Abbie and Patty pass Mrs. Kulski's house on their way home from Barnard Junior High.
The Peony Caper
Barnard Junior High School had just let out for the summer. Abbie and I were walking home from school, singing rounds of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”, so happy to be free.
Suddenly she stopped singing and walking. We were at the edge of Mrs. Kulski’s yard. On the opposite side of the chain link fence were the old lady’s prized peony bushes. Abbie reached over the fence to pull a flower from the closest bush.
“Abbie don’t! You know she’ll call the police. She did before.”
“Just me picking one stupid peony won’t kill her, Patty.”
She was sniffing the fragrant peony in her hand when Mrs. Kulski’s voice bellowed, “Get away from my peony bushes,” as she waddled toward us in her flannel nightgown and fuzzy black slippers, rolls of large curlers all over her head. “I called the police young ladies. You’d better run. You’d better hide.”
What a mean old witch! She truly was!
“Seriously? For picking one stupid peony?”
“I told you, Abbie,” I said as I dragged her away from the fence.
As suggested, we ran; we hid behind Mr. Sampson’s dumpster in the alley and laid low. The police cars went right by us, sirens blaring, as they headed toward the scene of the peony theft.
Abbie tucked the flower behind her ear, and we took to the alleys all the way back to my house.
“What do you think, Patty?”
The pink peony did look pretty, tucked behind her ear.
“I think it was worth it,” I said.
We sang rounds of “Frere Jacques” all the way to my back door.