Written by Kathy Pridden and Illustrated by Melanie McIntyre.
Archie bear was playing in the woods with his friends. He was on his bright red two wheeler bike that his parents, Annabelle and Siegfried, had bought him for his birthday. Oh what a job he had to get that bike! His mother was worried that he was too young for a two wheeler bike. When he told her that his younger cousin already had one she changed her mind and said he was too small. He pointed out to her that he was the tallest one of all his friends. She had to give in and he got his bike.
He went into town with his parents, the Saturday afternoon before his birthday. They went to all the bike shops. He tried them all, big bikes, little bikes, blue, white and black bikes. Some with the handlebars raised and some with them lowered. He couldn’t make up his mind which he liked best. As a last resort they went back to the first shop they had been to. Some more bikes had been delivered and he saw the one he knew he had to have. It was bright red. Archie tried the bike for size and it was perfect.
“Please mum, please dad can I have it PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.” Archie said these words over and over again. Finally his parents gave him a big smile and said yes he could. He was so very happy.
The next day Archie showed the bike off to all his friends, Ben the golden retriever dog, Cydric a grey cat and Maybelle a lovely little white poodle. He had ridden up and down the road, outside his house, all morning ringing the bike’s bell very proudly. Mum and dad had told him not to take the bike into the woods. The tracks there were uneven, muddy and not very safe.
Ben, Cydric and Maybelle decided to go and see Ernie, the otter, who lived by the stream. They asked Archie to go with them. He said he couldn’t as his mum and dad were taking him to see his grandma, Edwina, that afternoon and he had to stay clean. They begged him to go and threatened to go without him. He thought about it, he didn’t like being left out. If he went he’d have to take his bike in and mum and dad would ask him where he was going. They wouldn’t allow him to go into the woods with his best clothes on. So he decided to sneak off and take his bike with him. He’d only be five minutes anyway, they would never know. What they didn’t know didn’t hurt them, he thought as he rode to Ernie’s with his friends.
Ernie, the otter, was very jealous of the new bike. Archie very proudly rode up and down the pathway near Ernie’s house. He soon got over-confident and starting riding further away. Archie was showing off, he liked being the only one on a bike. Knowing that Archie would get into trouble if he went, Ernie bet him that he couldn’t ride up to the old oak tree and bring back one of its leaves. Archie thought about it. He knew Ernie wanted him to look daft when he said he wasn’t allowed to. He also knew he would be in serious trouble if his mum and dad ever found out he’d been. Maybelle told him not to take the bet but Ernie, Ben and Cydric looked at him with smirks on their faces. They were sick of his showing off. Sensing them laughing at him Archie took the bet.
“It won’t take me long. I’ll be there and back in five minutes, and then I’ll go home,” he said to Maybelle. He set off at great speed. While he was on the path near Ernie’s house he was all right. When he entered the woods it became darker and the path was uneven and full of tree roots. Archie made it safely up to the oak tree, got a leaf and started making his way back. Suddenly because he was gloating to himself he lost concentration and hit a raised tree root. The bike juddered, he did his best to get it back under control but it swerved and was heading towards a tall tree. He fell off bumping his head, dropping the bike onto himself.
He lay there for a while dazed and then his leg began to hurt. It was very, very painful. Archie cried out for his mum and dad to come and help but he knew they couldn’t hear him. Trapped, he tried to move his bike but it made the pain in his leg hurt dreadfully. It began to rain heavier and heavier. The woods were so dark and they seemed so unfriendly. He just lay there crying. Then he remembered his grandma telling him to always call for angels if he needed any help.
“Angels, angels will you help me please. I’m hurt and sore,” he cried out loud. As soon as he had said this, an angel appeared by his side.
He had a lovely gentle kind face and an enormous pair of white wings. He was dressed in a long green gown, with a wonderful green glow all around him. He just radiated love. Archie felt very safe, he knew he was going to be helped. The angel told him his name was Archangel Raphael, he was the healing angel and he would stay and take care of him until help arrived. He then wrapped his wings around Archie and comforted him, soothing the pain away. Archie felt so safe, loved and cared for that he snuggled into the soft warm wings and lay there half asleep.
Back at Ernie’s, Ben, Cedric and Maybelle were getting quite anxious about Archie. Eventually they decided to go and look for him in the woods. They walked up to the oak tree but there was no sign of him.
“That’s strange, where could he have gone?” Cydric said.
“I do hope he hasn’t gone up to the big haunted house,” replied Ben. They all looked at each other. They decided to go back. Something red caught Maybelle’s eye as they walked through the trees.
“Look what’s that?” she asked. Cydric and Ben looked to where she was pointing.
“It looks like a bike,” Cydric replied. They all ran over to the clump of bushes out of which the bike could just be seen. Archie was sprawled there trapped under his bike with an obviously broken leg. He wasn’t crying he had a beautiful smile on his face. He looked so calm and relaxed, which his friends thought was very strange for he must have been in pain.
Ben ran to get Archie’s mum and dad. When his mum and dad arrived they couldn’t see the angel holding their son. Archangel Raphael told Archie not to worry he would help him get better. Then he just disappeared. His dad pulled the bike off him and called for an ambulance. Archie was slowly and carefully moved into it. To cheer him up a little bit the ambulance driver put on the siren, so he made a very noisy arrival at the hospital. His broken leg was set in plaster by the doctor and he was sent home.
At home that night with his grandma and his friends Archie told them what had happened. He said he was lying on the ground in great pain, crying for his mum and dad. He knew nobody could hear him. Then he remembered his grandma telling him to always call for angels if he needed any help. When she’d said this Archie thought that she was a daft old thing but now he was glad he’d listened to her.
“Archangel Raphael came to help me. HOW COOL IS THAT?” Archie shouted beaming a smile at everyone.
“Thank you Archangel Raphael,” whispered Archie’s mum. She knew that like everybody else, angels liked to be thanked.
ARCHANGEL RAPHAEL IS THE HEALING ANGEL