What I do, I keep out of range of that crutch and just reach up and pick the paper thing right out of the tree. Except it's not a paper thing. It's a plastic bird, light as a feather. I have to hold it real careful or it might break, that's how flimsy it is.
Turns out the thing to worry about is not the kidstompers, but beer swillers, like I mentioned before. Because Freak and I are still a couple blocks away from the pond, just kind of easing our way along, when these punks start mouthing off.
The whole class is raising their fists in the air and chanting: "Freak the Mighty! Freak the Mighty! Freak the Mighty! Freak the Mighty!"
When I come back, something is wrong. Freak's face is all red and swollen up and he's making this huk-huk-huk noise. He can't talk and all he can do is look at me and then I'm running to get the nurse.
That's when Freak squeezes the trigger and sprays him right in the eyes. Then Killer Kane is screaming in this high, scared voice. His hands are scrubbing at his eyes and it's like that scream wakes me up, becuase the next thing I know I've got Freak in my arms and I'm running through the dark for the stairs, and I'm running as fast as I can on feet I can't even feel.
That was a year ago. I hid in the down under for days and days and kept the doors closed, which is why I missed the funeral and the Fair Gwen going away. Gram told me about it afterwards, how she couldn't stand to live in the house with Kevin gone, and who could blame her.