Feigning sickness was one avenue I could try.
Homework was another, but I knew deep down from experience Mal would scoff at any and all of my excuses.
Mal was a scoffer par excelence. He came from a long line of scoffers and had perfected scoffing and actually brought it to an art form.
You know that feeling you get when suddenly, a flash of inspiration hits you? Well that saturday I got one!
Suddenly it was all as clear as crystal. I knew how I could outwit Mal! It was so simple it was pure genius. Get out of the house unobserved! That was it! Simple. Sneak down the stairs and get Lassie my terrier, make my way out the front door, head across the green, slip behind the row of garages and then the open fields and rabbits were ours. What a genius of a plan.
I dressed, crept downstairs and from the front hall I quietly whistled. Lassie was there in a flash, wagging her little stump of a tail. I put my finger to my lips and motioned her to be quiet. She got it right away and was as quiet as a mouse. Out the front door we slipped and I thought, "so far so good", we were on our way.
I've always believed that Mal had second sight. He had that uncanny gift of knowing. How else could I explain what happened next. As I lifted the latch on the front gate Mal suddenly appeared out of nowhere, right there in front of us. I froze as he said, "where do you think you're going."? I mumbled something about rabbits and stood there like......................................................