I was standing on the sidewalk in front of my house on Saturday when a little girl, maybe nine, ran towards me.
“Did you see three boys with a lemonade jar?” she asked, panting.
“No,” I said. “Why?”
“They stole our jar right off the table,” she said, pointing a half block behind her where two other girls were standing. “We were having a lemonade stand.”
“They stole your lemonade from your lemonade stand,” I said, aghast.
“Swiped it right off the table?”
“Yes, and then they ran this way.”
“That is awful,” I said, “and completely criminal. Are your parents home?”
“Did you tell them?”
Wow. Taking the law into her own hands, and feet. She was fast.
“Go tell them, and maybe you could get into the car and look for the boys. And meantime, I will keep my eyes open.”
She thanked me and sped off. It was quite the prank, I thought. But usually, pranksters know their subjects. And they come back later to laugh about it. These were strange boys, though, which made the act feel malevolent and immoral. They did not know the little girls. They weren’t big brothers. They weren’t going to return with the jar, I didn’t think.
Hard to turn this one into lemonade.