When I entered fourth grade at Riverside School, I immediately made two enemies–Peggy and Violet. They were in my class and lived in the same direction I did. Every day after school, they would ask me to “join the bush club” and push me into the shrubs we passed by. They would sometimes beat me up and many times the ties on my dresses would be ripped off. At first I would return home and tell Mother what had happened, but I quickly learned that she just didn’t care.
What can I do?
she would say. I wanted to answer,
Act like a parent. Call the school. Speak to their parents. Start sewing on the torn dresses.
but I knew I would just be wasting my time. A better use of my time would be boxing lessons, and I finally wised up and figured out some moves. I fought Peggy and won–no more torn dresses and no further brush club.
Later Peggy and I became friends, and she invited me to her home. Her mother was working and with no one home, we decided to makechocolate pudding. Somehow the mixer got away from us and their kitchen was covered with chocolate pudding. Just then Peggy’s Mom came home and discovered the chaos that was her kitchen.
I immediately excused myself and said I had to get home. My mother had taught me not to take responsibility for anything and to always leave others to clean up the mess.