Five-year-old Bennie woke up at the sound of his mother's voice.
"Hurry and get up. We've got work to do. After breakfast we're going to straighten out your room. Your father will be home in a few days and I want your room to look nice and neat."
Bennie's father is in the Army and has been in a place called Iraq for almost a year. The Army gave him a medal and now they are sending him home.
"I'll be glad when Daddy gets home," Bennie's mother said.
"Me too," Bennie said.
After breakfast, Bennie went to his room. Soon he returned, carrying a box full of toys.
"Put the box on the table. We'll go through it and get rid of all the broken toys," Bennie's mother said.
They started sorting out the toys. Suddenly, there was a loud bang.
"I think the wind and rain blew the garage door open. I'd better go out and lock it," Bennie's mother said.
She put on a rain jacket and stepped out the back door.
Moments later there was a loud crash. Bennie jumped up and ran to the door. He looked out and saw his mother lying on the ground. Bennie ran to his mother's side. She was soaking wet and had a big cut on her forehead.
"Mommy! Mommy!" Bennie cried out. "Please get up!" Tears started rolling down Bennie's face.
Bennie's mother rolled over and started to speak in a low voice. "Don't cry Bennie, You've got to get help. I think I broke my ankle and I can't move. You're going to have to call 9-1-1 for help. Remember, how I taught you to call 9-1-1 on your toy phone?" Bennie's mother said.
"Yes, Mommy," Bennie answered.
"Go now and call 9-1-1 on the real phone and ask for help."
Bennie ran inside and picked up the phone and pushed the number 9. He then pushed 1 and then another 1.
"911 Emergency! What is your emergency?" the operator asked.
Bennie said in a loud voice, "My mommy slipped and hurt herself. Please come and help her!"
The emergency operator said, "What is your name?"
"My name is Bennie and I'm 5 years old. Please come and help my mommy."
"Bennie, are you and your mother at 3311 Glenn?" the operator asked.
"Yes," Bennie answered.
"Don't hang up, Bennie, I'm sending help," the operator said.
"OK, but please hurry," Bennie said.
Minutes later an ambulance came roaring to a stop in front of Bennie's house. The paramedics charged through the open front door.
"Where is your mother?" the paramedics asked.
Bennie pointed toward the back door. The paramedics rushed out the back door. Soon they returned carrying Bennie's mother. They loaded her and Bennie into the ambulance and roared off down the street.
A few weeks later Bennie's mother sat in a wheelchair. She wore a beautiful red, white and blue ribbon in her hair. She and her husband watched as the Fire Department presented Bennie with a child bravery medal. The Chief who presented the medal, said: "Heroes come in all sizes and ages. In this case our hero is 5 years old. I'm proud to present him this medal."
Bennie's mother grabbed her son and her husband in a "monster" hug. She smiled and said: "I'm so proud! Now I have two heroes, my soldier husband and my son Bennie."
Special thanks to J.H. Everett for his illustration. To see more of his work, visit jheverett.com.