CREDOS:Life’s lessons — II

I had never seen anyone behave like this before. Nor had I seen my mother behave as she did. My mother was a small woman. Suddenly, my mother got taller. I swear she did. She grabbed the two biggest ones-one by the nape of his neck and the other by the ear, took a swing at the third with her foot.

“You stop that!” she screamed. “Pick up those pencils. Haven’t you had any proper teaching? Didn’t anyone ever show you how to behave? Put those pencils back in that cup. Check to see if any are damaged. You’ll pay for any damage you’ve done. Pick up that money and put it back in the cup. All three of you get down on your knees and apologize. And, don’t you ever let me see you doing anything like this again.”

Belief you me-those boys scooted fast. All during Mother’s monologue “the crippled boy” was mumbling. “That’s all right, Miss Manilla. They don’t mean anything by it. They’re just cuttin’ up.” “It’s not all right,” said my mother. “Now are you hurt?” He nodded with tears in his eyes.

My mother dropped our few pennies in his cup. She automatically reached out her hand and I slid mine into it.

Meanwhile she had returned to her normal size. I was proud of my mother. The town square went back to its routine as my mother quietly said to me, “Remember, Elizabeth Anne, we have been given so much that it is always our responsibility to take care of those less fortunate than ourselves.” — (Concluded)