Save the Hippos!

Samuel is the sixth grade bully. Samuel is bigger than most of the other kids, and according to Shane, “he just always does mean stuff.”

Shane was in school one day, sitting on the floor, with his head against the wall.

“Suddenly this boy just sat down on my lap,” Shane told me. “Like he was just sitting there for one second and then he got up and ran away.”

“Did he fall down?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” Shane said. “Maybe. Or maybe he got pushed. But when he landed on me, he smashed my head up against the cement wall, and I don’t know what happened because everything just went black for a second.”

I turned around and looked at Shane. He hurt his head? On cement?

“Everything went black?” I repeated. “For how long?”

“Just for a second. And then there were like all these people around me, asking me if I was okay.”

I gave a quick lecture on the dangers of traumatic brain injury, and reminded him to go the nurse if he ever hits his head again.

“But that wasn’t all,” he said. “Then when I was just on the floor, Samuel came over.”

Uh-oh, I thought. The class bully probably kicked Shane in the head. “Oh no,” I said.

“Actually, he came over and he held out his hand,” Shane said. “He said, ‘Are you okay? That looked like it hurt.’ And then he helped me get up.”

“Wow!” I said. “That’s unbelievable!”

“I know!” Shane said. “He’s never even talked to me before!”

I was amazed. Not only did Shane get hurt badly but he was helped up by the school bully.

The next day, on an unrelated note, Shane started a petition to SAVE THE HIPPOS! He is suddenly very interested in saving hippos from extinction.

He got dozens of signatures on a piece of paper that he carried everywhere for two days.

On the second day, Shane ran into Samuel again. This time, Samuel was … different.

“He saw my paper and he totally shredded it,” Shane said.

So much for the kindness of a stranger.

Shane, unphased, decided to tape his petition back together. Then he kept on going.

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