Tucky Jo and Little Heart

Tucky Jo and Little Heart
Tucky Jo and Little Heart

A heart-warming tale by Patricia Polacco, Tucky Jo and Little Heart shows the power of caring for those in need.

Set during World War II, Johnnie Wallen enlisted in the army and was sent to the Pacific.  He was a great shooter from hunting back home in Kentucky so was recruited as a marksman and explosives training.  His nickname was “Kentucky Kid.”  He fought and travelled all over the Pacific.

On the island of Luzon he was clearing jungle for an airstrip.  He was attacked by every bug imaginable in the tropics and had welts everywhere.  A village girl showed him a leaf he could rub on the bites as a relief.  The village girl who wouldn’t speak to him began coming around everyday during Johnnie’s work. He called her Little Heart because she had a heart-shaped birthmark on her arm.  She called him Tucky Jo.

He began sharing food with her and he made her a doll.  He began to give her village rations as well.  The village was just old folks, women and children as all the young men had been taken as well as all the food.  Tucky Jo took them in as family as well as the rest of his unit.  One day the forest was to be fire-bombed as the enemy was heading their way.  Tucky Jo had the village evacuated and that was the last he saw of Little Heart.

Johnnie survived the war and went on to get married and raise a family, but he always wondered about Little Heart.  In his old age, he needed a hearing aid and cataract surgery but the waitlist at the Veteran’s Administration was impossibly long.  One day a nurse told him he was being bumped to the top of the list and the cost had been taken care of.  The nurse turned out to be Little Heart who had searched for Johnnie all these years to thank him.  She had come to the US and became a nurse.  Her kids were doctors and one was an engineer.

Johnnie Wallen was a decorated soldier but the silver heart chain Little Heart whose name is Nurse Zaballa was his most precious gift of all.

Great story about the human heart and caring for others in need.  Great example of caring for our veterans who gave so much for our freedom.  Awesome how Little Heart was able to repay the kindness so many years later.  One never knows how little acts affect other people and this is a great story of how one kindness multiplies tenfold.  Highly recommended.

Christmas Poem




When Jesus was born in Bethlehem
Very few knew what it meant
Today I know more than they did then,
History’s greatest event

It is still hard for me to grasp
How deep a love He had to have
To leave the life He had with God
Knowing the plan–what it would cost

He knew we would not survive
Unless He came and paid the price
It had to be a sinless life
The lamb of God, the sacrifice

At Christmastime as we reflect
What God did when He sent His son
How could I possibly neglect
To love
To praise
That Christmas, Christ agreed to come

He left us the great gift of love


Lissette Trahan



Have you ever thought of Mary
What she was told that day
It must have been so scary
To have been told that way

You are to be a Mother, Gabriel announced to her
How? I am still a virgin, was how Mary replied
The Holy Ghost shall come on thee, is what it says she heard
She must have been in wonder, completely mystified

Then comes more bewilderment, Gabriel was not yet through
You will bring forth a son, He’ll be the Son of God
What trust God had in Mary, He knew what she would do
Behold the maiden of the Lord, she said without a doubt

Mary, already had a spouse, what was to be her fate
In those days it was a crime, she could be stoned to death
When God plans your life you know He’ll keep you safe
Mary could have said no, but willingly said yes

Mary said yes to a future, not knowing what it would be
I want to follow that example, and let God work through me


Lissette Trahan



Your Word talks about a peace
A peace that passeth understanding
It seems like such a mystery
All of life is so demanding

I had been seeking every day
I was about to give up hope
But first I stopped and had to pray
“Lord, are You there? I cannot cope”

My heart leaped surprising me
It happened so unexpectedly

That was the day I felt that peace
That was the day I felt that joy
Your love became so real to me
Nothing that this life could destroy

All I can say on this long journey
Peace doesn’t come so easily
But You have been right there with me
That peace no more a mystery

The “peace of God, which passeth understanding”
Phil 4:7


Lissette Trahan

How Did it Happen


Blessings so many and so great
Where do I start, how to relate

When I awake the sun is there
How did it happen? Do I care?
Do I ever stop to think
If one day it was out of sync?

Seasons follow each other in order
Tides ebb and flow, the sun rises and sets
I look at the world and I have to say
How did it happen, this great display

Then there is life, how did it happen
Man has never a life created
I know that there had to be a beginning
Without a God? I would debate it

The fact of the world drives me to God
The order, the detail
I stay in awe

Thank you Lord, I am so humbled
You’ve shown me so much and I still stumble
But the victory I have, no one can take

I have faith


Lissette Trahan



The more I read the bible
More clearly I can see
The miracle of Prophecy
That leads me straight to Thee

So many years neglected
At first I could not see
How it was all connected
The Old, the New
And what’s to be

In searching the Old Testament
I see the New fulfilled
His Word is all one statement
How great is Prophecy

It shows me that His Word
From Genesis to end
All points to my Redeemer
How can I make amends

How did I miss the miracle
Your Word was there to see
A beautiful love letter
Made specially for me.


Lissette Trahan



It was by God’s Grace I was saved
Nothing I did, nothing deserved
I was in awe, I was amazed
I knew something had occurred

What did I do, what did I feel
My first impulse was to kneel
I felt humbled, I felt loved
Forgiven and not judged

Your Grace enveloped and embraced
My heart went out to You in praise
My whole life now belongs to You
To please in everything I do

Although sin will be there waiting
It will not be dominating
Knowing Grace will be with me
I will have the victory


Lissette Trahan

Why Did I Believe


One verse for me was all it took
Why did I wait so long to look

The answer is not hard to find
My problem was I did not seek
Without Him I had made it fine
But one day I did take a peek

And there it was in Psalm 19
“The heavens declare the glory of God;
The skies proclaim the work of His hands”

Was that verse always there for me?
Today I feel God made it mine

In this world what do we mostly see?
The Universe, Stars, Galaxies
An order that could never be
It was right there but I didn’t see

Reading more deeply in God’s Word
I found the truth, I had not heard
A love so great, He gave His life
He thought that I was worth the price

His resurrection was proof for me.


Lissette Trahan