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Monday February 11, 2013

The little Spanish boy who cried wolf

One little Spanish boy staged his own kidnapping to avoid parent's night!

In trepidation of the outcome of a school parents’ evening at which his dismal results would be revealed by his teachers, an 11-year-old boy in the northwest town of Xinzo de Limia hit on a cunning plan: he would fake his own kidnapping.

One wonders what was going through the child’s mind when he slipped out of the family home ostensibly to throw away a rubbish sack while secretly putting his plan into action. Once in the street the boy used his mobile phone to call his police officer father informing him that he had been kidnapped by unknown men driving a blue Seat. He claimed that the car was on the move and that he had been stowed in the boot.

The apparently Oscar winning performance convinced his father that he was telling the truth and the officer immediately informed his commanders at the Guardia Civil barracks. In reality his young son had absconded to a nearby vacant apartment owned by the family where he hid as the drama unfolded.

Hundreds of Guardia Civil officers were mobilised, road blocks were set up across the province of Ourense and a nationwide alert was triggered. Even Portugal became involved as Spanish police warned that the unknown kidnappers might try to smuggle the boy over the border. Only when the frantic father noticed that the keys to the other apartment were missing, did the boy’s ruse come to light. On discovering his son, the police officer immediately took him to the police barracks where no doubt he was forced to explain himself.

Having experienced parents’evenings at a Majorcan secondary school I can sympathise with the young lad. If poor results are recorded, there is little levity to be had in discussions between the grave faced teachers and parents. All I can imagine is that fear coupled with a highly fertile imagination were the triggers in this little drama and no doubt the child had used his father’s profession as a useful prompt for creative strategy.

In similar vein when I was four years old I told a dreadful lie at school for which I received harsh punishment. Admittedly I didn’t cause a national alert but at the time it felt as though I had. My fib was to pretend that it was my fifth birthday so that I would be allowed to stand on a chair while my classmates sang happy birthday and clapped, after which I would be presented with a cotton handkerchief decorated with scenes from Little Red Riding Hood. All went spiffingly according to plan until the next day my teacher mentioned the event to my grandmother. Then all hell was let lose. Public shame followed, the handkerchief was returned and I was smacked with a ruler in front of my subdued classmates.

So my heart goes out to this very naughty but rather ingenious boy. I hope that because of the brouhaha his parents missed the dreaded school evening or if they did indeed make it, found to their amazement that young sir hadn’t performed nearly as badly as he and they might have feared.

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