Pushed to the Limit
by Bonnie Gibson
|Table of Contents|
Part 6 appeared
in issue 184.
Mr. Palmer, the school principal, heard screams coming from the north end of the schoolyard and saw children running toward the school. “What’s going on out here?” he asked one of the fleeing children.
“It’s Billy Sims. He’s over by the football field. It’s awful, Mr. Palmer, just awful,” a little girl cried. And then she ran away.
Mr. Palmer hurried toward the football field.
“Over there!” cried a frail little boy, dragging his little sister by the hand. “Come on, Marlie, we gotta get away from here.”
Mr. Palmer saw a crowd of children, some standing, some running away. He gently pushed the children aside as he made his way through the crowd.
At the center of the circle of children stood Billy Sims with blood all over his hands.
“Oh my God!” exclaimed Mr. Palmer. “What have you done, son?”
A small dog was lying on the ground beside Billy. Billy had a pocketknife in his hand. He was holding the dog’s head in one hand, way up in the air. He had cut the dog’s head off with the pocketknife and seemed quite proud of himself.
“All of you go back to the school,” Mr. Palmer yelled to the remaining children. “John, you go to the office and tell Mr. Jackson to come at once.”
Mr. Palmer grabbed children by the shoulders and gently shoved them to get them moving.
Billy began to leave. “Oh no. Not you, young man. You stay right where you are.”
Mr. Jackson arrived very quickly. “I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
“Mr. Jackson, take Billy here to the office and call the police and his father. Make him wash up first. I’ll be there shortly. Tell them where I am and to come immediately.”
“Yes sir,” said Mr. Jackson. “Come with me, Billy.”
“Well, it’s just an old dog,” Billy said. “He tried to bite me. That’s why I did it. A dog ain’t nothing. You all make it look like I killed someone, calling the police. It’s just a damn dog.”
“You watch your mouth, boy,” Mr. Jackson told him, “or I’ll be washing more than blood off you.”
Stanley Sims arrived. “I can’t believe Billy did this,” he said. “He loves animals. He’s always wanted a dog. We just moved too much for me to get him one. I’m sorry, Mr. Palmer. I’ll take full responsibility for him. I’ll take him home and punish him.”
“I’m afraid not,” Mr. Palmer said. “The police will be here shortly. We’ll see what they have to say about this. Has Billy ever been in trouble before?”
“No, not like this. He’s gotten into a few fights before, things like that. You know how boys are. They tend to get into things,” Stanley said.
“This is not just your average thing, Mr. Sims. Billy needs to be properly punished for this. This isn’t normal behavior for a boy of his age, or of any age. Is Billy having any problems at home?”
“Well no, of course not. I don’t like the tone of your voice. What kind of problems are you speaking of anyway?”
“Sometimes, Mr. Sims, when kids have problems at home they strike out at animals or other people. Luckily, it was a dog. It might be a person next time.”
Mr. Sims was able to convince the police to let Billy go home. He told them that he would punish Billy and that it would never happen again.
Billy was expelled from school, and Stanley had to find another school for him. “It’s a new start, Billy. Just don’t do this again. I don’t have time to run to your school every few days. Try to stay out of trouble now.”
Copyright © 2006 by Bonnie Gibson