Deborah Benafield of Jonesboro will serve as reader at the October Stories in the Forest program Saturday at St. Bernards Fun Forest at The Mall at Turtle Creek. A member of Altrusa International of Jonesboro, she will read Quiet, Wyatt by Bill Maynard.
Quiet, Wyatt is a story about a child who wants to help. He wants to help his father make breakfast. He wants to play with the “big” kids. He wants to buy a puppy.
But every time he asks to do something, he gets the same kind of answer – “Quiet, Wyatt. You are not big enough.” Or … “Quiet, Wyatt. You are not old enough.” Or … “Quiet, Wyatt. You are too young.”
“Quiet, Wyatt. Quiet,Wyatt. Quiet, Wyatt.” It’s seems that’s all he hears.
He gets mad … puts on his father’s coat and hat… and goes outside and screams that one day he will be big enough … and old enough … and responsible enough … to do anything. What he gets in return is a response from the neighbors – “Quiet, Wyatt!”
So he determines he just won’t say another word … about anything!
The “big” kids were playing with a ball, and they kicked it far away. They didn’t know where it went. Wyatt knew … but he didn’t say. When they were flying a toy plane, it got stuck in a tree. They couldn’t find it. Wyatt saw it … but he didn’t say a word. And when his dad was frying eggs, Wyatt saw that an egg was rolling off the counter and would hit the floor and break. Still he didn’t say a word.
Then one day, Wyatt broke his silence. He was walking down the street and saw a white dog being chased by the dog catcher. When he saw the little dog run under a truck in the middle of the street to hide, Wyatt realized the puppy could be run over. So he screamed loudly – and the dog was saved.
That was the turning point for Wyatt. People started listening to him. And his parents considered him responsible enough that they adopted the white dog for Wyatt.
The Stories in the Forest program gives parents some quality time with their children and exposes children to some favorite books of local residents. It is an outgrowth of an annual St. Bernards Women’s Council children’s program which began as Kidz Fun Fair and now is known as Kids on the Mile.
The Women’s Council is a group of about 120 area women who have joined together in an advisory role to give input on important healthcare issues impacting women and children. They encourage educational as well as service outreach efforts designed to make Jonesboro a better place to live, work and raise families.
Stories in the Forest is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday at St. Bernards Fun Forest at The Mall at Turtle Creek and is open to the interested public at no charge.