Levi sighed as he slowly made his way to the bed post. Dad had bought some new cows (52 to be exact) and tomorrow he would have to round them all up so they could be branded. Levi cringed at the thought of the blazing hot iron being shoved onto his thigh.
“I wonder if the cows feel it. That’s got to hurt. Hmmm. But I guess it’s the only way to find out whose cows are who’s if any escaped into the nearby ranches. I wonder what’s for breakfast next Tuesday.”
Levi was so deep in thought that he didn’t notice his mom come into his bedroom.
“Levi, why are ya still up? It’s brandin’ day tomorrow and you gotta get up as early as the rooster goes a-crowin’.”
“Sorry, Mom. Say, what’s for breakfast next Tuesday?”
“What? Levi, go to sleep. I haven’t thought that far ahead yet.”
The next day Levi drifted out of his peaceful dreaming where no one had ever heard of such a thing as branding a cow, into the world where there were indeed cows to be rounded up with a lasso and branded.
“Levi! I told you you have to wake up before the rooster crows and it’s two hours past that! Hurry up and eat your breakfast – mud-pies.”
Levi got up immediately and dashed into the kitchen, stubbing his toe on a grand piano placed conveniently in front of the walkway.
“Yeeow!! That seriously… wait a minute! Hey, Mom! Since when have we had a grand piano!”
Still no answer.
“Well, I guess she is trying to push me to do the rounding up. I guess I did sleep in a little… Aaaaaaaah! Mom! What are these disgusting globs of mud on my breakfast plate? Oh yeah, mud-pies. Very funny.”
Mom sometimes enjoyed being the family prankster and Levi figured she was just pulling another one of her jokes, although he didn’t think it was super funny. He decided to skip breakfast and walked out the door. Immediately his foot cracked through rotting wood and left a gaping hole in the porch.
“That’s weird. I always thought our porch was made out of concrete so it would last longer. I don’t remember it being made out of wood. And they couldn’t have just put it in because it’s already rotten! This day is so weird!”
Levi went to grab his rope and horse. He couldn’t help but notice the sky. It was almost like an ocean with all the blue, and a couple foamy clouds acted as tiny waves in the west. In the east a huge storm was rolling in, almost like a gigantic tidal wave.
“Man, I gotta hurry. That storm looks bad!”
Then Levi heard something rumbling. At first he just assumed it was his stomach since he hadn’t eaten breakfast, but it was the ground! He turned around and saw something that made him blink a couple times to make sure it was actually there.
Levi dove right out of the way and let the mad group of cattle pass. He wondered what had caused them to start running like that.
“Maybe just the first day on the ranch…”
But Levi was proven wrong as he looked off into the distance and saw a big, thick, black tornado heading their way. The grey tidal wave clouds rushed over the sky faster than Levi could say “Yee-haw!”
The tornado was already tearing through the neighboring ranches, and it was angrily picking up trees and throwing them at whatever it could see. Levi started to run, but he all of the sudden he started to feel heroic. What if he could lasso that tornado just as Pecos Bill had tried to do? Levi jumped on Flash, his beautiful black and white stallion, and instead of running away from the tornado, he ran straight towards it!
In less than a second, the tornado glanced at Levi and saw trouble. It started hovering towards him with a new sense of destruction. But Levi hadn’t the slightest bit of fear and galloped his horse faster. The tornado picked up the roof of an old barn and threw it at him. Levi had already tied his rope into a loop and he was rapidly swinging it. The war between boy and tornado had begun.
Levi dodged the old roof, and threw his rope at the tornado. For a moment it looked as though Levi had successfully lassoed a tornado! Hooray!! The tornado struggled to get the rope off while Levi steadily pulled and pulled the rope closer to him. The tornado wriggled this way and tumbled that, desperately trying to get out of the rope’s grasp.
“Wow! I did it! I actually lassoed a tornado” Levi thought, “How is that even possible? Wait a sec…how is that possible?”
Seeing Levi distracted, the tornado took advantage and picked up Levi, Flash, and a couple dozen cows, and through them all into a field some miles away.
As Levi was soaring through the sky, he thought about his entire day.
“Man, I knew this day was gonna lead somewhere bad. I mean, look at me! I’m literally flying through the air because I was thrown by a crazy tornado! This is terrible!”
Levi braced himself for impact and…
“Levi! Wake up! It’s round-up day! I made you some pancakes for breakfast!”
Levi jumped up from his bed, confused.
“Wait a minute, Mom. I thought you made me mud-pies for breakfast!”
“Say what now? Levi, have you gone crazy or somethin’? First it’s what we’re gonna make next Tuesday and then it’s me making you mud-pies for breakfast! What loving mother would do that?”
Levi realized that his entire day with the cattle stampede, mud-pies, rotten wood, and a fierce tornado was all just a dream.
He got dressed, and ate up his pancakes with freshly churned butter and golden maple syrup. Then he stepped outside onto a nice concrete porch. He looked up into the crystal clear sky where not a single cloud could be seen. A Bible verse jumped into his head.
1st Corinthians 10:10 says, “And do not complain.”
Levi went to get his horse and rope with some momentum. It was still branding day, but after all, but it could be a LOT worse.