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The Stone Throwers:
A Man-Hunt For Vietnam War Draft Evaders

Playing a trick on Oyster

This story is from my childhood, when I was about 6 or 7 years old. Other characters in this brother Danny, my sister Elaine, and another sister Joyce, who I nicknamed "Oyster". Even then I liked the sound of rhymes. Trying to come up with a name for her that rhymed with Joyce, I said to myself Joyce....Oyce....Oyster! Ok, so my thought process was a bit skewed, give me a break, I was young! I still call her Oyster to this day.

One evening, when all of us kids had been sent to our rooms for the night, my brother Danny suggested I play a trick on Oyster. "Quick, she went to the bathroom! Sneak in their room and hide under the bed!"

Now Danny was always quick to suggest things for me to do, but not so eager to get involved himself. "Why me?" I cunningly replied. "Why not do it yourself?" "Because I'm too big to fit," he said. "But you're little and scrawny, you can scoot right under the bed. Now hurry, before she gets back and it's too late!"

*Sigh*, he knew me well. I loved teasing my older siblings, especially Oyster. And hiding UNDER the bed when I was supposed to be IN bed sleeping sounded like fun. So I quickly scampered across the hall and into our sisters' bedroom.

Elaine glanced up, and I held one finger to my lip, shushing her. Diving under the bed, I waited for the fun to begin. Joyce was famous for having nightmares anyway, waking up with screeches that resounded through the house.

I didn't have long to wait. Oyster came into the room, and quickly she and Elaine knelt on opposite sides of the bed to say their prayers. Time for me to go into action!

Seeing the folds of her nightgown nearby, I reached out, and began slowly drawing it under the bed. Unbeknownst to me, Joyce was frantically trying to signal our sister Elaine for help. Elaine however, either did not see her, or decided to ignor her pleas for help and play along to see what happened.

Joyce jerked her nightgown free, thinking perhaps she had just been kneeling on it wrong. I paused a moment, then reached back out, taking a firmer hold on the nightgown. Again I slowly began drawing it under the bed. But this time when she tried jerking it loose, I held on, and yanked hard!

With a blood curdling scream Oyster leaped to her feet! I knew what that meant! The jig was up, Momma and Poppa would come running any second!

Rolling out from under the bed, I dashed back across the hall and leaped into bed, drawing up the covers and trying to pretend I was fast asleep. This was no doubt rendered less than believable, as I couldn't help giggling gleefully.

Sure enough, our parents came charging down the hall to find out what the heck was going on. Oyster explained how some midget assassin had been hiding under her bed. Elaine explained what had actually transpired. To this day, I'm not sure whether she thought it had been funny guess is yes.

Poppa came over to question us, and I happily admitted what I had done, while my brother Danny denied all knowledge of any wrongdoing. Poppa grinned, shook his head, and told me never to do that again, that he needed his sleep. Then both my parents went back to bed. This annoyed Oyster to no end, as she felt there should have been SOME sort of punishment meted out to me for terrorizing her.

Personally, I bet both our parents had a good laugh about it once they returned to their own room.....

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