The Surprise Visitor

By Jean Boonstra

Jake Donovan hiked along the road near  Discovery Mountain. He whistled happily as he walked. He was thinking about the dish he would make for Thanksgiving dinner.  

Natasha drove up the road. Seeing Jake, she pulled over to ask for directions. 

“Excuse me,” Natasha said, leaning out of the car window. 

“Oh, hi there!” Jake answered. 

“Am I almost at Discovery Mountain?” she asked. 

“Just around the next corner,” Jake replied. 

“Oh, good. Thank you,” she answered. 

“Welcome to town, newcomer,” Jake said. “I’m Jacob P. Donovan. And you are?”

“Nice to meet you, Jacob P.” Natasha paused. “Oh, you’re Jake!” she added with a smile. 

“Yes, indeedy. Are you visiting family for the holidays?” Jake asked. 

“Yes, I am,” Natasha replied. 

“You’ll love it here at Discovery Mountain,” Jake began, talking quickly. “If you need anything, you can find it at Trekkers. They have the best supply of trail mix anywhere! I’ve trained Mr. Simon well.” 

Natasha giggled a little. “Is that right?” she asked.

“Mr. Simon is like a grandfather to me,” Jake said, his chest puffing out in pride. 

Natasha smiled. “Oh, is that so?” she asked. 

“Oh,” Jake continued, leaning in to almost whisper. “Only the family knows about this, but Chaplain Simon is home for the holidays again!” 

Natasha smiled. “Oh, I know that, Jake.” 

“Yes, it’s secret news that only the family knows about,” Jake continued. He seemed to forget that Natasha was listening and just kept talking. 

“I know; Jamey told me,” Natasha managed to say. 

“You know Jamey?” Jake asked, surprised. “She has the best dog.”

“Oh, yes—Gadget!” Natasha answered with a big grin.

“I’m Gadget’s favorite person,” Jake said, leaning against the car. 

Natasha couldn’t contain her giggles. She laughed out loud. All the wonderful things Jamey had told her about Jake appeared to be true! 

“Jamey’s like a little sister to me,” Jake continued with a sentimental look on his face. “Yesterday I told her about the frog eye salad I’m making for Thanksgiving.” 

It was Natasha’s turn to interrupt. “Frog eye salad? Please tell me you’re not out here on the side of the road looking for frogs!” she exclaimed.

Jake crinkled his forehead in confusion. “Why would I need frogs for a salad?” he asked. “Gross!” 

“You said frog eye salad, Jake!”  

“Yes . . . ” Jake answered. 

Natasha spoke slowly. “Frog eye,” she answered. 

Jake finally understood. “Oh! There are no frogs or eyes in my salad. Just pineapple, oranges, pasta, and other stuff.” 

Natasha laughed with relief. “Well, that’s good. Bye, Jake. Thanks for the directions.”

Jake smiled. “You’re welcome! Come to Trekkers, and I’ll introduce you to the Simon family tomorrow,” he added with a smile. 

“OK,” Natasha giggled. 

“Natasha, what’s your last name?” Jake asked. 

Natasha started to roll up her car window. “Oh, you’ll see. You’ll see.” 

Jake watched her drive away and scratched his head in confusion. Just who was this surprise visitor? 

Are you also wondering who Natasha is? You can find the answer by listening to Discovery Mountain, Season 7, “You Belong,” which begins on November 21. You can also listen for your faith exercise. 

Listen to Discovery Mountain episodes on discoverymountain.com or on your favorite podcast platform!