"You have a plan, right?" Jack looked at Calvin.
"Yes. We’ll ride to where we saw the tiger. I have three nets and some rope. We will lay two nets on top of each other on the ground to actually catch the tiger."
"Why two nets?" Willie wondered.
"They're fishing nets. I don't know how strong they are. I figured we double them. Combined, they should be strong enough to hold the tiger."
"Yyyyyoooouuuu mmmmeannnn you’re afraid the tiger might escape?" Willie mumbled
"Knock it off. Stop being a baby. Calvin's plan sounds good. If you don't like it, go home," Jack sneered, still irritated at Willie because of the church talk. "Calvin, keep going and ignore this baby."
"Okay. We’ll tie the two nets to the other net with a rope connected to the pulley. We’ll fill the other net with rocks and hoist it into a tree. We’ll set out the meat to lead the tiger to the net. When he is on it, we will drop the rocks from the tree and the net will go up. Bingo! We’ve caught a tiger."
Willie was worried. "Are you sure it is safe?"
Still mad at Willie, Jack responded sharply, "The only way the plan could be better is if you were the bait. Let's go." Jack jumped on his bike and started riding.
Willie did not like the joke but knew the argument was over. He started peddling. Calvin pulled in front of him. The three boys rode single file along a dirt path to where they saw the tiger.
Jack slammed on his brakes, skidding his tires across the dirt. Calvin and Willie did the same. Jack jumped off his bike and walked to Calvin's wagon. "Calvin, why don't you figure out where to put the trap while Willie and I get the nets and rope out?" Jack's question was really more of a command.
"Okay." Calvin walked around with his eyes looking up at the trees trying to find a good place to set the trap. After Jack and Willie had the nets out of the wagon, Calvin waved them over. "Let's try this spot."
Jack dragged one net over to Calvin and spread it across the ground. Willie followed with the other net. The two boys took the second net, opened it up, and laid it down on top of the first net.
Calvin walked a few yards away, still looking up to the trees. He stopped and looked at his friends. They were finishing the placement of the second net. "Let's put the other net here. I'll get the rope." With his foot, he scraped an "X" in the dirt, showing his friends where to put the net. He ran to the trailer to get the rope.
Jack and Willie dragged the third net to the "X" and spread it out. Calvin uncoiled the rope. "Once the net is spread out, we need to fill it with as many big rocks as we can," Calvin instructed. Calvin, carrying the pulley and rope, climbed a tree located between the nets. He tied the pulley to a large branch and fed the rope through the pulley. He lowered himself down a few branches and jumped to the ground. Jack and Willie rolled large rocks onto the net. Calvin joined them until the net was full.
"Let's connect the nets with the rope," Calvin instructed as he started tying a rope to the nets. In a few minutes, the nets were tied together by the rope that ran through the pulley attached high in a tree. "Now, we need to raise the net with the rocks." Jack and Willie helped Calvin pull the rope, hoisting the net full of rocks into the air. Once in the air, Calvin tied the rope so the rocks remained suspended in the air. "Looks like the trap is all set." Calvin smiled triumphantly. “I love it when a plan comes together.”
"Don't you think we should test it first?" Willie suggested.
"Good idea," Jack agreed. "You get in the net since you’re the bait."
Willie did not like Jack's remark. He could not tell if Jack was still mad or if he was joking. He started to respond, but decided to keep his thoughts to himself rather than start another quarrel.
Calvin noted the tension and wanted to stop it. "Testing is a good idea, Jack. Do you want to release the rocks, or should I do it?"
"Go ahead, Calvin. This whole idea is yours anyway."
"Okay. Here goes."
Jack and Willie turned to look at the empty net. Calvin released the rocks. The rocks fell quickly to the ground, landing with a loud thud. The empty net closed and rose into the air. The boys imagined a tiger in the net. The boys exchanged fist bumps.
"Great! Let's set it back up," Calvin exclaimed excitedly. He was thrilled that his idea worked. Jack and Willie joined Calvin in hoisting the rocks back in the air. Once the rope was tied, Calvin said, "Now, it's time to catch a tiger."
"Where do you want us to put the meat?" Jack asked.
"Let's put some on the empty net. That’s where we need to get the tiger. Then we’ll spread out and scatter some meat. We just need to make sure the meat leads him to the net," Calvin instructed.
The boys went to their bikes and retrieved all of their meat. They walked back to the net and stacked four steaks in the center. Then, they walked in separate directions, dropping meat in different places, hoping to entice the tiger. Jack, always in a hurry, worked the quickest, setting out more meat and getting farther from the empty net than the other boys. Calvin worked faster than Willie and was very particular in the locations for the meat. He made sure the meat would be easy to find and was never hidden by any rocks or bushes. Willie was the slowest. He haphazardly walked around dropping meat anywhere and everywhere. Without paying attention, he walked towards a steep wall of rocks. He didn't even care where he dropped the meat.
As Jack and Calvin laid out the meat, they heard a whimper. "Aaaaahhhhhh guys. Guys. Guys. I need help."
Jack stopped, turned, and grumbled, "Stop the whining . . ."
Calvin turned to see what Willie needed.
All three boys froze.
Willie continued to whimper, "I I I I ffffffound the tiger."
The tiger stood a few feet from Willie. It stared at him. It stepped forward, toward Willie, and opened its mouth.