A Poor Example
“Why are you standing outside my office, boy?” asked the stern principal.
“He put me here,” responded Mitchum, with his bottom lip trying to touch his chin.
“He who?” asked the principal.
“Ivor, the prefect, Sir” replied Mitchum.
“Why did he bring you to me?” asked the principal.
“I don’t know, Sir. I feel he does not like me because he is always picking on me.”
“Look, stop wasting my time and tell me what you were doing that you know was not right.”
The principal was becoming angrier by the moment. He was getting so angry that Mitchum was afraid to say another word so he kept his mouth shut tightly.
“Well, Ivor,” said the principal, “you tell me why you brought him to me. ‘Cause little Mitchum here has lost his tongue. He is not at all like the Mitchum of whom teachers say he just can’t shut his mouth. Oh no, he is not that Mitchum, unless he has gone dumb.”
“Sir, you say every morning that it is against the school rules to climb trees on the school property. I saw him up in the tamarind tree and told him to get down. And Sir, he told me that I cannot tell him what to do. I asked him if he knows that I am a prefect and even showed him my badge. Sir and you know what he told me? He told me that he doesn’t care about me, the prefect or the badge. So I brought him here to you.”
“Well, well, well,” exclaimed Mr. Franklin, “this boy has to be a madman. He does whatever he likes and just don’t care. Well Mitchum, old boy, you are going to have a little chat with my strap. Hard ears you won’t hear, well own way you will feel.”
Mr. Franklin raised his strap to bring it down on Mitchum. At that very moment, Mitchum lost his dumbness and shouted,“ Sir he was in the tree, too.”
“What are you saying, boy? Who was in the tree too?”
“He, Sir,” he said pointing to Ivor.
“Boy I know that you are crazy but you are crazier than I thought. You dare to stand in front of me and tell a big lie on this prefect. And what is more, you expect me to believe it.”
“But Sir he was in the tree with me and just because I won’t give him one of my special tamarinds, he told me to get down. Sir you could even ask Jeffrey because he was up in the tree with us too.”
“No, I won’t have to ask Jeffrey. I can do better than that. I will ask Ivor, himself. Ivor, were you up in the tree too?”
Ivor hung his head in shame and muttered, “Yes Sir.”
“I do not believe this,” said the principal.
Stewart Russell © 1999