Joel stared at the ground. Rather, he stared at what was lying on the ground: a robotic glove. It was made of metal, with black and yellow paint.
Joel looked around his backyard. How did a robotic glove end up next to his dad’s vegetable garden?
In any case, Joel had found it.
And no one else was around.
That meant only one thing: finders keepers.
Wasn’t that how finders keepers worked? If you found something and couldn’t find the owner, it was yours.
The robotic glove was now Joel’s.
Picking up the glove, Joel realized it wasn’t as heavy as he expected it would be. Even though it was much bigger than his own hand, he decided to try it on.
He slipped his hand inside and felt the machine come to life. It beeped three times.
Joel wiggled his fingers, and the robot fingers wiggled too. Joel walked over to a large tree branch that had fallen in his yard and wrapped the robotic fingers around it.
The robotic glove glowed and hummed like a million pieces were spinning and whirling, and his hand felt lighter. He lifted the branch. It should have been heavy, but with the glove it was no heavier than a twig.
He couldn’t believe it. Now, what was he going to do with his new gadget?
Joel’s mom was inside rearranging the furniture. He could walk in and say “Do you need a hand with that?” before easily picking up the couch and setting it somewhere else.
At the library, he could say “Let me help” and carry in a tall stack of boxes filled with books.
At the park, he could say “How about we eat lunch over there?” and carry the picnic table to a shady spot.
Everything would feel as light as a pencil. He’d feel like a superhero.
But first, he wanted to show his dad what he’d found. He started running toward the front yard.
That’s when he heard someone call, “Has anyone seen my robotic glove?”
Joel stopped short.
Near the garage, his dad was talking to someone. It was their new next-door neighbor, Mr. Shore.
“What does it look like?” Joel’s dad asked.
“It’s metal, with some yellow and black paint,” Mr. Shore said.
Joel’s eyes widened.
Finders keepers didn’t work if you found the owner. Mr. Shore was the owner.
Just like that, Joel’s dreams faded away. He wasn’t going to be a superhero after all.
“I haven’t seen a robotic glove,” Joel’s dad said.
Mr. Shore seemed disappointed.
Joel took a deep breath and called out, “I think I found it!” He held it up.
Mr. Shore and Joel’s dad turned to look at him. His dad seemed surprised. Mr. Shore’s face lit up with relief.
“That’s it!” Mr. Shore cried. “I was trying to make it fly, but I guess that part still needs work.”
Joel ran over, took off the robotic glove, and gave it to his neighbor. “I found it in the backyard,” Joel said. “I tried it on and I could lift a huge branch. It’s amazing.”
“Thanks. It’s one of my antigravity machines. I’m always testing my inventions,” Mr. Shore said, examining the robotic glove.
“I’m happy to help with your testing,” Joel said.
Just then, Joel’s mom called out the window, “It’s time to move the couch!”
Everyone looked at each other—and then everyone looked at the glove.
Mr. Shore held it out to Joel with a giant smile. “Would you like to use it?”
Joel’s smile was as big as Mr. Shore’s. “Yes, please.”
Joel slipped on the glove before hurrying inside.
The couch was as light as a pencil.
Joel felt like a superhero.