March, when Scooter turned fourteen, the handmade crown Miss Primrose gave Scooter never stayed on his head. I’m not so sure it was the crown’s fault.
“I agree, Scoot, ol’ Buddy,” Frank says. “We should wait until we’re real kings to wear crowns.”
“King Scooter Hutchings.” Scooter chuckles. “King Scooter Hutchings doesn’t walk on crutches.”
“Frank,” I say. “Are you teaching Scoot to rhyme?”
Frank shrugs and smiles.
“All the time,” Scooter squeals.
We laugh our way to the final steps of the schoolhouse. “Scooter, remember about tonight. We can’t tell Bernie about our plans. It’s a secret,” I tell him. “I want our plans to come to fruition.”
Scooter crinkles his nose.
“Work as planned,” Scooter says, pulling out his pocketknife.
Scooter is the smart crust around the Juicy apple pie that holds everything together.
Excerpt from The Moonshine Thicket