The Slash Artist

When Jethro Otter jumps into his pool, a wave jumps out. Or rather, it is driven out by the force of Jethro landing. You see, Jethro is a splash artist.

“For a long time my nickname was The Splash King,” Jethro explained as I sat with him and his dad on the deck in their backyard.

“But then I switched it to The Splash Artist,’ said his dad.
“Why the switch?” I asked.

“Well, you see,” said Jethro’s dad, “Jethro is not just good at making a big splash. He can also make the splash shoot this way or that. He can pick a target and hit it within a foot or two. If you ask me, it’s an art form. And that’s why I gave him the nickname The Splash Artist”

“Wait a minute!” I said. “Are you saying that if you and I pick a target, he can jump in the pool and make the splash hit the target?”

“Yep—as long as it’s in his splashing reach.” “I would like to see that!” I said. “Will do!” said Jethro. “Which bed do you want me to hit, Dad?”

“Um, why don’t you hit the one with the green peppers,” said his dad.

“No problem,” said Jethro. He went to the pool house to get his swim trunks.

While Jethro was getting his swim trunks, his dad and I looked at the yard. He pointed out some some shrubs, a wooden trellis, and a set of garden beds he had planted on one side of the pool. The garden beds were filled with lots of lettuce, peppers, and eggplants.

Jethro’s dad pointed out that the green peppers in one of the beds looked a bit wilted. “It was hot the past two days,” he said. “The peppers could use a splash.”

Jethro came out of the pool house with his trunks on.

“We had better step back a bit,” said Jethro’s dad, “unless you are in the mood to get wet.”
We took five big steps back.

Jethro went out to the pool. His two sisters were floating on pool rafts. One of them was sipping a drink. They did not see Jethro. Jethro snuck up on them. He bounced once. He bounced twice. That was when his sisters spotted him. They shouted and went to the end of the pool. But they were not Jethro’s target.

At the last moment, Jethro grabbed one knee. Then he tilted himself back, and jumped so his back hit the Pool. A great wave rose out of the pool and arched into the air, It rose up and came crashing down, like a cat pouncing on a mouse. His sisters winced, thinking the wave would land on them. But it did not hit them. It landed, just as Jethro had said it would, on the garden bed with the green peppers.

“Nice one!” said Jethro’s dad. “That should keep those peppers moist!”