Friday, January 1, 2010

The little sweetie

I think of my sister as a calmly happy and accepting person most of the time.  There have been a few times when she wasn't.  The first time I remember was when she and I faced a bothersome little kid and complained about something or other he had done.  We were standing in his front yard and he was backed up against a low cherry tree that was in blossom.  The little sneak put his hand behind his back and plucked a cherry from the tree without our noticing.  He brought the fruit to the front and held it up to my eye level and squeezed.  Some of the acidic juice went into my eye and it hurt and surprised me.  I cried out. 

My sister was a first or second grader at the time and so was this little joker.  As I cried out,  she launched herself into the kid knocking him to the ground.  She planted herself on top of his chest and pummeled him.  It was his turn to cry out and his cries brought his mother out of the house.  She shouted at my sister to get off of her little darling this instant.  It was a little embarrassing since he outweighed her by at least ten pounds.  How this calm little sweetie could floor the brat wasn't clear to any of us.

A similar incident happened a few years later.  I think my sister was in the 3rd grade then.  She and I walked along a sidewalk and here walking toward us was a boy in her class.  I knew he liked her because he always smiled at her and spoke to her.  As we passed him, he smiled and said hello.  Again, she launched herself onto this kid, too, much as before.  Knocked him down and began pummeling him.  I respect my sister but as far as I could tell there was no reason to assault him.  I began to interfere and she stopped.  The boy got up and ran off.  I was very surprised and asked her why in the world she had attacked an innocent person.  She replied that he bugged her, he always smiled and spoke to her and she wanted him to stop it.  I imagine he did.

About that time, my mother got the idea that both my sister and I would benefit from boarding school.  She had no money for the tuition and expense but the schools she had in mind offered scholarships to children who merited them.  Both my sister and I took exams to try for scholarships.  I rather wanted one but I didn't score well enough.  I had looked forward to wearing a smart uniform and living a military-ish life.  But my sister did better on the exams and won a scholarship to an all-girl, ladylike school.  I was a little envious.

It turned out that my sister did not like the place.  She didn't like uniforms,  she didn't the faculty, she didn't like the routine and she especially didn't like being away from home.  She was younger than me.  My mother told me that she thought her daughter felt abandoned and unloved and saw herself as being dropped from our family.

One day, the school called and reported that my sister had climbed out a 2nd story window to escape the place.  She was lowering herself to the ground when the sheets she had knotted together came apart.  She fell into a bush.  She was not hurt but everyone was upset.  My mother changed her mind about the value of a board school and my sister came home for good.

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