# Help Billy retrieve his ball

Billy has accidentally thrown his ball into the neighbor's yard!

The ball landed $$15$$ feet from the big oak tree in their large front yard. The trouble is, the neighbors have a mean dog that's on a $$30$$–foot long chain bolted to the tree.

The dog is faster than Billy and quite aggressive, so it always positions itself to minimize the distance between the two and will attack if possible.

Billy comes up with a plan to retrieve his ball that requires no special equipment, and within minutes, has accomplished his goal. How did Billy retrieve his ball without getting bit?

• I can think of all sorts of answers, all stolen from The Sandlot. – GendoIkari Feb 5 at 20:10
• Lateral thinking? Billy cuts the chain and climbs the nearest tree. Sure, it's pretty dangerous, but youth is impetuous. Sure, it causes the neighbour some problems, but it's not Billy's problem. You do you, Billy! – AJFaraday Feb 6 at 13:08
• Billy could also stare the dog down, show no sign of fear, show his teeth (just out of range of the chain). The dog will evenually accept him as the Alpha and lie down to show deference. – AJFaraday Feb 6 at 13:09
• He does not need to retrieve the ball, as there is none. The dog is quite aggressive and the former ball is now a mess of pieces scattered around the yard- – Klaws Feb 6 at 16:29
• @AJFaraday That second answer had me laughing on the floor. – Don Thousand Feb 7 at 1:08

Billy simply has to run around the tree a couple of times, so the dog's chain will enroll itself around the tree and reducing the walking-area of the dog.
Like this Billy can simply pick the ball.

He asks his neighbour to grab the ball for him, since the dog is much less likely to bite their owner :)

Billy simply

Runs circles around the tree. The dog runs behind him to minimize distance. Once the chain is shortened enough, billy can take his ball.

First Time answering here.. giving it a shot !

It's not mentioned who Billy is, Billy is a Dog, a much larger dog then the neighbors dog and the neighbors dog is scared of him, he simply jumps over the fence and retrieves the ball.

• (1) Billy has accidentally thrown his ball into the neighbor's yard! (2) The [neighbor's] dog … will attack [Billy] if possible. – Peregrine Rook Feb 6 at 6:58
• @PeregrineRook FWIW my dogs throw their toys around all the time when playing. – TheLethalCipher Feb 6 at 12:07
• youtube.com/watch?v=s23I0AirmCI Plot twist: dog is actually human! – aaaaaa Feb 7 at 3:03

Assuming ball and dog are similar size

Billy runs a bit in front of the dog so that chain sweeps the ball and it rolls further away from dog. No need to run laps around the tree!

• This would assume that the chain is attached to the tree at the ground level and the dog is very short, or that the ball is larger than most people would probably imagine. A normal height dog and attachment would just swing through the air while the dog pulls aggressively to attack. – Ryan Mortensen Feb 7 at 0:25

A much faster solution than running around the tree: Billy stands 31 feet away from the tree, just beyond the dog's reach, and throws rocks at the ball until he knocks it out of the circle. (Meanwhile, the dog is furiously barking and snarling one foot away, but unable to do anything but make noise.)

• You have much better aim and more rocks than I do. – Timbo Feb 7 at 22:15

Billy can run

in a circle spiral fashion, this only works if the dog is less than 4 times the speed of billy