From the Archives

I was cleaning up some old emails today and came across this gem. It is a classic from "Stories from Henry." 
Back before the days of blogs I used to write my stories and send them to friends and family via email. Since it is a new world in the internet, I had to go back and change the names. 

May 18, 2009

I know….I know….I just sent you a chapter of Stories from Henry last week. But Henry is a happenin’ town and I have another story for you. This one is hot off the press. Just happened about an hour ago.

Once upon a time, in a beautiful brick castle (sometimes known as the Farm Bureau Building) a beautiful young princess sat in her tower waiting…..for her cousin (Known on European Doorways as CFA: cousin/friend/alumni) to arrive. When to her surprise, her phone rang with a voice saying “Can you come outside?”

I was very confused, why my CFA needed me to come outside, but when I started to ask her to explain she just urgently said I need you outside. When I got out there I found her with a small boy “playing” across the alley. I thought this was just one of the kids that plays outside of the little corner restaurant, but he quickly explained that he had run away from home.

But let me back track a little at this point….When CFA arrived at my office, she saw this little boy playing on the steps outside. She thought it was strange and then got very confused when he immediately ran up to her car and peered inside her window and waved. When she got out, he said Hi to CFA and then went back to playing on the steps. CFA started asking him questions and he got upset when she asked him about his mom and where he lived. He said he was going to the river and took off running. That is when CFA called me. She knew she couldn’t chase him and call the police at the same time.

When I got out there, the little boy just went through the same thing he had told CFA, he is four and he is going to the river. At that point CFA and I are looking at each other very confused. What would you do in this situation?

The boy started heading for the river, which is very flooded in Henry. It is out of its banks and you can walk right up to the edge of the water on all of the streets around the office. He scared me to death as he ran right across the highway. That is when I took off running and left CFA (who is wearing a skirt and dress shoes) to call the police. I lost the little boy as he ran behind a house. I thought maybe that was where he lived, so I went up and knocked on the door. I don’t know if the old man who answered the door was more amused or angry at me. He definitely did not have a four year old child.

Thankfully the little boy reappeared running out the other side of the house towards the water. I quickly thanked the man and went down to the water to try and convince the boy that I wanted to play with him. I started skipping rocks and thankfully he stopped running and decided that throwing sticks in the water with the crazy lady might be fun. When I tried to grab his hand, he took off running again.

For those of you who are familiar with Henry, I ran after him down around the Henry Harbor Inn. Thankfully, the flooding goes up to the steps at the Inn and trapped him. So when he started to go up the steps, I grabbed his hand and said “Let’s go see where these steps go.” He must have thought that sounded fun, until we discovered that the other side of the deck was flooded and we couldn’t really go anywhere.

When we started to back track, he was afraid that I was taking him home. He still wouldn’t tell me his name or where he lived. If I had to guess, I would say that by this time, he was confused on where he was and really didn’t know how to tell me where he lived.

We got back to CFA and she was on the phone with 911 trying to describe the situation to them. CFA and I think it is a little strange to say that we found a little boy at the Farm Bureau building, but we are sure that the police hear a lot crazier stories.

It took awhile for the police to show up. I kept a hold of the little boys arm while he played in a big puddle of water. He thought that was a pretty cool “river.” He kept saying “I want to run through that river again.” (My jeans are still wet from the splashing.)

I asked him what he thought him mom would say when he got home. He didn’t know. “Do you think she would say Mikey, I missed you.?” “No” he replied “She would say, Brandon Patrick Steiner (not his real name), I missed you.”

Wow! I must admit, I patted myself on the back that I got him to tell me his name. I know it’s a four year old. It’s not that impressive. J

So while we continued to wait for the police, we played on the concrete parking medians. Thankfully, CFA took his other hand and between the two of us, we were able to keep him secure until the police got there. When the police chief arrive, I introduced Brandon to Officer Jay. Then Brandon stomped on Officer Jay’s foot. Officer Jay told Brandon that he puts hand cuffs on people who do bad things. So in return Brandon told Officer Jay that he was 4 years old and he ran away from home. We were not getting very far.

CFAand I thought that Officer Jay would load Brandon in the car and take him to the station. But instead we just stood there continuing this endless conversation about going to the river and going to the ice cream store and running away.

A few minutes later, Officer John pulled up and saved the day by announcing that his mother had called the police station and she was on her way to the Farm Bureau building. Then Officer John had to rush off to the next crazy thing happening in Henry. Like I said, it’s a happenin’ town.

When him mom got there I told her that we had told him that the first thing his mom would say was that she missed him. She didn’t respond. So Brandon asked her “Mom, did you miss me.” Unfortunately, her response was that he scared her and he was in big trouble. Oh I hate to think about how scared she was.

CFA and I waited until she took a hold of him before we let go of his arms. I think he was still ready to run. After she picked him up and said they were going home, he tried to convince her that he was going to run home instead of ride. Oh, I hope she locked him inside the house when they got home.

So the moral of the story is, if you really really want to run away from home, don’t run to the Farm Bureau building. The crazy lady who “lives” there has a pretty good grip.

"Brandon" sent me flowers the next day. The card says Thank you. Good thing you have a good grip. Wanna play in some more puddles? {The flowers really came from CFA.}


  1. Ha! BPS was one of my favorite memories. The stomping on the Officer's foot, you tricking his name out of him, the lady who thought I was crazy for writing a message poorly with my left hand... Oh, Henry, sometimes I miss you. :)


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