Eleven

Brian's parents took him to the police.

"Being a clown is not illegal you know," said Officer Benjy.

"He threatened our boy," said Brian's father.

"What did he say?" said Officer Frankie.

"He said to give them Spot or else," said Brian.

"Or else what?" said Officer Benjy.

"He refused to say," said Brian.

"Well that's very bad, young man," said Officer Frankie. "Baffling is another thing not against the law. All bullies baffle someone. But not everyone baffled has been bullied."

"If you prefer, you can hand the dog back to us," said Officer Benjy. "Then we can make an a.p.b. to track down the zanies and tell them to pick up their dog from us."

"We can't do that," said Brian. "Spot ran away. I have no idea where he is."

"...oh," said the officers.

"Golly, Benjy," said Officer Frankie. "Maybe we shouldn't have let the boy take the dog after all."

"Yeah, Frankie," said Officer Benjy. "If a stray dog exposes a family to rabies, they can get shots. But clowns? There are no shots for clowns."

"You good people should call us if the buffoons should approach you again," said Officer Frankie.

"Is there anything else you can do?" said Brian's mother.

"Can I get a gun?" said Brian.

"No," said Brian's mother. "I will not tolerate a gun in my house."

"Think about it, Mom," said Brian.

"Young man," said Officer Benjy. "A gun is a tool to indulge in and inflame panic. Rather than you, you should let your parents decide if they want to be seen armed. By anyone else with a gun. Who can't keep his cool. Oh, have to go so soon, folks?"

"It seems like a good idea, Benjy," said Officer Frankie, "to let the parents teach their kid to take no for an answer if they want.

"Oh," said Officer Benjy.