The (not so rotten) Pear Fight
True Story by Lowell
I knew the very second I threw the rotten pear that it was going to be a direct hit. The excitement of accuracy faded as I watched it arc directly toward my new friend's face. There was a moment suspended in time when everything slowed down and a million thoughts ran through my head: I could yell at him to duck; or, I could start running now--maybe I could get to my house before he caught me (he could run a little faster than me); I could grab another pear--I might be able to hit him again before he could get to me; and so on, but instead--I just stood there in awe and watched the rotten pear spin slowly as it flew toward its innocent target.
SPLAT! It was everything you could hope for in a rotten fruit war--a smashing success. Mike yelled and scrubbed at his eyes. I knew I was in for it, so I scrambled to get away. I glanced back in time to see a rotten missile rocketing toward me and I swerved off to the side to escape it. Mike was charging toward me, with a rotten pear in each hand! He stopped to take aim and I ducked behind a tree.
"I'll get you!" he shouted.
Not if I could help it. "No you won't!" I yelled back.
"I will!" he promised.
How do I always get to this moment? You know, where you have this sinking feeling that this is going to end bad? Somehow I seem to have more than my share.
I heard his footsteps and my heart pounded with dread. He was going to splatter me. I looked around for a way to escape--nothing--nowhere to hide.
I looked up and saw a branch that was within reach so I pulled myself up into the tree. At least the limbs would protect me a little. I could climb a lot better than him so I scooted right on up.
He glared up at me.
"Gotcha!" he growled at me while closing one eye to take aim at me.
I waited for his arm to move back to throw and then I slipped around the tree trunk. He grunted and moved around where he could see me again.
"You'll have to come down sometime." he gloated, fingering the pear in his hand.
I shook my head, "Nope. I can stay up here forever."
He laughed at me, "What will you eat?"
I looked around and shrugged, "I'm not hungry."
"You will be."
"So will you."
He frowned, "I can eat these." He held up the two pears.
I looked and felt my mouth go dry. I saw that the pears weren't rotten after all--if he hits me with one of those it will knock me out!
What happened next is funny to tell now--but at the time it was scary as all get out!
We both heard a fierce growl and an ugly bark--the neighbor's German Shepherd was loose again! This dog was mean! Of all the dogs I had ever seen, this one was the biggest and meanest of them all.
One time, I was on my bike and that mean dog chased me all the way to the store. I rode my bike right up onto the electronic mat (automatic door opener) and into the store to get away from him. The store manager grabbed me by the back of my neck and turned me in a big circle so that I went right back outside. Luckily, the dog was gone.
Mike dropped the pears and lunged for the tree. The dog growled and leaped into the air, snagging Mike's pants. Mike howled and scrambled to get higher in the tree. His pants made a funny tearing sound and his skinny white legs suddenly appeared as his pants seemed to disappear. The dog dropped back to the ground and shook his ill-gotten gain like a toy. Mike's pants made a popping sound in the wind as the dog shook his head with fierce determination. I had a sick feeling--thinking about one of us being inside those pants while the dog tore them apart like that.
Mike climbed on up by me. He normally wouldn't have climbed this high...but this wasn't a normal day. I saw that he was crying so I talked to him.
"You look silly," I declared, eyeing his skinny white legs.
"Shut up," he said, sounding scared.
"You really should wear pants when you go outside."
He shook his fist at me--then grabbed for the nearest branch when he almost fell.
The dog was still tearing the pants into small pieces. We looked down at the dog and I suddenly wondered if we would ever be able to get down from the tree.
I imagined the trouble I would be in if my mom called for me to come in and I didn't go. I had visions of dad getting involved. I was about to have a cry myself.
"Why did you throw that rotten pear at me?" Mike asked, still crying.
"I didn't throw it at you."
"Did so." He wiped at its remains that were still smeared on his face.
"No, I threw it and it hit you--I didn't throw it at you--there's a difference."
"Sure," I nodded.
"So it would have been worse if you had of thrown it at me? He was really getting mad at me now.
I could see the trap I had gotten myself in.
"Accident?" he yelled. "That was no accident!"
I hated it when he got technical.
"I'm sorry." I tried to apologize.
"I am!" I felt tears welling in my eyes. I was still imagining all the trouble I would be in if I was unable to ever get down from the tree.
"Why are you crying?" he mocked.
"You are too!"
"No I'm not! I'm just overwhelmed by how bad you stink!"
He squinted at me and reached for a branch near me so that he could move closer to me.
I neatly avoided him by falling off the branch I was sitting on. Several limbs scraped at me as I whistled down through through open air. The German Shepherd was in just the right place at just the right time and broke my fall. The dog yelped in surprise and pain and ran off limping.
I felt like I broke my tailbone.
I really hoped to pass out so everything wouldn't hurt so bad--but I didn't--instead, I heard Mike cackling like a hen up in the tree. He was laughing at me!
I looked around for the pears he had dropped and got one in each hand. He quit laughing.
"Truce?" I yelled up at him, pretending to take aim at him.
"Truce!" he called back, peering over a branch.
"Come on down then."
"Not until you leave!" he said.
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