Inevitably the day came. Darlene had a bad case of the sniffles, a sore throat, and every good excuse to stay home from school. But Darren had to get ready and head out by himself. Darren turned the corner at the end of the block, walked the half-block to the alley, and there behind the lilac bush was Clifton lying in wait.
"Ha! Gotcha! Where's Miss Piggy? Piggy-tails, I mean."
And here Darren's "erudition" got him into serious trouble. For some inexplicable reason his recent reading had been centered around nineteenth century American history. Nine years old and already looking as though he'd be a lawyer or worse, a politician. Or both.
"Sir," Darren cried, "I perceive that thou art a foul Whig!"
There was but one word of the sentence that Clifton understood and what he heard was "fowl." He instantly concluded that he was being called a chicken, or worse depending upon what "whig" meant.
He flew with unrestrained fury at his antagonist. Darren dodged and Clifton overshot his mark. Both boys turned and the fight began. I will spare you the details. Suffice it to say that when Hans Freylingheusen drove up in his police cruiser the boys were rolling in the crushed limestone surface of the alley, both covered with the white powder of the recently-laid material, each flailing at the other, screaming and hollering. Hans stopped the car, leisurely hoisted himself from the vehicle and ambled over to the combatants.
"Hey!" Only upon hearing him speak did the boys turn to see a pair of black jack-boots and blue striped trousers beside them. Only then did the beating and smacking stop. The officer took a shoulder in each hand and lifted the guys to their feet. "Get in the car. In the front seat. You're not under arrest."
They complied and Hans walked around and got into the car as well.
"Aren't you supposed to be in school?" No answer. "I asked you a question."
"Yes, sir." Feebly. "Yes, sir." Also feebly.
"Now I am going to drive you over to the station. You can't show up at school looking like that." In the locker room each boy was given a towel and washcloth. "You want to beat each other?" Freylingheusen said. "Knock that dust and dirt off each other. And don't get carried away; the fight is over. Then get washed up."
Hans got the boys back into the cruiser and drove them to school. The three of them went up the walk together. Not in the best interests of Darren and Clifton was the fact that the third-graders were on the playground. The officer took the lads to the principal, Miss Garst. "I hope you will excuse their tardiness. These boys ran into a bit of difficulty but everything is all right now. Right, fellas?"
"Right. Thank you, sir."
©2017 David W. Lacy