THE REWARD Chapter 3 – Friends in High Places


Mr Baitz looked down his wet nose at Molly and turned to Francis. “Do you wish to allow Molly the calf to be a witness for your client”?

I immediately looked up and meowed a ‘yes please’ to Francis who, for the first time during this case, was looking a little uncertain about the way the proceedings were progressing. With a frown on his face, he said to me, “Are you sure”? I nodded my reply.

Francis turned to the Judge and also nodded. Mr Baitz then gave Molly permission to speak.

You could have heard a pin drop in the court as everyone’s attention was focused on Molly. She cleared her throat with a nervous moo that sounded more like a grunt and received a gentle nudge from Chrissy.

Molly told the court the story of her life on the little property where she had grown up with Chrissy, the goats, the dogs, the chooks and Spook .

She explained how she and her brothers and sisters all had the time to watch what was happening around their little farm and that they had just been discussing the situation and they all agreed…..

Mr Baitz interrupted at this point. “Well girl’ get on with it. We don’t have all day you know. What did you and your brothers agree upon”?

“Your Honour, we all agree that Spook was a great help to the human family to whom he was given in that he assisted in bringing them closer to God”, blurted out Molly.

“You see, your Honour”, she continued. “By always being around and letting them know he loved them, he made them realise how important it was to love one another”.

“You will recall it was mentioned by Francis that Spook was concerned the family might get lost, so he used to follow them when they went for walks in the bush”.

“Yes”! said Mr Baitz. “We already have been through that story—could you please get to the point girl”!

“What wasn’t said Your Honour”, continued Molly, was that Spook had been suffering for a long time with a form of cancer on the edges of his ears. As you can imagine, going out in the sun was a very painful experience for him.

Whenever he followed the children, or the adults, he was showing greater love and devotion than many other domestic animals would ever show”.

Molly stopped for a moment but she was wound up now and she was determined she would ensure Mr Baitz understood the real facts in this case. With Chrissy on one side of her and one of the goats from the farm on the other, she continued to say what she felt she had to say.

“Your Honour”, she continued. “I believe Spook’s human family came to see in him all the good things they wanted to see in themselves”. “As a result of Spook’s influence in their lives, they became more understanding of each other and more concerned for what others needed before they started worrying about their own needs”. “Your Honour, this is the message Jesus taught and this is also how Spook lived his life”.

At this point the whole court room came to life. The animals were most impressed by Molly’s impassioned speech and were cheering and even jumping up and down in their seats.

The Recording Angel was so taken aback by what Molly had to say she lost the place in the big book and was busily thumbing through the pages while chaos reigned around her.

Mr Baitz picked up his wooden gavel and banged it down a few times to try and restore order. The Bulldog Sergeant was jumping up and down whoofing in order to try and calm the situation, but his deep low pitched whoofs only seemed to add to the general noise.

Francis was smiling again and stroking Spook so much that the cat’s purring sound could be heard amid the noise by Mr Baitz up on his Judges platform.

The Recording Angel at last found her place and was ready to continue following the court proceedings. Order gradually settled on the court. As the merriment slowly abated, the court room once more returned to a place of respectability.

Mr Baitz scratched at a friendly flea and announced to the occupants of the now hushed court room that he too, had known Spook’s human family some years earlier. He did not elaborate on the relationship but did say that they were very loving toward him.

However, he went on to say that one of the areas at the time he did feel could be improved upon was the love they showed to each other. He looked directly at me and said, “I am pleased to see that something has influenced that family’s lives and it would appear it has been you Spook”.

Under the circumstances, I find you most worthy to enter into the House of the Lord for all eternity”. “You shall be the first ‘St Spook’ in Heaven”.

Mr Baitz’s final words were drowned out by the cheering, shouting and crying crowd. Spook’s friends all gathered around him offering him congratulations. Everyone wanted to shake his paw and Francis’ hand.

During all this celebration, the little band of officials made their way out of the court. They were led by the Recording Angel still trying to control the pages of her big book. She was followed by the woodpecker Court Reporters and the Sergeant-at-Arms.

Anyone looking closely would have seen the faintest smile on the face of Mr Baitz and there was a definite wag of his tail as he left the court room.

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