Max is back in the safety of his basement, which he calls the "down under," but he's a little embarrassed that he was so scared by a little "midget kid" (3.1).
He decides to go back upstairs and stop being a baby. From his backyard, he can see Freak waving his crutch at a tree.
Max watches as Freak throws his crutches down and crawls inside the house. Freak comes back with a wagon, climbs inside it, and tries whacking the tree again. Curious.
By now, Max has figured out that there must be something stuck in the tree. He tries to sneak over to the tree, but since he's recently hit puberty, he's still feeling really awkward in his body. Translation: he's loud and clumsy.
Freak hears him, and it seems like he is going to hit Max with his crutch. But before he can, Max grabs the plastic bird that was stuck in the tree and gives it to Freak.
They spend the rest of the afternoon playing with the "ornithopter" as Freak calls it.
Max notices that Freak doesn't talk in a way he's used to. When the ornithopter finally breaks, Freak says: "All mechanical objects require periodic maintenance. We'll schedule installation of a new propulsion unit as soon as Fair Gwen gets a replacement" (3.17).
Huh? Yeah, Max doesn't really understand, but agrees anyway: "Cool" (3.18).
Freak wants to see where Max lives, so Max grabs the handle to his wagon and tows him over.