Tony didn’t understand why the bully was picking on him. Always laughing at him. For no apparent reason. Seriously, was it because his leather backpack was so huge, that it looked strange on his eight year old frame? Or was there something else? Tony didn’t know, never asked. He just endured the bully’s taunting day after day. And what was even more confusing to Tony was that the eight year old bully wasn’t even in his class. The bully was in some other part of the school, in another classroom, with a different teacher and his own set of peers. But, for whatever reason the bully decided that Tony would be his target for the school’s year. A target to harass, to antagonize, and, it seemed, to make Tony’s life miserable.
One afternoon, instead of hanging out with his pals, before each kid headed home for lunch, Tony left immediately after the bell, wanting to avoid the bully. He walked a half mile along the dirt road, anticipating lunch with the live-in helper. As he walked, he kicked a rock, just as he always did, using the big ‘ol boots his parents had bought him just for his rock kicking walks. Boots that held up to the beating they were given, regardless of how many time he scraped them through the dirt, aiming the perfect aim toward the rock, sending it flying far and away. As he walked and kicked, tears fell from Tony’s eyes. Tears from anger. Anger towards the bully who just wouldn’t leave him alone. When he walked into the house, the helper asked him what was wrong. He responded, saying Nothing. Changing the subject, the live-in helper asked Tony about his slingshot, the one he made during the past weekend with some of the other neighborhood kids. That’s when, consciously or not, Tony realized he should take the slingshot back to school with him. For fun. For whatever reason.
As he walked back, returning to school, pockets full of rocks, Tony played with the slingshot, flinging the pepples as far as he could. He even took the time to stretch the sling, expanded it as far back as he could manage. All the while he was carrying his heavy ladened backpack on his slight body. As he neared his classroom, he shoved his toy out of sight. After an afternoon of physical and other hands-on activities, after the final bell rang, as Tony was walking near the basketball court, he heard the bully and his friends laughing at him. Laughing so much that Tony’s anger came full force. He walked across the road in front of the school, and sat down. Just sat. And then he pulled out the slingshot, without any idea as to what his intentions were. He just wanted to practice flinging rocks again. Possibly curb his anguish. Then, out of nowhere, the bully came out of the school laughing, laughing, and laughing some more at Tony. Laughing and pointing. Tony had had enough. He walked up to the bully. Stood three feet away. And BAM! he slung a rock right at the bully. Causing him to fall to his knees. And then, still full of built-up anger, Tony kicked and kicked the bully with his big ‘ol boots. Just kicked him. Over and over. Breaking his teeth. Until someone grabbed him. Lifted him up and away from the bully. To stop any further damage. Tony’s feet kept kicking air. He couldn’t stop. Until he realized that whoever was holding him was grasping him rather tightly. Tight enough that Tony realized he needed to be released so that he could breathe. So he stopped kicking and was set back down on the ground. His anger subsiding.
Later, after his parents were told what Tony had done, and after a good spanking with a belt, and after they had to pay for a pair of new front teeth, Tony was stilled. Calm.
The bully never bothered him again. Because Tony defended his honor.