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Hear That Whistle Blow IX - Good Old Golden Rule Days

Jackie tells of the many adventures and emotions of a little girl growing up in a large family in the fifties.

Katie starts school and learns that everyone is not like her. Not everyone is sweet and kind and there are a few bullies she will have to learn to handle on her own. Or will she?


Getting Started

Katie was going to school! There were so many little girls smiling and looking each other over. The teacher was a very young and pretty woman who seemed very sweet and kind. The school was going to be so much fun. There were some rowdy little boys, but the teacher let them know they must be quiet and sit still. Sometimes she did have to remind them because they would forget, but it was not too bad.

Katie never made it to the bus on time in the mornings for some reason. She always had to walk on down the main highway to school probably about a half mile. She was never late but somehow the bus was nowhere in sight when she got to the end of the road.

Did she doddle and daydream and walk too slow? Was she paying attention to her surroundings instead of thinking about catching the bus? Could be, but she walked to school every day and had to cross the main highway twice. The one at the end of her road and then on the big highway at the school.

The highways were not so busy with fast cars, but once Katie got to school there were buses and parents dropping off children across this main highway so she was very lucky to get across safely and into her classroom. She just did what she had to do. She never dreamed of asking anyone to solve this problem for her.

Merry Go Round


Noise is Not Fun for Katie

There were two school buildings here. One with grades from one to five and the building in the back had classes for seventh and eighth graders getting ready for high school, but they never mixed. Each had their own playground for recesses. The older children had ball courts and a lawn. Other schools occasionally came in for ball tournaments and different events.

The small children had seesaws, swings and a merry-go-round. The merry-go-round was off to itself and used very little so many times Katie went there alone. She did not like playing with the noisy children that screamed and cried and pushed to get to be first at everything. She missed home and couldn't wait until the days were over and she could get back to her mother and brothers.

Katie was so proud the first day of school to see all the block-lettered alphabet high up on the walls and know that she knew them all. There were also numbers she knew that her older brother had taught her. In no time she figured out how easy they all fell into place and kept going forever.

The teacher passed out textbooks that were Katie’s until the end of the year. She could not wait to learn everything in them!

First Grade


Mind Your P's and Q's

Katie always did what the teacher said and made all good grades. Her mother had told her to always be quiet and listen and she would learn quickly and it certainly seemed to be true.

There were some big boys in the class that seemed to be twice the size of the rest of them and Katie tried to keep her distance. One stepped on her foot and it really hurt but he said he was sorry and he really seemed to mean it. Katie forgave him and tried her best not to be in his way ever again. The other one though turned out to be a real bully, no denying. He would sting Katie with rubber band shots more than a few times.

Finally, Katie knew she had to tell the teacher because she feared being hit in the eye and besides there were more than a few places already on her arms and neck that stung really bad.

When the teacher saw Katie's wounds, much to Katie's surprise, this boy was brought up in front of the class and paddled hard! Katie did not want that, she just wanted it to stop.

Some of the children called her a tattletale and some cried seeing this boy paddled and it was very upsetting. The good thing was he was put to the back of the room not able to have a good shot at Katie anymore. The bad news was, he would find other ways to get back at Katie.


Once Bitten Twice Shy

This was a bad start for Katie. Children were looking at her as if she were the one to do something wrong, and that was just not right! She chose to ignore them and just get through each day the best she could.

This big boy would at every opportunity shove or bump Katie as he was passing by. No direct hits that she could actually blame him for, but she had to be on the lookout continually. Now she had to stay near the teachers and other children on the playground for protection which meant no fun for her at all at recess.

She needed to tell someone but she knew no one to tell. She would never tell her mother and worry her and she could never tell the teacher again for a repeat of the last time. One day coming in from recess in a line on a very muddy day, Katie was sent sprawling. Because of the many students, no one could know who shoved Katie down, but of course, she knew. She was covered in mud and naturally it was very funny to many of the children.

The one who did it had a very special smirk. His equal sized friend though looked very sorry for Katie, enough so it almost made her cry, but just almost.

The teacher helped Katie clean up before school was out. She was now wetter than she was muddy and other than her white socks the mud could not be seen. Her mother gave her dry socks at home and put her muddy ones in to soak. All Katie said was that she had fallen down and she certainly had.


Turn About is Fair Play

The next day was still muddy and this boy had the smirk still and a dread set into Katie she could not avoid. She would have to not take her eyes off him outside ever. During their first lesson and waiting for recess filled her with plans. She would stand right with the teachers and lean against the fence at the swing set where they stood to watch the children. This boy would have to come between Katie and the teachers so she should be safe for today anyway, but how could she do this forever? She was beginning to hate school!

As Katie took her planned stance against the fence she started seeking out the bully and soon found him with the same sized friend. She guessed they had to stick together. They seemed to be deep into conversation and then they were wrestling around. It was not a fight, just a struggle, just two boys having fun she was sure but still the more she watched the more it looked like arguing. The bully had spotted her too and she was filled with dread.

There were teachers behind Katie but they were paying attention to their own. Her teacher was leading on the way back to class and chatting with students besides her. The bully was staring her down, he was waiting to hurt her she knew but she had to keep moving. The bully came in toward her and she braced for the kick or push when all of a sudden he went sprawling in front of her, past the sidewalk and into the mud!

Before Katie could blink the bully's friend had her elbow guiding her on down the sidewalk not letting the line stop. She looked back to see school kids laughing at the bully as he sat up with mud covering his face and whole front side. The bully's friend smiled down at Katie and told her she wouldn't be bothered again and then he walked on.



An Angel in Disguise

Long after class had taken back up the bully walked in and plopped in his desk skidding it on the wood floor with a screech. No mud was visible. Instead, he looked as if he had taken a shower with his clothes on. Katie certainly knew that feeling.

All the children laughed and even the teacher looked him over with a very slight smile. She turned away quickly though and tapped her ruler on her desk which meant silence. Katie knew she should not be staring at him in case he saw her and became even more enraged at her, with him getting what was intended for her. But for whatever reason, he never once looked in her direction. She noticed his friend, or perhaps his ex-friend had moved up a couple of desks between Katie and the bully. He had a big wide smile for Katie and she did not know how to react.

Whatever happened, Katie was now safe. She played on the school grounds and caught the bus home from school every evening and this protector seemed to always be somewhere in sight. He did not appear to be watching Katie and he never spoke to her but Katie felt sure she would never get bullied again.

The school was finally starting to be fun.

© 2017 Jackie Lynnley

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