Well, At Least the Good Guys Had the Dagger!
I was rather frustrated this morning as Scott, my farrier, had told me he'd be here to shoe Tucker and trim the other two Boys "first thing in the morning." Turns out his intentions were good, but, as usual, the execution did not quite work out as planned. Scott called me at around 11:30 AM, to tell me he'd be here in an hour.
I meantime manged to mow the lawn, and, much to my delight as I was doing that, the tractor repair guy showed up and fixed the belt on the Bolens. I had him test it out the the tall grass--too much for the less impressive John Deere to handle--and then, with another bit of tightening, the Big gun mower was back in action. After he left, I finished up the patch of high grass, parked the Bolens and came back into the house for some lunch.
Side note here: It was customer appreciation day at Rick's Saddle Shop, and I'd planned to go to have some free hot dogs, hamburgers, and soda...but alas, the shoeing affair tied me up.
But Fate was smiling. As Scott finished setting up his little shoeing shop, I saw a older teenage kid running across my paddock. He leapt the fence and pulled up short. "Can you help me?" he asked breathlessly.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"Can you call me a cab? Some kids beat me up and I need to get home."
Huh? Kid had cell phone. He was not wearing a shirt and had no shoes, but was wearing socks. He did not look bruised or bloodied, but he had a lot of thin scratch marks on his arms and back.
I asked, "Did you call the police?" I happened to see a rather shiny looking knife in Scott's hand at this point and he was slightly behind and too the left of the kid.
"Uh, no. I just want a cab. I'll call the police after I get home."
"No," I said, "we have to call the police now."
Scott had a cell phone in his "unknifed" hand, but he said, "Why don't you go in and call the police?"
I headed for the house and at that, the kid got up and started jogging down the driveway.
I got the cordless phone from inside, dialed 911, and headed back outside. When the emergency dispatcher answered, I told her who I was, and my address and then said that a teenage kid had just run through my yard.
She aksed, "Was he white, black or Hispanic?"
"Hispanic," I replied.
"Was he wearing shoes?"
"Ma'm, please stay on the line. Where did he go?" I told her he'd started running west on my road. "Can you still see him?"
I asked Scott to go look and he said he'd disappeared. Then I told the dispatcher I was worried that he might have gone to my elderly neighbor's house. She asked me if I could call them...duh, I was still on the phone with her. But about a second later, a police car came whizzing up. We waved it down and told the officer the kid had run down the road. He took off at speed. A split second later, another police car raced past.
I was, of course, still worried about my neighbor, so Scott and I flagged down the third police car, to tell them we didn't know whether or not the kid had gone into the neighbor's yard and would they please check. The third and fourth car drove up to my neighbors 'and ordered them inside the house. I guess they did a search for a while.
Puzzled, but with nothing else to do, Scott and I headed back to the barn to start the shoeing process. In a few minutes a helicopter roared overhead and then we think it may have circled around, because it came back in, low and slow. Scott looked out, "That's a State Police copter, " he said.
What the heck?
He started to trim Tucker and I decided to go back out to the road to see if the police were still next door. Yes they were but...suddenly two uniformed officers came running out of the yard. They jumped into their cars and with squealing tires, raced off.
Scott and I spent the next couple hours talking it over as he shod Tucker and trimmed Toby and Chance. We discussed a lot of other things, but it kept coming back to speculation about what `the kid was doing. Scott said when I didn't act worried or upset about the kid's being there, he at first thought maybe I knew who he was. To be honest, my first thought was that maybe he was working on the farm or mowing and something had happened. But I rather quickly realized that wasn't the case. However, since I am so used to dealing with teenage kids, it never even crossed my mind to panic over his strange arrival. He looked like he was more scared than anything. I'm pretty sure his cell phone was not working as the screen didn't seem to light up when he turned it on, so that was probably why he wanted us to call for a cab.
But come on. A cab? The only cab I was going to call was a black and white one with red lights on top.
The full mystery is not solved. I did call police headquarters and the woman at the desk told me that the police had caught the kid not long after the copter passed over. All she knew was that the kid had "bailed out of a car on the New Jersey Turnpike." By the way, they had search dogs out after him too. I am glad of that for several reasons. Obviously, I don't want a fugitive hanging around my woods, but for the kid's sake, I'm glad too. If he had tried to escape through the woods, he would be dead meat. He'd be devoured by mosquitoes and deerflies, and then if he did manage to get through the endless tangles of briars, he'd probably get lost in the swamp, and who knows what kind of misery he'd suffer. Years ago, an old woman wandered off into that area and some hunters found her body months later. Shirtless and shoeless, this kid would have suffered.
On the other hand, he did get a little justice. He jumped over my fence twice...wooden fence with a strand of hot electric wire. I wonder what an electric fence shock would do to a cell phone? I'm pretty sure he must have gotten a good jolt.
Oh, yes. I did get to Rick's but by that time the hot dogs were all gone and the grill was closed.
Guess I'll have to cook my own.