Two little girls, ages 5 and 6, were found on a busy highway late at night after they decided to go shopping.
Five-year-old Paislee Talbot is in big trouble.
For some reason, she and her 6-year-old pal got it into their little heads that waiting for the grown-ups to fall asleep before sneaking out to go shopping in their small, Washington town was a good idea.
Armed with backpacks, piggy bank money and a T-ball bat, the pint-sized pair headed down a well-traveled dark highway at 11 p.m., bound for the neighborhood market.
Enter Marc Breckenridge and his fiancée, who were on their way home from a casino. Breckenridge slammed on the brakes.
He got out, and looked down at two small faces staring up at him.
He asked where they were headed.
“We’re going to the store!” they told him. He then asked where their parents were.
Paislee piped up, “They’re asleep!”
Meanwhile, back at the Talbot home, Paislee’s mother, Tiffany, was awakened by the family dog having a fit. She nudged her husband, Dustin, and told him to go see what the racket was about.
Dustin opened the front door and there was his daughter, her sleepover guest and Breckenridge.
From the bedroom, Tiffany heard a strange voice saying, “Marc Breckenridge here, and I found your little girls. They said they were going to the store.”
The mother told InsideEdition.com Tuesday night she didn’t know whether to scream or cry.
“I was like, 'What the heck?'"
The parents had put the girls to bed at about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, locked up the house and called it a night. The two would-be shoppers waited 30 minutes, then crept out a sliding glass door and set out for the nearest store, which was a quarter-mile away.
"They had their backpacks packed and they had the money from her piggy bank. There’s a light on the end of her T-ball bat that glows, and they had that, too," Paislee’s mother said.
Breckenridge took each girl by the hand and walked them home, with Paislee leading the way. His fiancée drove behind, with the flashers going.
Tiffany marveled at his common sense. “He didn’t ask them to get into the car. He walked with them,” she said.
Breckenridge has become a new family friend.
“He didn’t have to do that,” she said. “He did the right thing.”
Paislee, who’s normally afraid of the dark and knows not to leave her yard without an adult, got a stern talking-to — after her mom had walked away and calmed down.
“How do you explain to a 5-year-old that there are people out there who steal little girls?” the mother said.
Later, she made Paislee watch a video showing a little girl being abducted. "She burst into tears and said, 'Mommy, please turn it off.'"
But Tiffany persisted. "I said, 'Paislee, you have to watch this. You’re my life. Doing something like this scares me to death.'"
Her daughter’s friend was in hot water as well. Tiffany called her mother after Breckenridge showed up and the woman drove right over and collected her girl.
Paislee, meanwhile, isn’t allowed to have sleepovers for a while. She's also grounded for a week.