Grab life by the ankles and turn it upside down.


News Item: Bullying is increasing – at school, online and elsewhere.

Parents, educators, others are desperately searching for answers, solutions.

One young man’s answer, solution from another time – a simpler time – and another place:

Buddy was big, strong, a bully on the school ground.

Bennie was smaller, skinny, one who just tried to mind his own business on the school ground.

Almost daily, when students were on the school ground after lunch, Buddy would bully Bennie.

Buddy would shove, push, curse, shout at Bennie.

Bennie tried to ignore Buddy. Tried to just go about his business.

Buddy persisted. His bullying of Bennie got worse.

Then one day Bennie got his fill of Buddy’s bullying.

In a split second, Bennie surprised – shocked, really — Buddy, reached down, grabbed Buddy by the ankles, flipped Buddy upside down, shook Buddy, repeatedly banged Buddy’s head on the concrete sidewalk.

Buddy didn’t scream “uncle,” he screamed, pleaded, cried for Bennie to let go.

To stop banging his head against the sidewalk.

Finally, Bennie let go.

Bennie walked away, went about his business, leaving Buddy crumpled, a mess there on the sidewalk. Shaken. Embarrassed. His bully attitude – and, more important to him, his bully reputation – shattered in front of classmates.

Buddy’s blood matted in Buddy’s hair.

Buddy’s blood stained the sidewalk.

A custodian came to clean up the blood on the sidewalk.

But a faint stain of Buddy’s spilled blood remained for some time.

Maybe, for the classmates who witnessed what happened to Buddy that day, the image of that stained blood on the sidewalk remained with them in the mind’s eye.

Surely that image remained with Buddy.

Funny thing. Buddy didn’t bully Bennie after that.

Bennie learned something that day – that the time comes when you have to stand up for yourself, stand your ground – school ground or otherwise.

Grab life by the ankles, so to speak. Turn it upside down.

Buddy also learned something that day – that if you’re a bully, sooner or later the time could come when you happen across someone who will put you in your place, turn you upside down, leaving you either literally or figuratively embarrassed, or both, crumpled and crying on one of life’s sidewalks.

Washboard RoadPlease click the book cover to read more on Amazon about the short story collection of Roger Summers.


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