Beating the Bullies

I despise bullies.  Especially the two 2nd graders who used to pick on me at school when I was in the 1st grade.  I lived 2 blocks from the school and I had to walk home every day after school.  On most days, Jim Burnham would walk with me.  He did not like the bullies either.  When the final bell rang each day, we would try to be the first ones out the door.  We would run through the school yard, across the street,  along the ditch between some houses, across another street, through “the Weeds”, and safely to my back door.  (“The Weeds” was our name for the vacant lot next to my house.)  On a bad day, the bullies would get out ahead of us and grab us before we could leave the school yard.  They would push us around and make threats and do what bullies do.  It was pretty miserable.   Sometimes they would chase us all the way to my house but for some reason they always stopped short of coming into our yard.

Jim and I tried different things to discourage them but since we were smaller, nothing seemed to work.  One day we built a fort inside a large patch of “Elephant Ear” plants and stocked it with over a hundred mud balls.  Next time the bullies followed us home, we dove into the fort and pelted them with the mud balls.  That ploy worked well for about a week, but then one day, Jim wasn’t around and the bullies started in on me again.

Early morning TV usually occupied my Saturday mornings.  We had a Crosley black and white TV and there were three channels full of stuff for kids and families.  I watched The Lone Ranger, Sky King, Rin Tin Tin, The Little Rascals, and Tarzan.  One morning, while watching Tarzan, I was fascinated as a bunch of natives caught a raging tiger by digging a big hole in the ground and covering it with sticks and brush.  When that tiger fell into the hole, a light came on in my head and I pictured the bullies plunging head long into a deep pit.

That afternoon, Jim came over and together we dug two deep pits along the trail through the weeds.  Our pits seemed large, but actually they were about two feet across and three feet deep.  Water seeped in and filled them about half way up because that is what pits do in Florida.  We covered them with sticks and pine needles and they looked pretty good.  We needed a good test so I hollered for my sister to come and and see the “big snake” that was near the pine tree in the Weeds.  She came running and fell right into the first pit.  Success!  After an hour of practice runs down the trail, hopping over the pits, we were ready for the bullies.

Monday came.  Jim and I made sure that we did a few annoying things to irritate the bullies during recess.  Finally the school bell rang and we delayed our departure from the class just a little.  Moments later, the bullies were hot on our trail.  We ran through the school yard, across the street, down the ditch, across the second street and into the Weeds.  The bullies were right behind us.  Suddenly there was a splash and a scream followed by another splash, shouts and groans.  We dove for the cover of our fort in the Elephant Ears.  The bullies were wet and covered with dirt and mud.  A hail of mud balls followed them as they recovered from their falls and ran back down the trail toward the school.

We re-set the pitfalls but the bullies never bothered us again.  The pits remained in place for several weeks until one day my dad discovered them….. the hard way.

In the Bible, our adversary, the devil is described and a roaring lion, walking about seeking someone to devour.  He is like a big bully only worse.  We are instructed to resist him.  1Peter 5:8-9  “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7  We can prepare for his attacks by putting on the armor of God.  Eph. 6:10-18  In the strength of the Lord, we can stand in the evil days.



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