Six year old Halbert Herring (known as Hal) was found three hours after his mother Harriot Herring reported him missing. He was discovered two miles from home in Cloverdale's Lake Park.
“He was upset,” she reported to the constable who returned the boy. “Our Branch President asked him to be our youth speaker at Church next Sunday and he told us no. Well what do you do with a disobedient child like that? A spanking is the only thing that works. That time out stuff is for wimps,” she said in a very determined and all knowing voice.
The Herrings are new converts to Mormonism. They were converted into the church by two new missionaries seen recently in local neighborhoods. Contrary to rumor, the missionaries are not Jehovah’s Witnesses. You can tell the difference by the Mormon’s dress (suits, ties and name tags), and their correct use of grammar.
“We blame Cloverdale’s progressive educational system for Hal’s independent streak,” Harriot said. “I’m sure it comes from that program that teaches our kids to say NO. What are they trying to teach our kids? We told Hal that President Jones left the topic for his talk to him. Well how is Hal suppose to know what to talk about in church? My husband and I wrote the talk for him. We finished it the next day. It was a well researched, thoroughly referenced twenty five minute talk outlining the protestant reformation leading to the restoration of the Church. He tried to read it and had a little trouble with some of the words. He got frustrated, shouted “NO”, and threw the talk at us as he ran out the door. We were beside ourselves. We both agreed that Hal’s only hope for salvation was home schooling,” Harriot told the constable.
“My mom said I was an embarrassment to the Herring name,” Hal said when questioned.
“She said dad would never make Branch President with a boy like me so I figured I’d run away and find a family that wanted me.”
The Mormon Branch President is sending new missionaries to reteach the Herrings. He knew something was wrong when they started paying 15% tithing. When asked why in a recent interview Kyle Herring, Hal’s father, winked at the Bishop and with a finger beside his nose said, “We have an idea how you move ahead in this organization and we Herrings always rise to the top.” Apparently Kyle Herring is one of Cloverdale’s more successful multi level marketers, selling all kinds of vitamins and fruit juices that promise everything short of raising the dead.
“We hope to clear up all misunderstandings,” their Branch President said. Little Hal is now home schooled but still says ‘No’ to talking in church much to his mother’s anguish.