Calvin rode his bike, towing a wagon, to the docks on Bear Lake. He parked his bike next to a white wooden framed building bearing a sign, "Wilson's Boat & Tackle". The wood framed screen door squeaked as he entered. A bell rang indicating that someone had entered the store. He walked on a well worn hardwood floor. Shelves reached to the ceiling holding everything imaginable for boats, such as engine parts, life jackets, water skis, and fishing poles. Other items sat on the floor, like coolers, oars, and even a boat engine. He knew that his mother would never put up with a place this disorganized and messy. He made a meandering path, stepping over and around numerous items, to a counter located in the back. "Hello, Mr. Wilson," Calvin greeted the man at the counter.
"Right back at ya," responded the six foot, 220 pound man. He was wearing loose fitting jeans and a white t-shirt with the sleeves cut off, revealing tattoos on both muscular biceps. His face was covered by a fully grown, grey beard. A well worn, faded Captain's hat sat on his head.
"I need a couple of things. I need three large fishing nets, a long rope, and a pulley."
"That is a little unusual. Whacha doin'?"
"Nothing much. Just working on a project."
As they talked, a radio on the counter stopped playing oldies music. Calvin nervously listened to the news update. It centered on the circus train crash and the tiger that was roaming in the woods. It warned everyone to stay out of the woods. Calvin worried that Mr. Wilson would figure out that he was trying to catch the tiger. "I have a wagon on my bike that I can put the nets in," Calvin continued, speaking a little louder, trying to distract Mr. Wilson from the radio.
"Okay. Let me see what I have back here." Mr. Wilson turned and walked to the back of the store. He mumbled to himself as he was getting the nets, rope, and pulley. "Bring you wagon around back. I will take everything out the back door."
"Great!" Calvin turned and quickly exited the store. He wanted to get out of there as quickly, before Mr. Wilson figured out his plan. He rode his bike and wagon to the back door.
Mr. Wilson was dragging the nets out the door. Calvin stopped and Mr. Wilson dropped the nets into the wagon. "I will get the rope and pulley." Mr. Wilson turned to re-enter the store.
Calvin interrupted, "Here's my phone. I will pay with the account on my phone. Just ring it up while you're getting the rope and pulley." He hoped to speed up the transaction so he could leave.
Mr. Wilson was in the store for a few minutes. He returned carrying a long rope and holding a pulley, which he dropped in the wagon. He pulled Calvin's phone and a receipt from his back pocket and handed them to Calvin. "So, what did you say is this project you are working on?"
Calvin was really worried now. He had to get out of there fast. He jumped on the bike and started peddling before Mr. Wilson could stop him. As he rode, he turned his head, "I didn't say. But, I will let you know how it turns out." He faced forward and peddled faster.
After getting out of Mr. Wilson's eyesight, Calvin let up and peddled at a normal pace.
The meat clever flew threw the air heading directly for Jack’s head. He turned his face away from the oncoming meat cleaver. The cleaver hit his bike helmet, splitting the plastic cover and removing a chunk of Styrofoam padding. Jack heard the high pitch clank as the cleaver landed on the tile floor. He scurried through the back door. He stumbled and fell as he neared his bike. He quickly removed his backpack, tucked the meat inside, threw the backpack on one shoulder, and jumped on his bike. Jack heard the door slam open. Ogre exited the back door. Jack peddled as quickly as he could. Ogre stood tall, shaking his fist, “Come back here, Jack! I know it’s you! I am going to get you.” Jack never looked back. He turned right on the first street he saw. He could not get out of Ogre’s view fast enough.
Calvin rode his bike through the rest of town until he came to a path at the edge of the woods. Willie was already waiting. He did not see Jack. "Hi, Willie. Is Jack here?"
"I have not seen him. What took you so long?"
"I stopped to get nets and a rope so we can catch the tiger. Did you get any meat?"
"I emptied our freezer. How come your nets make me think this is going to be dangerous?"
Before Calvin could answer, he and Willie heard, "Hey guys, I'm here." They looked up and saw Jack riding down a hill toward them. As he approached, he pulled hard on his hand brakes, locked up the tires, and skidded to a stop right in front of Willie. Willie jumped back, afraid Jack would hit him.
Jumping off of his bike, Jack looked at Calvin. "Nice camou shirt."
"Thanks," Calvin responded. He reached into his backpack and pulled out two camouflage shirts. "Here is one for you." He turned to Willie, "Here's one for you. I hope it fits. It is the best I can do."
Willie pulled his Pepsi t-shirt over his head and stuffed it in his backpack. He then put his camouflage shirt on. It got stuck on his head and he had to give it a firm tug. The shirt did not come down to his waist. He grabbed the bottom of the shirt and tried to stretch it. It still would not come down far enough. "Thanks, Calvin. It's a little tight, but it will do."
After watching Willie struggle with the shirt, Calvin turned to look at Jack, who had already changed shirts. "This is great. Now, we can hunt the tiger." Jack was excited for this hunt.
As Jack spoke, Calvin saw a gash in Jack's helmet. "What happened to your helmet?"
"Ogre was mad at me." Jack tried to dismiss the question.
"What do you mean Ogre was mad at you? How did you see Ogre? I thought you went home and came here."
Jack knew that Calvin was not going to give up. "We did not have any meat at home. So, I went to Ogre’s store and snuck some meat out,” Jack explained, trying not to admit that he actually stole the meat. "He saw me and threw a meat cleaver at me. Can you believe it? Who would throw a meat cleaver at a kid? That guy is so mean!" He was trying to divert blame from himself to Ogre.
"That's stealing," Calvin exclaimed. He was in shock that Jack had stolen the meat and that Jack didn't think it was a big deal.
"That's wrong. You can't do that, Jack," Willie pitched in.
"Hey, don't give me any of that Sunday School stuff. You know I don't like church. That is why I stopped going. They’re always telling people all the bad things they are doing. I don't want to hear it and I don't need to hear it from you. We needed meat to catch the tiger, so I went and got some meat. Ogre has plenty of meat. It won't hurt him. Now, come on, we have a tiger to catch."
"I don't want to argue with you, Jack,” Willie continued. “You and Calvin are my best friends. But, you know you are wrong about church. It's not about telling you that you are bad. It is about how you can be forgiven for doing bad."
Jack shook his head, not wanting to hear Willie.
While Calvin agreed with Willie, he knew that Jack would not change his mind. It was probably best to change the subject before Jack got mad and left. "You both are right," Calvin added, trying to adopt the compromise skills from his parents. "Willie is right about church and Jack is right that we have a tiger to catch. Let's go."
"But," Willie wanted to continue the conversation, believing that a conversation about God was too important to stop. He saw Calvin shaking his head. He gave up figuring Calvin probably knew what was best. Plus, he did not want both of his best friends mad at him. "Okay."