05 April 2007

Boot 'N Paddle - April 6, 2007

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about coming across a distressed classmate in the library and how I was able to help him achieve a certain level of contentment. Now, I don’t make a hobby of walking around teaching people lessons, but…
Last weekend, I was walking in town behind a mother and who I assumed to be her children. It appeared to be a pretty nice scene; little kids are great. But then I noticed something. The oldest of the group was walking behind the youngest, stepping on his untied shoelaces! I knew what kind of kid he would grow up to be… the kind that throws toads as high up in the air as possible. A real little dickens!
I thought back to my disgruntled classmate in the library. I helped him… I could help this kid, too! The Mom, who I could tell was useless, probably wouldn’t want me disciplining her child, so I waited until they stopped and I casually walked up to the bully while his mother was distracted.
“Hey, Bud! How’s it going?” I said as I knelt down to his level.
He didn’t say anything.
“I saw you stepping on your brother’s shoelaces. I used to do that! But then I realized it wasn’t nice to do. Do you want to hear a poem? I think you might like it.”
He did the thing where he pulls his chin into his neck and shakes he head side to side. I could see tears welling up in his eyes. He was probably scared of my bald spot.
I knew he didn’t want to hear my poem but I launched into it anyway.

Tinker was a country mouse,
Who went from house to house.

By day he ate,
He ran,
He swam.
By night he slept in an old can of spam.

Of all the games he loved to play,
There was none more fun than “Neigh, Horse, Neigh.”

It’s of mice that horses are most scared,
Tinker enjoyed most of all to scare the fairest mare.

As one fine morning grew anew,
Into the horse stalls Tinker flew.

Around, around, up and down,
Through the fair mare’s legs he bound.

“One leg, two legs, three legs…not four?”
Tinker looked up, a shoe came down, and Tinker was no more.

“You know what that means, don’t you?” I asked the boy as silent tears streamed down his cheeks.
He managed to let out an, “uh huh” type noise and sniffled.
“It means Tinkers dead, doesn’t it? Yeah. Tinker died because he thought picking on someone else was fun. So, maybe next time you step on your brother’s shoelaces you can think about Tinker. Can you do that for me?”
The boy nodded and ran off to his brothers and sisters. His Mom looked up at me.
“You have beautiful children.” I said.
She smiled.
Everything was going to be okay.