John had just landed in Maple Town, where his father had been transferred
Lean, little John had to leave behind his friends and good company.
In Maple Town, things were different. The surroundings were green and clean, but many a kid there was rather rough.
One boy in particular, named Steel, who was known for bullying all children living in the neighbourhood.
One Friday afternoon, John went to play outside his house.
Steel was there with other kids.
As soon as he saw John, his eyes brightened.
“Here is our new catch,” he told his buddies.
Steel led them to John.
Although just 13, only a year older than John, Steel was twice the size.
“You think you can play here without my consent? You must be dreaming,” Steel told John.
Surprisingly for Steel, John didn’t look scared, unlike other boys in the neighbourhood. Rather, John was looking him in the eye.
“You maybe a big bully, but I am afraid of you,” John replied.
John didn’t have much up his sleeve. He was, after all, just a little boy up against a kid who could hurt him.
But Steel didn’t know that. The confidence displayed by John made Steel trust John’s words.
Steel thought John was unlike other kids her bullied.
He thought it wise to leave John alone for now.
John was glad to see Steel leave. He was nervous. But he knew this wasn’t the end of it.
He went home and narrated the story to his father.
“You did well,” his father told him. “You must stand up for yourself and not let him or anyone bully you.”
The advice gave John courage.
When he went to play the next day, Steel was there.
The bully blocked his path.
“Did you forget what I told you yesterday,” he told John.
John went closer to Steel this time.
“Yet I am not afraid of you. I can defend myself. You better not mess with me,” said John.
Now, Steel was sure that he had to leave John alone.
It was not common in Maple Town.
As the kids there watched John stand up to Steel, they felt emboldened. They came to stand behind John.
Steel could see what was happening.
His bullying had thrived because of the fear in other kids’ minds. Now, because of John, he could see that changing.
That day since, Steel didn’t choose a different spot to bully kids.