"Odor in the court!"
"That's 'order,' not 'odor.'" Fiona Gabshaw rolled her eyes.
She often had to correct such mistakes, ever since she set up the first All Kids' Court of Hickory Hill Lane. Fiona had dreams of becoming a very important defense lawyer.
Today's judge was Arnold Slammer. He protested, "It could be both. The prosecutor has smelly socks."
Today's trial was especially serious. Of all the crimes – from throwing water balloons to giving atomic wedgies – this was the most grave: taking something that did not belong to you.
Wally Weiner was accused of stealing a packet of bubble gum from Randolph Sniffles.
"It's not my fault!" and "I didn't do it!" were the only things he could say.
He used to be called 'Fat Wally' but the teachers at school found out. The kids were forbidden from saying it again. Now, everyone called him 'Jolly Wally.' It's true that Wally was a bit chunky but today, he was not jolly at all.
The jury was made up of six boys, three girls, one poodle, a gerbil and a black and white tomcat named 'Big Boy.' The animals didn't get a vote but they were allowed to sit and listen.
Randolph testified through his tears that his mother gave him a packet of bubble gum as a special treat. Before walking to school, he put the gum in the pocket of his coat. Once he got to school, he took off the coat and put in the locker he shared with Jolly Wally. At lunch, he went to get his gum and discovered that it was gone.
"May God strike me down if I am lying!" Randolph tended to be overly-dramatic.
Fiona questioned him, "Did you ever go into your pocket before getting to school?"
"I never went into my pocket"
"Not even for Kleenex? You had a cold. Are you saying you never blew your nose?"
Randolph buried his face in his hands "OK, I did blow my nose! But I never used the Kleenex. I blew it on my sleeve!"
Wally Weiner took the stand. Fiona paced up and down. "Did you take the bubble gum?"
"Nope." Jolly Wally waddled back to his seat
Fiona stood and said in a clear, confident voice, "The defense recalls Randolph Sniffles."
Fiona bent over to pick up a handful of pebbles. "I am about to prove the innocence of Jolly Wally Weiner!"
"Randy, take these pebbles and put them in your coat pocket."
Fiona ordered him to walk, then run, then jump up and down.
Randolph did. Then, as the jury leaned forward, they saw to their surprise that little rocks and pebbles came dropping out with each step and stomp and springing of Randolph Sniffles tiny feet.
"Aha!" Fiona pointed to the pebbles on the ground. "There is a hole in Randy's coat pocket! Randy lost the gum before he ever put his coat in the locker he shared with Wally."
"I know because I was walking behind him that morning." Fiona reached into her knapsack and triumphantly held up a package of Booger's Bubbly Burst Bubble Gum.
The jury 'ooohed' then 'aaawed.' The poodle yapped, the cat ignored it all and the tiny gerbil kept running around in his ball.
"My bubblegum!" cried Randolph Sniffles. "Give it!"
"It's evidence. It belongs to the All Kids' Court." She handed it to the judge and said in a clear, confident voice. "Jolly Wally Weiner is innocent."
The judge slapped the table. "Case dismissed! I order that the evidence be shared by everyone."
All the kids of Hickory Hill Lane walked home blowing perfect, puffy pink bubbles.
None were happier than Fiona who put her arm around a relieved Jolly Wally Weiner and exclaimed, "Nothing is more fun than making sure justice gets done!"