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    Hippo in the Garden
    Mark Trodd
    In this sequel to Hippo in the Stable, Hector is captured by Roman soldiers after his cousins play a trick on him. Hector escapes and ends up in Jerusalem for the first Easter. He witnesses the crucifixion and hears Jesus forgive those who hurt Him. Moved by this, Hector decides to forgive his cou

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    book excerpt

    Then Hector heard people shouting and crying, so he
    crept through some bushes to have a look. He was
    shocked to see soldiers hurting some men by hanging
    them on strange trees with no leaves. When he
    realised that Jesus was one of them, Hector felt sick in
    the stomach. “Don’t hurt Him,” he cried.

    Hector crawled closer, but he was too scared to
    do anything.
    Then He heard the words that would change his life.
    Jesus said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what
    they are doing,”
    Hector was shocked. “Why would Jesus say that, after
    what they did to Him?”

    “You’re supposed to be hiding, Mr Hippo”, said Ruth.
    Hector was glad to see a friend.
    “My father said we can take you back to your home
    after Passover – so stay hidden.”
    Hector was so scared that he did exactly what she said.

    A few days later, Hector awoke from a dream (he
    thought he was wrestling with his cousins) to find the
    ground shaking and rumbling. All he could do was roll
    up in a ball and hope the ground didn’t swallow him.

    When Ruth and her father Simon arrived, Hector
    couldn’t wait to leave.
    “Get in, quick. We need to leave the city before anyone
    sees you,” said Ruth.
    As they started down the road to Joppa, Hector
    peeked out from under a blanket.
    Those strange trees were still there, but where was Jesus?

    One night, two men asked to share their campfire. One
    of them was named Cleopas. As they chatted, Ruth’s
    dad told them about how soldiers had made him carry
    the cross of Jesus. “Haven’t you heard?” said Cleopas.
    “Jesus is alive. We met him on our way to Emmaus.”
    “Impossible,” said Simon.
    “It’s true,” said the other man. “That’s why we’re going
    back to Jerusalem.”
    Hector couldn’t believe his ears.

    “Who is Jesus?” asked Ruth.
    “Jesus is God’s Son,” said Cleopas. “God sent Him to show
    us how much He loves us.” “I knew He was special,” said
    Ruth’s dad.
    Hector smiled. Grandma Harriet said Jesus was special too.

    Then Hector made a decision…
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