Arthur and the Bullies
It is true that some have sensitivities that make them both a target for people who would bully them and for those who would feel kindness and an urge to protect them in an unfair situation. This story exemplifies this thought.
Arthur Chadwick carried a lot of emotional baggage at the age of ten. He was born in poverty, knew well the anger and battles of dysfunctional parents, the seeming endless cycle of mobility, moving from one location to another, divorce, and state run institutions.
The battle scenes when his parents were together became the most hypnotically paralyzing and terrifying moments he would put in that baggage of emotions…his father using his fists against his mother, the blood splattering, the bruises she carried, and her inability to get out of bed for work because of the pain inflicted.
Arthur could not adequately describe those terrible moments when his body inwardly quivered and he came to the edge of dissociative and suffocative anxiety. He would not know the long-term effects of these stressful periods. Those awful fights over, he could eventually resume normally his play and school time.
At school, Arthur had his friends. He also had those young hooligans who could read his sensitive nature…it was there in his eyes, in a secretion of his body, making him a live toy of whom a fool could be made…to dare, intimidate, mock, push, shove, and wrestle to the ground.
In his young mind Arthur worried constantly about his cowardly behavior. He didn’t wish to be a coward. He wanted to stand up for himself, to fight his battles, but there was a fear attached to fighting…it seemed his mind reverted back to the domestic battles between his Mom and Dad at home – the paralysis of spirit and survival.
All through the last year in elementary school, an older kid named Rick befriended him, talked to him kindly and firmly that he must defend himself against those who would take advantage of him. Arthur listened and wanted to be that person of whom Rick described. Still, the bullies prevailed, waiting for him after school to taunt and torment him. One bully named Will was the worst and also the leader of the others.
The last day of school came and Arthur was walking along a gravel road with his friend Rick when Will and his friends came alongside and began their shoving and taunting.
“Come on, Arthur, don’t let them do this to you.” Rick was a big kid and the bullies wanted nothing to do with him.
Arthur just lowered his head and walked along.
When the boys reached a small creek by the side of the road, Will was still shoving and taunting Arthur. Rick was still encouraging Arthur to do something.
The thoughts were running crazily through Arthur’s head. Rick’s words, the ugly words of Will, Arthur’s own self-loathing thoughts, and, finally, his anger erupted. Arthur rushed at Will, threw a few punches, grabbed him, and shoved him in the creek.
Will was stunned by the action, and Arthur spoke: “Come on out of there and I’ll give you some more…” Then, Arthur spoke to the other bullies: “If any of you want to join Will in the creek, come on and I’ll give you all you might want.”
The bullies stopped where they were, shaking their heads sideways. When Will got out of the creek, they all headed in the other direction.
Rick put his arm around Arthur’s shoulder. “That’s showing them, Art. They won’t be bothering you again…you got in some nice punches there, but the creek scene was the best of all. Did you see the defeated look on Will’s face?”
Those sensitivities are still with Arthur and he still has some fears, but a lesson was learned on that last day of school… When you know you’re not alone you can accomplish deeds you never thought possible.
It’s rather superfluous but we have bigger and barbaric bullies in our world today, cutting off heads and setting people afire. While my little tale was not necessarily meant to be allegorical, it is my thinking that peace-loving folks need to come together and throw those barbaric monsters in the creek of historical oblivion. That is to say, they need to be eradicated. We already have quite a few of those black-hooded ogres here in our country…
What are we waiting for???
Billy Ray Chitwood – June 12, 2015
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