Elwood’s Hazardous, Dangerous, Exciting Trip to the Library
By: Steve Mathisen
The tall boy rolled over and tried to use his pillow to block the sound of his name being called.
“Elwood Phineas Dunkle! Get yourself out of bed and down here for breakfast this very minute,” his mother shouted
He knew the tone and that she would no longer tolerate being ignored.
He groaned, rolled over, slid out of bed, pulled on jeans and T-shirt and headed for the kitchen with a slight detour to the bathroom to wash up.
When he got to the table, there was a book instead of his cereal bowl. Elwood looked at his mom.
“That book is due today. You need to make a trip to the library.”
“But Mom, I was going to−”
She set his bowl in place.
“You can do that after your trip to the library.”
After breakfast, Elwood put the book in his backpack and rode his bike toward the library.
He was taking a shortcut through the park when his shoelace came untied and got tangled up in the chain of his bicycle. He glanced down at his foot and hit a hidden tree root. The bike stopped suddenly. Elwood did a complete flip over the handlebars and landed staring up at the sky through the branches of a huge oak tree.
“Well, that was a dumb move,” Elwood said to himself. As he began tying his loose shoelace, he looked around for his bike only to see its rear wheel disappear around the trunk of the tree.
Forgetting his laces he jumped up and yelled, “Hey, that’s my bike!” and then ran to where he had last seen his bike and . . . nothing. There was no bike to be seen anywhere. He ran back around the other way and again. . . nothing.
“What is going on here?” He said.
“What was that?” Elwood ran around the tree again looking for the source of the sound and once again . . . nothing.
He looked up and saw his bike, hanging twenty feet up, bouncing against the tree and going higher, with a rope around the handlebars!
Elwood quickly found the lowest branch and scrambled up the tree after his bike. He just barely got his hand on the rear wheel of the bike before it disappeared into the darkness of the upper branches of the tree. He climbed higher. He wanted to know what was going on.
He felt cold . . . and blind. It was so dark toward the top of the tree that he couldn’t see anything but, he heard voices.
His eyes adjusted to the dark, he could see three guys on a platform that was built right into the top of the tree. They had at least a half-dozen bikes. The guys were taking them apart, putting the little parts in boxes and hanging the bigger parts on racks hung on branches.
“Bike thieves”, he whispered, “right here in the middle of the park, hidden up in a tree!”