A Slice of Life
When I was 5 or 6 years old my girlfriend from down the street and I enjoyed playing together most of the time. One of our favorite past times was making mud pies and eating them. I know, that sounds yucky now, but as I remember, that Texas mud was delicious. And I read, not too long ago, that the dirt kids eat somehow helps build their immune system to fight off unwanted diseases later in life.
Well anyway one day, as I remember it, Patsy and I got in an argument over which mud pies belonged to who, and when Patsy couldn’t get her way, she grabbed my arm and bit me. I was shocked, and ran home crying. When I told my grandmother what had happened, she looked me in the eye and said, “The next time Patsy bites you, you just bite her back”. I told her I would do that, but I wasn’t so sure that was going to work, as Patsy could get really mad, and I could end up with many more and much na stier bites.
Patsy was the only other kid my age in the neighborhood, and we were still friends, so I soon forgot all about the incident. The next time we had an argument about something (I can’t remember about what), Patsy got really mad, and it ended up with her biting me. She was surprised when I didn’t turn and run home crying. But, she was even more surprised when I grabbed her arm and bit her back. Now she was the one running home crying. I was kinda proud of myself for not being a wimp, and went home to tell my grandmother of my victory.
Well, the celebration didn’t last long, because Patsy’s mother soon came storming down to our house wanting to know what kind of a “Little Brat” my mother and grandmother were raising anyway. Didn’t they know that boys biting little girls was “Barbaric” and not at all nice. After my grandmother related the whole story to Patsy’s mother, she just couldn’t believe “Her Little Princess” could have done such a thing. When she asked Patsy if the story was true, Patsy admitted it was, and her mother was shocked. After that, she calmed down and was actually embarrassed about the whole matter.
I’m sure a lot of talk went on between the adults, once the whole story was out in the open, but by then Patsy and I were ready to be friends again, and we were sent outside to play. After that incident, Patsy and I must have had other arguments, but to my knowledge, none of them ended in us biting each other. It’s amazing for me to think back to that incident and realize how easy it is for a child to become a bully, when not confronted about their actions. Moreover, just how quickly a young bully can be diverted from continuing that bullying into adulthood, when they receive a dose of what they have been handing out to others.