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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

Elisabeth, or perhaps we should say Elyssa begins to get a handle on school life.

Margaret, my older sister had been considered a tomboy by our brothers and the rest of the family. She would climb trees, jump streams and scrap with the lads, but never in her pretty girly clothes. She didn't want to dirty them, let alone damage them. A pair of trainers, old jeans that the boys had once worn, a raggy tee shirt and an old sweat shirt or wooly jumper were the order for that part of her day. Send her to school and she wore plain but smart grey school uniform and polished shoes. Spotless white knee socks.


Dont get me wrong, I was just as determined to go off to school looking like a child model, every aspect of my uniform would be perfect before we set off down the road in mams car with 'Margy', who would take me into the Ellington Primary School on her way to The Dukes Senior School in Ashington. Of course it was not long since Margaret had left the primary school and she had been a near perfect pupil. Everyone spoke to her as she skipped in with little her little sister, Elyssa. Expectations were high.

I not only looked like a princess, I tried hard to act like one in the presence of adults. The need to gain their respect, admiration and if necessary their sympathy was high on my list of priorities. The other children were a different matter, they were there purely for my entertainment, to help me, love me and praise me. I aspired to be what the american school kids referred to as one of the 'Popular Girls'. In fact the Queen Bee of Ellington Primary.

You may have already concluded that I am a very determined and competitive individual. I certainly was at school, and within days of starting at the school, I had picked out the female competition in my rather large class.

I had also begun to figure out the boys in the group, and without being totally aware of it, put them into groups according to my classification.

I had also begun to figure out the boys in the group, and without being totally aware of it, put them into groups according to my classification

I decided there were the softies, the toughies, the bullies who I thought were just softies pretending to be toughies. Of course in the middle there were the 'nice' boys who were not in either of those categories, just got along with everyone.

I also decided there was another way to categorise the boys and girls. My own personal opinion based on what I saw and heard from then children in my class. These consisted of good looking, good fun, athletic, physically challenged, funny-looking and ugly.

Yes I know! Very judgemental - I WAS FIVE for god's sake! What did you expect?

As a reasonably confident Mathematician at University I now look back on my classifications as a series of Venn Diagrams - is that a little autistic I wonder?For instance it is possible for an ugly boy to also be athletic and good fun. It is also possible for the popular, good looking, athletic, funny girl to be a terrible bully.

Well ask me what categories I would be in and I'll tell you straight - "Dont try and put me in a box, you will regret it somewhere along the line. I am neither an intersection, a compliment or subset. I am Elyssa Browning and you categorise me at your peril. I do not behave in accordance with the accepted norms.

It is important now for the reader to bear in mind that I was the unexpected youngest child, in a household of five older men and an older tomboy sister. I was also the cutest in the house - in both meanings of the word cute. So I had done my share of wrestling with people bigger and stronger than me. I also knew pretty much the precise time to turn on the waterworks, resulting not only in me getting out of the predicament, but often in the opponent getting told off -

"oooh shame on you Jeffrey shes only little"

"You're older than her Barry, play nice"and of course"Margaret - you should know better."

This didn't always endear me to my 'victim' but I still had two concerned siblings to make a fuss of me and look at the third with disapproval. It still hasn't occurred to the adult males in the house that they are being manipulated, although Mam and Maggie have me sussed. Good for them!

In my second week at school, I was playing Queenie in the school yard with some of the girls, when one of the boys, Terry, who I had down as a bully, but also a bit thick, decided to spoil our game by pulling little Anne's hair.Little Anne was a shy quiet girl with her long brown hair in plaits. Terry ran into our circle and pulled one of her plaits, causing her to cry. I shouted over to him"Pack that in Terry or I'll give you a clip round the lugs"

Well that worked because he let go of Anne's hair and stomped across to me like Shrek off the movie. He tried to grab my hair, which was in long bunches that my Nanna had done, so I ducked, and remembering what our Barry said.

"If a lad ever tries to grab you punch him hard in the willie and then twist his goolies off."

Now I had not realised at the time what goolies were, but Barry kindly pointed out the way to accomplish the twisting off of goolies, by demonstrating on himself - gently I should add

Now I had not realised at the time what goolies were, but Barry kindly pointed out the way to accomplish the twisting off of goolies, by demonstrating on himself - gently I should add.

Poor Terry, the tallest boy in the year group, feared by boys and girls alike squealed like a castrated pig as my left hook met with what I assume was his willie. As he let go of my precious hair to cover his genitals, my right hand grabbed a large lump of shorts and flesh and twisted. The howl of agony filled the whole playground and he rolled onto the ground curled up like a ball. Crying like a baby. Job done. Or was it?

Mrs Brown the dinner lady ran across to ask what had happened, followed by Mr Barlow and they knelt over Terry, looking very concerned

Mrs Brown the dinner lady ran across to ask what had happened, followed by Mr Barlow and they knelt over Terry, looking very concerned. "What happened" said Mr Barlow sternly and Alison told him that Terry had pulled Annes hair and when Ellysa told him to stop he went across and pulled Elyssa's hair too. Then took a deep breath and blurted out"

So Elyssa beat the crap out of him Mr Barlow, you should of seen her go

"We were both told to go to Miss Whites office, she was the headmistress. I started to cry, it always works, and as Terry stood there a puddle of liquid appeared to run out of the bottom of his trousers, onto the floor. "Not so tough now are you piddly pants" I said loud enough for my class mates to hear, then continued to rub my head and sob.

Miss White stood us both in front of her desk and asked Terry first what happened, He just sniffled. So she asked me what had happened. Wow was I good, "He was trying to spoil our game Miss we were playing Queenie, just us girls Miss" I began still sniffing."Then he pulled Annes plaits really really hard - so I told him to stop or I'd tell of him. I continued  "Then he ran over and stamped on my clean shoes and whispered he was going to kill me, then he grabbed me by the hair and pulled me down towards the ground so I just pushed him away and he started crying like a baby Miss."  I added the final words just for effect  "He's a proper bully Miss"

Terry suddenly found his voice "She's lying Miss, I was just playing with her and Anne and I didnt even pull their hair hard, and Elyssa punched me in the cock Miss "Miss White looked at him disgusted and then looked at me with my tears still flowing.  "A great big boy like you picking on little girls, I'm phoning your parents Terry, theres no room for bullies at Ellington school."Miss White announced as Terry started crying. "Mrs Brown take poor Elyssa to the canteen until she feels better - and give her a glass of milk. Off you go dear.

"Terry never bothered any of us again, and on the odd occasion he threatened boys in my class they would just shout "Elyssa" and he would disappear. The girls thought I was a hero and it made it easy for me to attain popular girl status, but I never used it to pick on the other kids, even though some of the popular girls would say nasty things to the quiet, funny looking ones.

Sandra, who thought she was beautiful, and told everyone so - once called Stanley Adey an"ugly little creep who'd never get a girlfriend"  (Jesus we were only five). He got really upset and started to cry, so for the rest of that week at playtime I would hold his hand in the yard and give him cuddles.

He actually was funny looking, not really ugly but he looked like an old grandad and his clothes were old fashioned. His hair was parted right down the middle and covered in Gel, so he looked a bit like Hitler without the mushy.

He grew up to be a librarian and looks neither. any younger or older now, and he has a nice girlfriend. Plain but shes a bit old fashioned, and tidy too.



Submitted: January 10, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Graham Makem. All rights reserved.

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