go of him!â Jennifer cried. She grabbed my right arm. âSherman gave me a hundred dollars to go back to Bernie. And thatâs what Iâm going to do.â âNo, youâre not!â April-May screamed. She pulled my arm as hard as she could. âGive him to me!â Jennifer grunted. She pulled my other arm with all her strength. Tug-of-war time, dudes. Does it look like I might be in trouble here?
Chapter 21 R UINED ! âDonât fight over me, girls,â I said. âI know Iâm fabulous, but give me a break here. Maybe you could share !â âNo way!â they both screamed, tugging harder. I heard my armpits crack! If something didnât happen soon, theyâd pull me apart ! âListen up, everyone!â Mr. Pocketlint shouted. âTime for the annual three-legged race! Everyone outside! Line up at Pooperâs Pond!â Chairs scraped. Kids started to run out of the Dining Hall. I thought this might save me. But I was wrong. I staggered to the door with both girls pulling me from side to side. It was a clear, cool night. A silvery moon shone down, floating just above the trees. But I couldnât enjoy it. The two girls wouldnât stop their tug-of-war. My arms were already eight feet long! No one knows how Pooperâs Pond got its name. Maybe itâs the smell. Maybe itâs because the water is thick and lumpy. A narrow, wooden bridge stretches over the pond. The three-legged race starts at the bridge. I saw kids pairing up and pulling burlap bags over their middle legs. Belzer stood beside the bridge. He was leaning on one of my two cartons. Jennifer pulled me toward Belzer. April-May tugged me away. âBelzer, quickââ I shouted. âGet the cartons open. Weâve gotta sell, sell, SELL!â April-May let go of me for a moment to pick up a burlap bag. I grabbed a handful of flashlights from the carton. Jennifer started to pull a bag up over my left leg. âFlashlights!â I shouted, waving them in the air.âTheyâre only a dollar. How else can you see where youâre running? Flashlights, everyone!â
April-May struggled to pull a bag up onto my right leg. âYou girls canât do this!â I cried. âItâs not a six-legged race!â I waved the flashlights. âOnly a dollar! I have change for bigger bills!â I shouted. The girls were tugging up the burlap bags. âGive me a break!â I said. âIâve gotta sell this stuff!â âBernie, get away from the boxes,â Jennifer growled. âWe have to race.â âNo!â April-May protested. âWE have to race.â âFlashlights!â I called. âSweatshirts! Whoâs cold? Who needs a sweatshirt?â âYouâre RUINING the race!â Jennifer cried. She let go of me, but she dove at the two cartons. âJenniferâdonât!â I cried. She lifted both cartons above her headâand HEAVED them over the side of the bridgeâinto Pooperâs Pond!
I screamed. âThatâs three monthsâ allowance!â I didnât think. I took a deep breath, broke away from both girlsâand dove into the water after my cartons.
I hit bottom, then came floating back up, covered in muck and brown, lumpy water. âMy sweatshirts! My flashlights! My MONEY!â I wailed. But the cartons had sunk to the bottom.
I was RUINED. I slapped the thick, chunky water with both hands. Then I slapped it again. âHeâs DROWNING!â I heard Jennifer shout. âDonât worry, Bernie. Iâll save you!â I saw April-May racing away, crossing the bridgeâwith Sherman! What a traitor! And then there was a huge
Smelly, thick water washed over me. Jennifer popped up at my side. She wrapped an arm around my neck and started dragging me toward shore. My mouth filled with the pukey water. I started to choke. Jennifer grinned at me.