Grade five at the school I went to was not really special. You see all five grades were in the same room. Yes, it was a one room school house. Our teacher was Mrs Mathis and she was an older lady with a no nonsense attitude. She sometimes would talk for quite awhile and a white foam would form around her lip and us kids would be waiting for it to fall but it never did, it just sort of hung there until she would wipe it off. It happened time and time again and we would watch for it to grow and it was great fun to whisper about. So our school days weren't that exciting in the class room. Outside the class room was another story. We had a kid there who was big and had a mean streak in him. He would punch someone just for fun, or trip them or steal their lunch or just be nasty and say unkind things. No one would squeel on him because he threatened them and said he would get them after school. One day he hit one of the kids and hurt him and was laughing at his plight. I made the mistake of speaking up. I called him a bully and said he wasn't so strong. He said I'm strong enough to whip your butt. I pulled the old saying on him. I said if your so strong (then I spit on the ground) and said pick that up) He was smart enough not to cause to much commotion as it woud get the attention of the teacher. So he just said I'll get you after school .He was true to his word. I could run and so could he. The race was on and about half way home he caught me and roughed me up pretty good. The next day was a repeat of the first. This time he pushed me on the ground and then rubbed my face in the dirt. He was just to big and no matter what I did I couldn't fend him off. So after that when ever he felt like it he would chase me down and work me over. He never hit me in the face but my arms and shoulders were plenty sore from the punching. Finally on a friday afternoon he was at it again and something snapped inside of me. I never whimpered and never cried out or made a fuss. I just stared at him. He kicked me on the leg and let me go.
I left and I was seething with resentment and I resolved to do sometlhing about it. As I sat on the steps of the house I started thinking about a sling shot. That was it. I would show the rat what some real pain was like. I started in and began to make a sling shot. I found an nice Y shaped branch in the bush out behind our apartment. I cut it down and cleaned the bark off of it. I then cut notches in the Y part at the top so I could fasten the strips of rubber I had gotten from an old inner tube. I found an old pair of boots and took the tongue out of it to use for a pouch to hold stones and such. It took some work to make it right. I cut the strips of rubber so they were just right -not to short or to long. I then fastened the rubber to the tongue and I was ready. I went out and tried it and it took some adjustments to make it more workable. I began to practice and Jackie was still beating me up and I kept practicing. Finally I was ready. I hid the sling shot in my pack and when the bell rang I was out the door and heading home and there was Jackie running after me. I suddenly stopped and faced him. The sling shot was in my hands and I was quite confident I could hit what I was shooting at. I had been using stones but for this occasion I had slipped some marbles into my pack. I was a little shaky and Jackie was saying. Oh I'm so frightened you have a sling shot. Mocking me and moving towards me. I told him in plain language he had better leave me alone or I would shoot him with the slingshot. He just laughed and kept coming. It was now or never and let fly with a shot that hit him right in the middle of the forehead. He went down and when he looked up I had put another marble in the pouch and was ready to let fly with another one. He started to get up and I felt it was time to get out of there and ran off. It wasn't long after that the mounted police were at our door. There was a conversation between them and my mom and then I was called out to talk with them. They asked me why I had hit him with the shot from the sling shot and I told them. I said Iwas tired of being beat up and had to do something. The asked why I had not reported him. I just shruggged because those that were tattle tales were often looked on as not being trustworthy. Well what followed was really scary. The mounties took me to their car and we went down to the local jail which was real close.Boy I felt so alone and was scared all the time I was in there. They took the slingshot away from me and gave me quite a talking to about the fact that someone could get serious hurt and they didn't want that and neither did I. Years later I found out my mother had cooked that up with the officers to throw a scare into me. It worked.
It wasn't over though for Jackie saw me at school and walked over toward me. I notice he had a good size bump on his forehead and he pointed to it and said. Granger! I am going to make you pay for this. Wait til I get done with you. The school bell rang but I had an edge. The school teacher began talking to Jackie just when the bell rang. I grabbed my pack and ran as fast as I could and beat him home. Now the fat was in the fire. I quickly got my chores done and decide to make another sling shot. The next day at school I had my sling shot in my pack and was ready for whatever would happen. The school day ended and out the door I went with Jackie right after me. I saw that he was gaining so I stopped and got my sling shot ready. He stopped and looked me over and said. You wont use that because your in trouble with the police. I assured him I would for I had no other choice. Just then several kids showed up who had decided to see how this would all play out. Jackie was showing off then and came at me. I let one fly and caught him on the leg. He let out a yell and got red in the face and started after me again. This time I never put as much power behind it but it got him right on the nose. He yelped with pain and I was really getting worried. He rubbed his nose and looked at me for what seemed like a long time. He then said your not worth it and walked away. The other kids said he is going to report you but I thought he wouldn't because he would be in big trouble also. I was still trembling and the other kids said boy you sure showed him. I replied that I was just trying to get him to leave me alone. One kid said. You got it done. Yes I had for the pain he was going thru didn't make it fun anymore. Also Jackie was mean but he also was some what hesitant when someone was fighting back.
Later . I thought about all that had happened and looked at that sling shot and wondered what was I thinking. I wasn't in one way because I could have killed him and that would have had serios consequences. We get as much trouble as we ask for and did Jackie and I both learn from that . No doubt about it.