As laid in bed last night, I asked God to send me a story as I was out of words. I had forgotten about that little self-serving prayer as I sat on my front porch and enjoyed an early morning cup of coffee.
From somewhere up the street came a girl and her younger brother. From the way they acted and talked to each other it wasn’t hard to see that they were related.
“You’re gonna get in trouble,” the girl of about 12, replied. “Mom said not to play with your cleats.”
The brother, possibly three-years younger, was tossing them into the air, end-over-end and letting them hit the asphalt, where he picked them up and did it all again. As he did so he mocked his sister, repeating her words in a funny voice.
No sooner had he done so, the cleats got caught about 15-feet above him, the shoe-string firmly wrapping itself around the protruding branch of a tree. He stood there looking up at them, mouth agape.
“Oh…you’re dead now,” the sister claimed. “Mom’s gonna tan your hide.”
I nearly laughed aloud at the phrasing – ‘tan your hide,’ which seemed so last century for a girl born in the new millennium.
The boy on the other hand, demanded, “Help me get’em down!”
“They’re too high, we’ll never reach’em in time for school,” she responded.
“Well, call the fire department to get them down!” he looked at her. “They get cats outta trees, don’t they.”
“Good idea,” she answered, as she pulled her cellphone from her back pocket. Seconds later I heard her say, “Mom?”
Upon hearing that, the boy lost it, “You called mom?!”
A few minutes later a truck came moving down the street. Behind the wheel was a woman, who when she got out of the truck she’d parked beneath the tree, was dress in a pair of old sweat pants and a dressy silky blouse.
She growled at the kids, “Get…in…the…truck,” as she climbed in the bed of the F-150 and then onto the roof, yanking the cleats from the tree branch. Within half-a-minute, the drivers’ side door slammed and she headed down the street to drop the children at school.
And that’s where I thought this story was to end – wrong.
This afternoon the same two siblings were walking up the street, going home from school. Close behind was a mutt of a dog, who kept racing up at a fast trot and nosing into the little boy.
Without warning, the kid got mad and tossed something at the retreating dog. As fast as it hit the roadway, the dog had it in his mouth and was dashing away in the opposite direction.
It was the same pair of cleats from this morning. The last I saw of the pair they were chasing after the dog, with the girls exclaiming, “You’re really dead now. Mom’s gonna tan your hide for sure this time.”