On Sand and Asphalt, Part 8

I’m so glad you’re still here. This is part eight of this nine part series. That’s this one, and one more. Yay!

Everything in Its Place

The teacher returned to her outdoor post from the principal’s office. She was escorted by the double-dutch girls, all six laughed and enjoyed the company. No more tears fell. The wound had been covered. They told their teacher what she taught them in class. They tried so hard to be good. Unlike their classmates who probably received one week without recess for their rowdy behavior.

Suddenly the volume of voices ruptured into chaos. The older children rushed onto the playground. Their morning classes were over. It was their turn to dominate the asphalt. The intrusion onto the lot frightened the younger children. They dropped their activities mid-swing and stared. They anticipated the big kids taking control of their game and stood willing to submit. Some ran, volunteering the ropes and tetherball to the older children. Others slowly resumed their game with one eye out for a big kid to demand they abandon their play. The little ones hated being brushed off the playground. Soon the recess would be over and they would return to the safety of their classroom. Until then, they sat along the edge, intimidated. Only able to watch the big kids take over.

The girls swinging on the swing set did not budge. They were the brave ones and would protest their removal from any piece of playground equipment. “We will not get off,” remonstrated from their bellies. They were there first, and for the moment the swings belonged to them. Today contention was avoided. The big kids were not interested in swinging. It was more fun, in that moment, to watch the little kids run from them. The brave girls swung, concealed by their confidence. One big kid did notice. He leisurely walked over to the swing set, watching for the little girls to jump and run. They did not run. He stood there for a minute then surrendered and turned away. Without his friends there to back him up, the girls won. Next time he would surely gather up some friends and approach the swings with childish authority, demanding the swings be turned over.

Rrrring, …ing, …ing, …ing.

Recess was over for the little kids. The big kids did not notice the bell and continued their play. The teachers moved toward the doors, stood patiently, watched their watches and waited for their students to gather their ropes and balls before lining up, single file.

The big kids started a game of kick ball and didn’t bother the little ones who were trying to gather their play toys. The kids who took off their coats ran to the grass to pick them up. Everything was returned except one ball. The groundskeeper would find it later and return it to the classroom. No one would get in trouble. It would not be lost forever.

Finally all the children made their way to the doors and lined up to count off. They proudly claimed their place in line. “One.” “Two….” “Twenty-three.” The teachers turned and led the way to learning.

To Be Continued…

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