As Ray Magold prepared to pull out of his drive on Smothers Road he spotted something that brought him up short. He picked up his cell phone and called his wife, who was still inside.

As Ray Magold prepared to pull out of his drive on Smothers Road he spotted something that brought him up short. He picked up his cell phone and called his wife, who was still inside.

"Your students have been here and it's more than toilet paper," Phyllis Magold recalled her husband saying on the morning of June 17.

It is a tradition in the Westerville City Schools for some graduating seniors to choose toilet paper as a means of playing a prank on or paying tribute to their teachers, according to Community Engagement Coordinator Lynne Maslowski.

The students in the International Baccalaureate (IB) higher level English classes at South High School took a more "novel" approach, Maslowski said.

Rather than decorating Magold's lawn with toilet paper, they slipped in during the night and recreated a scene from "Don Quixote."

The life-size model - including a replica of a working windmill, an armored Don Quixote and his steed, Rocinante - was set up on the seven acres belonging to the Magolds.

Squire Sancho Panza was even tied to a tree as author Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's characters came to life.

"I wanted to laugh," Magold said, "but I cried. It was so touching."

The detail, she said, was "magnificent."

Don Quixote even wore a suit of armor and had a pointy beard.

Magold said her neighbor thought the horse was real from a distance, since the unbraided rope made for a curly tail.

Since the display went up, Magold said, there have been times she caught sight of the display from the window and for an instant thought the horse was a deer standing perfectly still. The coloring is about the same.

During the wee hours of the morning when they were setting up the display in the dark, Kim Thesing recalls catching a glimpse of Don Quixote on the horse and wondering which of the students was on its back.

"That actually happened to several of us," she said.

Thesing was sure her teacher would like the display, but she had no idea how much until after it was discovered and other teachers began texting her and Magold made contact.

"They grumbled and groaned all the way through Don Quixote," said Magold. "I would not allow them to read the condensed version."

Brian Sherman laughed and Hannah Wilson agreed that they did indeed grumble about the assignment.

"We hated reading the book," said Wilson.

Sherman did not agree.

"It is a really good book," he said.

Wilson admitted that there came a point where they began to appreciate what is known as the most influential work of Spanish literature.

"It was the length," she said. "It's a 900-page book. It is a good book, but it is a pain in the butt to read. It has every element of a good story."

Hope Boyd, Matt Gauen, Stephanie Green, Abi Maxwell, Sean Richards, Victoria Scott and Philip Moon also pitched in on the project.

"It wasn't a complete group effort," said Wilson. "Brian, his dad and Phil made most of it."

Sherman and Moon are planning to go into engineering so they were focused on the mechanics of the project.

"We were along for the ride," said Wilson.

Sherman admits that he would not move the display to Magold's house until the eight- to 10-foot tall windmill with its five-foot blades was oxperational.

The group of students worked on the project over the course of a week in the Sherman backyard.

As they loaded the display into two mini-vans and a car they discovered a problem.

"It didn't quite fit in the van," said Sherman. "The door was a little smaller than what we measured. We had to do a little cutting."

At 2:30 a.m., Thesing said, they were using a jigsaw to trim the windmill down to size.

Wilson said they got a shock when they pulled up to discover Magold lives in a gated community.

Fortunately for the students, the gate rose as they pulled up.

With a couple of big flashlights they began setting up the display.

Wilson said it was hard to keep that many people quiet.

"It's true," said Thesing. "People would run and drop things and duct tape is surprisingly loud. When we were peeling the duct tape off the roll it was kind of loud and nerve wracking."

Magold learned after the fact that Gauen used the shirt for Sancho Panza that he wore in his first theater production.

"I want to save all of this stuff, it is so precious," said Magold.

In IB, she said, they teach all of the domains of knowledge.

"Literature, math because they had to measure, art, history, Spanish," she said. "All of the domains of knowledge are in my front yard."

As the school year ended, Magold said she was among the teachers who were tired and bummed.

"When I looked out there and saw that, it lowered my blood pressure and gave me peace," she said. "You remember why you teach when something like this happens. It was fabulous."