Neal Moffet had called me "Fat Pat Berry, the Twinkletoes Fairy" one time too many. ANd when he started going on about what a klutz I was just because a flying tackle got me stuck under a chain-link fence...well, something snapped. So when he bet me I couldn't get through the summer without getting stitches or breaking any bones, I took him on. Whoever lost had to kiss Kristine Pimpton (otherwise known as "The Blimp") in front of the entire school on the first day of sixth grade. Just the thought of having to pucker up for those pudgy lips is enough to make me want to spend the summer sitting still. But the rules say I have to keep on playing football and basketball and riding bikes -- all that dangerous stuff. And Neal is so desperate to win, I don't trust him for a minute. Boy, is it going to be a long summer. Especially for a klutz like me.
Bill Wallace grew up in Oklahoma. Along with riding their horses, he and his friends enjoyed campouts and fishing trips. Toasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories to scare one another, and catching fish was always fun. One of the most memorable trips took place on the far side of Lake Lawtonka, at the base of Mt. Scott. He and his best friend, Gary, spent the day shooting shad with bow and arrows, cutting bank poles, and getting ready to go when their dads got home from work. Although there was no "monster" in Lake Lawtonka, one night there was a "sneak attack" by a rather large catfish tail. Checking the bank poles was not nearly as fun or "free" after that point, but it was the inspiration for this story. Bill Wallace has won nineteen children's state awards and been awarded the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Children's Literature from the Oklahoma Center for the Book.