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The Boy Named Peter
Sarah smiled at the chubby boy standing in front of her. Tears ran down his dirt stained face and he held up a stubby finger in front of her. “It’s broke!” he cried waving it clumsily, “It’s broke teacher! It’s broke! OH it’s broke, it’s broke, it’s broke!” Sarah gently wiped the tears from his face and held his finger in one place. She felt around telling the boy that she was making sure it was in one piece, although she knew it wasn’t broken, just bruised a little. After feeling and prodding for a while she kissed the boy on the cheek, reassured him that it wasn’t broken and sent him off to play. She laughed as the boy walked off, his awkward gate always made her chuckle.
The boy was only four, but his imagination soared beyond his years and reached higher places every day. He played with all of the other four-year-olds but the children in the higher grades often came and asked him for a new game to play. The boy’s mind seemed to be created to make up games of pretend. Today he thought up a game called “castle in the woods”, in which all of the children in the schoolhouse played together, everyone creating a pretend game within a pretend game. All of the fifth graders were the lords and ladies and the fourth graders were their sons and daughters, the third graders were the jesters and everyone else was either a village person or a servant. The boy however, was the King. No one minded that the boy was the king, the role suited him and he was a fair king.
All of the children laughed and played in such a manner that one would want to watch it forever. It was like a wild romp of a dance that went on without any music. You could hear bits and pieces of the strange conversation from the children: “Do entertain me with song, I’ve become quite bored just sitting here all day.” and “Come along children! We mustn’t be late.” Or “Oh please have a ball, it would be a jolly good time.” and many other things that were said with such great accuracy and ease that one would think that this was not at all make-believe.
The boy, whose name was Peter, watched it all from his throne high above on a hill with great satisfaction. It was all so perfect, just as he had imagined it. He sucked on his hurt finger and plotted a way to return the favor to the one who had smashed it. Peter would never hurt anyone with a hateful intent, and he would never do anything that he found unfair, but he did not approve of the fact that his finger was smashed and he did not find it very fair at all how it had happened. Peter would find a way to repay the pain and the unfairness, but no one would be hurt and no one would be treated unfairly.
He thought back on the whole affair. Everyone had been playing and carrying on just as they were now. The fair and wise king Peter had called his court to a brief meeting in order to be sure that everything was in order and what-not. It was has duty to call meetings, no matter how long or short or what they were about, he had to call some sort of meeting every-once-in-a-while. So, the meeting was called and he made sure that all of the lords and ladies were well and they had a pretend tea then the meeting was truly called to order. All of the lords and ladies told of their comings and goings and of anything new that had happened that day and so on. The meeting went quite well until it was Lady Mary’s turn. She crossed her arms and refused to tell of her comings and goings and anything of great importance. “What I do and do not do is of no business to you!” she had said crossly. King Peter, realizing that Lady Mary must be cross for a reason, began to gently question her in such a manner that made her seem important and not a nuisance.
“Alright then Lady Mary, you don’t have to tell us, but so know that we want you to tell us because we find your comings and goings quite interesting.”
“Liar!” snapped Mary with a great venom. Peter had replied as if she had not said anything at all.
“If you will not tell us, then you have no reason to be here and I order you to leave. But, know this - I only order you to leave so that you will not be bored.”
“Pish-posh! You are mad at me and wish me to leave because the sight of me disgusts you! Well, ‘my dear king’ I’ll have you know that I want to leave! Why? Because I find that you don’t make much of a king, you are more of a silly little boy with silly little ideas in your head!” and with that Mary stomped away.
There was a gasp and then a heavy silence fell over all of the court. Even the jesters who had been giggling behind a near by tree stopped their foolery. King Peter found the whole thing outrageous and uncalled for and he thought that silence was not a sufficient reaction to the whole scene. So, he broke the silence. “Stop her! I order you to stop her!” The booming voice of the four-year-old was enough to get every child there moving in great haste after Mary, who had broken into a run in attempt to escape. She wasn’t fast enough and after just a few minutes, Mary was captured and dragged backward until she was in front of King Peter.
“What do have to say for yourself Mary?”
“I’m Lady Mary!”
“Not any longer, you have behaved in an unsightly way. I now strip you of your title! You are now and will forever be, a peasant.”
“A – a- a-a –a –a peasant! I don’t think so! I quit! I quit the game! HA! You can’t make me a peasant!” Then, Mary laughed, but it wasn’t the melodious laughter of a child that was playing, it was a harsh and malicious laugh. She then removed her makeshift crown and threw it at Peter, hitting his finger. Mary ran off and Peter bit his lip then dismissed the meeting. As soon as he was sure everyone had gone, he ran to Miss Sarah in tears.
None of it was fair, there was no reason for Mary to be mad and no reason for her to have thrown the crown. It was unjust and he would get revenge in the best and most fair way possible.
Peter looked down on his kingdom again and smiled at how everything had gone back to normal as if the whole outburst had never happened. Mary was sulking under a tree in the far corner of the yard and Peter was reminded of how angry he was at her. He began to plan his fair revenge when the bell rang and Miss Sarah called class back to order.