Call it a little Christmas fun. A holiday prank, if you will. Just don't call the cops.

The site of a man dangling from the edge of a roof was enough to startle motorists early Tuesday morning as they traveled by a residence located on the 800 block of Frey Street, where a “man” appeared to have fallen while stringing Christmas lights.

Trouble was, the scene - complete with a ladder tipped on its side - was part of a holiday gag.

“The people driving by saw someone they thought was hanging on for dear life,” Stephenville Police Chief Roy Halsell said. “One woman even got out of her car and ran over to help.”

After dispatch received two calls from concerned citizens, officers responded to the scene and discovered it was a hoax.

“The residents were just trying to have a little fun,” Halsell said. “The scene was part of their Christmas decorations.”

(Emphasis on the word “was.”)

Halsell said the residents felt bad about the stir the display caused and agreed to take it down by the afternoon.

SARA VANDEN BERGE is Managing Editor of the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at 254-968-2379, ext. 240.