Saturday, 10:00 pm--A rickety truck pulling a horse trailer was seen leaving the Flying Gnat Ranch. A concerned neighbor checked the horse barn only to find the best mares missing. The police are on the suspect's trail, but please carefully guard your own horses since he may still be in the area.
Sitting at the kitchen table, Keith Smith called the paragraph to his brother’s attention, “Hey, look at this, Zak.”
His brother leaned over his shoulder and whistled, “Sure hope the horse thief doesn’t come around here. Winchester is the only one we’ve got.”
Keith flipped the page absentmindedly, “That’s what I am worried about, and the police are too far away to get here in time. That thief is sure to visit.”
There was silence that was soon broken by jolly Zak, “It’s hot! Let’s have a water fight with the Kervey boys tonight.”
“Good idea! I’ll call the clan,” Keith traveled to the phone quickly. “Mom, what is the Kerveys’ phone number? We want to invite the boys over for a water fight,” he told his mother.
After giving Keith the phone number Mrs. Smith said laughingly under her breath, “I’ll have to change the color of the pink lemonade I was going to make.”
A short while later a group of noisy boys was seen vaulting the fence that divided the two neighbors. The brothers ran to meet them; their arms loaded with water balloons and squirt guns. Whooping and hollering all seven boys ran to the garden hose bib.
Steady Eddy, the oldest and the commander, began giving out orders.
“Lad, you fill the guns. Lumber Jack, go get the hoses; and Zak and Frog, fill the balloons.”
Orders given, the three remaining went off to decide where to take their positions.
“Did you here about the horse thief, Keith?’ Eddy asked.
“Yup, we’re worried about the horse,” Keith stopped in front of the barn. Stripe’s brilliant mind was smoking as he studied the barn roof. “Why don’t we guard Winchester with our water guns?”
Keith snapped his fingers, “Awesome! And we are already prepared.”
“Do you have some buckets I could use?” Stripes asked suddenly.
“I guess so,” Keith was puzzled, “They are behind the barn.”
Stripes went off to find them.
“We need to make plans,” Steady Eddy decided.
“I’ll gather the boys,” Keith called over his shoulder.
Minutes later they were gathered around the picnic table studying a sketched map of the property.
“Who has the best throwing arm?” asked the commander. Several people raised their hands, but they all decided on Lumber Jack.
Stripes raised his hand, “I’m stationing three men on top of the barn. Two will have buckets of water, and one will climb down to try to trap the thief inside the barn. Any volunteers?’
Keith, Lad, and Stripes ended up being on the barn roof. Everyone but Jack was armed with squirt guns and assignments.
“Any more ideas?” Eddy asked.
“I could use the garden hose to try and keep the thief in the barn,” Keith said.
“All right, men,” Eddy folded the map and stuck it in his back pocket, “Let’s grab a snack and meet back at the barn.”
Lad grinned at Jack, “Hopefully your mom knows we’re here and as hungry as wolves.”
“She could guess...she’s awesome that way,” Zack returned, quickening his pace toward the house.
His mouth full of sandwich, Keith glanced at his watch. The seconds were ticking down to 8:50. He leaned over the edge of the barn roof peering down at Frog who was behind a tree.
Frog, known for his amazing eating skills, was happily devouring three sandwiches all too loudly.
Keith shushed a warning and turned back to business--gulping down a glass full of strangely colored lemonade.
Down at the end of the driveway Lumber Jack began to snore. Zack pinched him just in time as a truck crept past them towards the barn. In a flash Jack was sprinting ahead, still in the shadows, to alert the others while Zack followed the truck and trailer at a safe distance. Keith threw down his sandwich, and the boys lay on their stomachs so as not to be seen.
Once the man was inside the barn Keith jumped down and tried to close the big barn doors, but it was too late. The thief thought he had heard a noise and had crept out only to be suddenly drenched by water from above. He was thoroughly surprised and an easy target for the others. The clan took action with their squirt guns. Jack had a wonderful aim with his water balloons.
The man tried several times to get to his truck but always Lad or Eddy would cut him off, squirting him straight in the face and getting him even wetter. The boys were enjoying themselves by keeping him busy while waiting for the police.
“He’s driving away!” a shout rang out when he finally reached the pickup. Lumber Jack was just in time to grab onto the back of the truck and climb in. The others ran after them.
It was soon apparent that they couldn’t stop him but still they followed. He had just reached the end of the driveway when a shiny police car swung sideways across his path causing him to slam on the brakes. He jumped out to run, but to his great dismay seven panting boys surrounded him water guns in hand. As the policeman handcuffed the horse thief, Frog couldn’t resist giving the thief one last triumphant squirt. The boys all cheered as the horse thief was driven away to jail.
Zack smiled as he read a short article on the front page of the paper.
Horse Thief Caught
Together the Smith and Kervey boys helped make the capture of a sneaky horse thief a speedy one. Working together to guard the Smith boys’ horse, they kept the thief from escaping. "We decided to have a water war with our neighbors," one young hero said. That simple game turned into a squirt gun ambush to keep the thief busy (as well as soak each other), and a thrilling chase, eventually leading to his capture and imprisonment. "He was almost out of the driveway when the police that Zack had called showed up. That was a very exciting day." Three cheers for the boys!