Billy and the Mad Dog
Billy and the Mad Dog
T he rest of the day went quickly and Billy was glad to leave the room when the final siren sounded. He would have to rush home before meeting Mad Dog and Tori at the orchard. Tori was already disappearing down the road when Billy reached the bike racks. He stopped dead in his tracks with his mouth wide open. Billy couldn't believe he was looking at his bike. The wheels had been taken off and stuck to the side of the frame. The handlebars and pedals had been swapped over and there was a huge trail of cans tied to the seat with a large knot that just wouldn't budge. "Mad Dog", thought Billy. So this is what he gets up to when he's sent out of the room. Billy noticed a note stuffed inside the handlebars. He read it rolling his eyes. "Hey peanut, if I can create this masterpiece imagine what the underground cubby will look like?"
"That's what's bothering me" said Billy out aloud as he wheeled his bike backwards out of the bike racks.
Billy wobbled home on his bike. He was anxious to meet Mad Dog and Tori at the orchard to get the underground cubby house started. He jumped off his bike and ran down the side of his house and around to his bedroom which he shared with four of his brothers. Billy threw his bag through the door of his bedroom and ran up a little path that led to the kitchen. As usual Billy's mother was cooking with the radio blaring.
"Hi Mum," yelled Billy
"Oh is that you Billy? Home already?"
"Yeah, I'm in a bit of a hurry though Mum. Is it all right if I meet Tori and Mad Dog down at the orchard? It's kind of important." Before Billy's Mum could answer, he had already mumbled thanks and crashed into the flyscreen door in his haste to get going. Billy's Mum just shook her head.
When Billy arrived at the orchard, Tori was already there waiting but there was no sign of Mad Dog. "Hey Tori, what are you eating?" Billy called as he pulled up on his brother's bike. "You mean this!" answered Tori pointing at his small lunch box. "This, Billy is called quail and they are really good. I asked Mum if I could bring some for you and Mad Dog." Billy looked into the lunch box. What he saw nearly made him puke. It was five little birds, stripped of their feathers, neatly stacked on top of one another. "Try one," ventured Tori. "Quail meat is really sweet." Billy gave Tori a strange look and held his stomach. "Get that away from me! How could you eat those things? You must be some sort of cannibal."
"Cannibal!" yelled Tori, surprised. "These are only birds. I bet you eat chicken or turkey"
"I never ate a chicken that small," answered Billy. Tori felt a little hurt, however he didn't have time to discuss it because running through the orchard yelling and cursing was Mad Dog. He was carrying what looked like a small shovel and right behind him were the Emerett boys. Billy and Tori looked at each other. This was definitely not good. The Emeretts were all fairly large boys and there were three of them in hot pursuit of Mad Dog. "Mama mia!" yelled Tori, who always reverted to Italian when faced with danger. "Qqq quick!" stammered Billy. "If those Emerett boys catch Mad Dog, we're all in trouble." Billy knew there was only one thing to do. He had to get to the old gum tree at the end of the orchard and prepare himself for the attack. Billy grabbed Tori so quickly that he dropped the quails, spilling them onto the ground. Without looking back, Billy shouted, "Follow me," and they headed for the sanctuary of the old gum tree. The Emeretts were closing in. Mad Dog saw Billy and Tori running and knew where they were headed. Mad Dog had to think fast. The shovel he was carrying was slowing him down. He knew the Emerett boys would catch him before he could reach Tori and Billy. He imagined that he might stop and dig a hole that the Emerett boys would fall into but instead he whirled the shovel around his head and with something that sounded like