
One night, long after the sun had set, Louie was perched in a little stuffed chair in the corner of the room, a lamp nearby shining a light on a book he was reading. Ever so often, Louie would talk right out loud.
“Boy, that's exciting stuff! Wow! Well, so much for my homework tonight!"
KNOCK! KNOCK! "
Come in, big guy," said Louie. "Watch your head. Don't mash it on my ceiling! Yuk!"