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Wendell, the Bully

by Lois June Wickstrom

copyright 2003

Susie
Wendell was a bully. He was big. He was strong. He took what he wanted.

Susie was playing with the toy fire truck, making the ladder go up and down. Wendell pushed Susie, and grabbed the truck.

Susie fell and skinned her knee.

"Youíre going to be in trouble," said Susie. "Iím telling." She went to Miss Clew, their teacher.

Miss Clew let Susie sit in the special soft chair beside her desk. She gave Susie a tissue to wipe her tears. And she let Susie pick her favorite band-aid to put on her knee. Susie picked a red one with stars.

Then Miss Clew asked, "Susie, how did you feel when Wendell took the fire truck away from you?" Susie said, "He took away my fun. And he hurt me." She pointed at her knee.

Then Miss Clew asked, "Would you like to be friends with Wendell? Friends donít take toys from friends."

Susie stared at Miss Clew. "Wendell is big. He is strong. He takes what he wants. You should punish him."

Miss Clew asked, "Have you ever been punished?"

"Yes," said Susie.

"How did you feel when you were punished?" asked Miss. Clew.

"I was angry," said Susie.

"We donít want to make Wendell angry," said Miss Clew. "We want to make him nice."

"Heís big. Heís strong. He takes what he wants," said Susie.

"Weíll see," said Miss Clew. "You may go play now. Iíll talk to Wendell."

"Can I play with the fire truck?" asked Susie.

"Of course," said Miss Clew.

Miss Clew led Wendell to the special soft chair beside her desk.

Susie went to play with the fire truck. She made the ladder go up and down.

Miss Clew asked Wendell, "Do you know how Susie felt when you took the truck?"

Wendell said, "Sheís just a girl. Trucks are for boys."

Miss Clew said, "Susie doesnít feel that way. She said you took away her fun. And you hurt her. Her knee was bleeding."

"Thatís not my fault," said Wendell. "She shouldnít have been playing with the truck."

"I donít care whose fault it is," said Miss Clew. "I want you and Susie to be friends."

"I canít be friends with a girl," said Wendell.

"I think you can," said Miss Clew. "What do you think friends do?"

"Friends give each other stuff. And help each other."

"Can you think of something you can give Susie? Something that would let both of you play with the truck?"

"No," said Wendell. "I donít want to play with Susie. I want to play with the truck."

"What do fire trucks do?" asked Miss Clew.

"They rescue people from burning buildings."

"I donít see any buildings with people to rescue," said Miss Clew. "Could you build one?"

"Susie has the truck. Let her build it."

"You could make a building for Susie today. She could make one for you tomorrow."

"What if I donít?" said Wendell.

"I canít let you take the truck from Susie," said Miss Clew. "Do you have any other ideas?"

Wendell looked at the truck. He looked at Susie. "If I build the building, do you promise I can have the truck tomorrow?"

"Yes," said Miss Clew. "Letís tell Susie right now, together."

And they did. Susie said, "I donít want to play with Wendell." Miss Clew said, "What fun is a fire truck with no people to rescue?"

So, Wendell built the building. And Susie rescued the people.

And the next day, Susie built the building and Wendell rescued the people.

Wendell was big and Wendell was strong. He was no longer a bully.

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wendell with blocks