Several teens loved to make fun of an old man who lived alone on the edge of a forest, but they learned an important lesson when something came out of those woods.
Sam, Mike, and Tim had been friends for a long time. They were considered among the popular boys in their school, and they loved adventures. Unfortunately, their small town didn’t offer much entertainment.
They started camping in the forest on the outskirts of town as soon as their parents allowed it. Eventually, they began skipping school and going to the forest. They even organized parties that could get pretty rowdy.
House on the edge of a forest | Source: Shutterstock
However, their fun stopped when an older man heard them. Mr. Higgs lived in an old cabin right on the forest's edge and was barely seen in town. The teenagers didn’t even know he existed until he scared them off during one of their parties.
All their friends were sad that they couldn’t party and hang out there without supervision anymore because Mr. Higgs had alerted the local police officers.
“I hate that old man,” Sam said one day when classes ended.
“Yeah. I mean, we weren’t even that close to his house,” Mike added.
Two students looking at their notebook | Source: Pexels
“Totally. But that’s what happens when you’re a lonely weirdo who lives in the forest. After my mom stopped yelling at me, she said she was surprised that this dude was still alive,” Tim continued.
“Well, we can’t do anything about it. The parties were fun while they lasted, but maybe, we can find another spot,” Mike said optimistically. But Sam was a different story.
“No way, man. We have to mess with the old man a little bit first, right?” Sam started. “I mean like a little revenge for screwing our fun time.”
“I don’t know, man. He’s a loner with a shotgun. I don’t think that’s safe,” Mike told them.
Two students talking and walking around campus | Source: Pexels
“Come on, Mike. He can’t hurt us with that gun, or he’d go to jail. If he goes to jail, we could probably continue our parties,” Tim offered.
“Hey! That’s a great idea! But even if it doesn’t happen, we’ll get the satisfaction of seeing him angry. Don’t worry, Mike. It’ll be a few harmless pranks. We won’t hurt him or anything. We’re not evil,” Sam finished.
Mike reluctantly agreed to his friends’ ideas, but he wasn’t completely on board. Later that same afternoon, they reached Mr. Higgs’ cabin. There wasn’t much to it, and none of them knew exactly what prank to play.
Two students looking at something | Source: Pexels
“Let’s start small. How about taking those weird gnomes from the garden?” Sam finally said. That sounded pretty harmless to Mike, and Tim thought it would be hilarious. So they took Mr. Higgs’ garden gnomes and threw them in the forest.
“The old man might find them, but it’ll take a while,” Tim said teasingly as they left.
The boys returned many times throughout that week. Mr. Higgs was always at home but didn’t notice them. So they continued their “harmless pranks” by vandalizing his fence with graffiti and dirty words and stealing tomatoes from his garden.
Garden gnome | Source: Pexels
But as they threw them at his windows, Mr. Higgs heard it and ran outside with his shotgun. “Don’t come back here, or you’ll regret it!” the old man yelled as the boys ran off laughing.
This had been funny, but they seemed like little kids now. Mike said he was bored with it, and maybe, they should leave Mr. Higgs alone.
“Yeah. There’s only so many pranks we can do before it gets boring,” Tim added. But Sam didn’t think so.
Two students walking with trees in the background | Source: Pexels
“I think we can come up with something else cool. Let’s go back tomorrow one last time and see if we can come up with something,” Sam told them. They agreed mostly because Sam was their unspoken leader.
The following day, they went back to the forest cabin and walked around it silently to avoid being spotted by Mr. Higgs. They were trying to come up with something, but there was no bright idea.
“Let’s take a walk through this part of the forest. We never explored it,” Mike offered. The boys agreed, and he was glad. Maybe, they would finally stop bothering that old man.
Forest path | Source: Pexels
They only walked a short distance before spotting a brown bear. Mike told the others to back away slowly, but Sam wanted to get closer and took out his phone to get a picture.
Unfortunately, he had the camera flash on and spooked the bear for a second. Then the animal started running angrily towards them.
“Run!” Sam yelled. Tim and Mike sprinted behind him with all their strength, but the bear was faster than they expected. They almost reached Mr. Higgs’ cabin when Mike tripped over something and hurt his ankle terribly. He couldn’t stand on his own.
A brown bear | Source: Pexels
“Guys! Please help me! I can’t stand!” he yelled for his friends. Sam and Tim looked back for a second at their friend on the ground.
“Sorry, man,” Sam said and ran off. Tim hesitated a little longer, but the bear was getting close and followed Sam out of the woods. Mike couldn’t believe that his own friends would leave him like that. He would not survive a bear attack.
Suddenly, he saw Mr. Higgs running towards him with his signature shotgun in hand and fired the weapon into the air. The bear was just a few feet away from Mike but left after hearing the warning shot.
Older man in nature | Source: Pexels
“Don’t worry, boy. We’ll get you fixed up,” Mr. Higgs told Mike as he helped him up and into his cabin. He iced his ankle and called Mike’s parents to pick him up. Mr. Higgs told his concerned folks that Mike had been helping him out with his garden and didn’t say a word about the pranks.
That’s when Mike understood how horribly he had messed up. He never spoke to his coward friends again and actually started visiting Mr. Higgs to help with the garden. He also bought new garden gnomes for him.
What can we learn from this story?
1. Pick the right friends. Not everyone you meet is a good person, and some friendships are not real.
2. Don’t fall for peer pressure. Mike didn’t want to mess with Mr. Higgs but thought he had to do it because his friends wanted to.
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