by Dean Lambert (Around The Town Monthly Contributor)
My wife Amanda was born in Clovis, New Mexico and spent her first 6 years there. It was an innocent time and Amanda was free to play in the yard and even to make trips to the neighborhood store just down the block. Amanda was just three years old that summer day when she and her four year-old friend, Paula, got the approval to walk down the sidewalk along Wallace Street and to the store to get some candy. The young girls were soon on their way and disappeared down the shady sidewalk. Sometime later both girls both rushed back into Amanda’s house and it was clear to their parents that something unusual had happened. Both girls were clearly alarmed, excited, out of breath, but reluctant to share what had happened.
Finally after some coaxing, the older girl, Paula, revealed that a man had tried to get them into his car. This of course alarmed everyone, how could this happen in such a safe community? The police were called and soon arrived and interviewed the girls who could only say that the man was in a green car. The police spent the evening searching for the would-be abductor while news of the attempted kidnapping spread over the neighborhoods. Children throughout the town was quickly herded in-doors, blinds pulled down and doors locked.
As the evening wore on, the parents cuddled their daughters, relieved to have them home and safe. They had surely dodged a bullet and gave thanks that the girls had the presence of mind to turn and run home when confronted by the dangerous stranger.
Later that night, as Paula’s mother was putting her daughter to bed, she asked her just exactly what that awful man said to her. After a moment of thought, young Paula looked down, shuffled her feet, then told her mother that the man had said…… “If you two little girls don’t stop throwing rocks at my car, I am going to take you both to the police station”……..seems that little detail was left out of the original version….perhaps the neighborhood was still safe after all.