This was one of the first stories I wrote when I started writing again a couple years ago.
Peggy was scared as she entered her first grade classroom. This was a new school for her, and she didn’t know anybody.
Mrs. Meyer, the teacher, asked everybody to introduce themselves. When it came Peggy’s turn, she croaked a little when she said “Peggy,” in a very quiet voice.
Some of the kids in the back of the room laughed. “It’s piggy. That’s what she said. She’s Piggy.”
Mrs. Meyer didn’t say anything to them; she was looking at her list.
Peggy ran out at recess, hoping to get far away from the other kids. But they stopped her. A big circle came around her. “It’s Piggy; It’s Piggy,” a bunch said. “Uh oh, uh oh, looks like Piggy wants to cry.”
When Peggy got home that night, she was crying again. “Mama, mama, do I have to go to this school? Can’t I go back to the old school?”
Mama sat down on the rocking chair and pulled Peggy on her lap and squeezed her tight.
“Tell me what happened,” Mama said to Peggy.
Peggy explained about the mean kids, and how they had bothered her.
“I’m sorry, sweetie. I wish that hadn’t happened to you. I love you so much.” Mama held her very close until Peggy stopped crying.
“Can’t we go back to the old school?” Peggy asked.
“No, we can’t honey. We’ll try to make this school work out better for you.”
Mama rocked quietly for a while. “You know Peggy, sometimes kids are mean, because they think that will make them look cool to the bigger, cool kids. Let’s pray for them, so they won’t bother you again.”
Mama prayed and Peggy felt better. “Let’s pray that God will show you new friends,” Mama said.
Peggy thought about Mama praying later when she was in bed. She didn’t want to pray for the mean kids, but she knew that when Mama did, that was something that made God happy.
The next day after school, Peggy came running into the house. “Mama, Mamma, guess what happened.”
“Yes, what?” Mama smiled, pulling Peggy onto her lap.
“The mean kids didn’t bother me today. They bothered a new girl. She has really thick glasses, and kinda a lisp. At recess, they made a circle around her like they did to me yesterday. They said, ‘Eli-tha-beff has big eyes. Let’s look at her glasses.’”
“Well,” Peggy went on excitedly, “Before they took her glasses, I ran in the middle of them. I yelled ‘You guys better leave E-lizabeth’ – I made sure I was careful with her name. ‘You leave her alone, or I’m going to get the principal.’ Mama, they looked scared of me! Like they thought I could really get them in trouble. They left Elizabeth and me alone!”
“I am very proud of you,” Mama said, squeezing Peggy.
Peggy went on. “I hugged Elizabeth and asked if she wanted to be my friend. She cried and said she’d never had a friend before. I was so worried I wouldn’t have friends, and here it is, just second day of school, and I have one already.”
Peggy squirmed around on Mama’s lap. ”And you know what else?”
“What, sweetie?” Mama asked.
“There’s another boy who I think the mean kids are going to bother too. He uses a wheelchair, you know, like Aunt Florence does. I’ve seen some of the mean kids looking at him. I’m going to ask if he wants to be friends with Elizabeth and me. Then we’ll have two to protect him.”
“Good idea, sweetie,” Mama said, and she had tears on her cheeks too.
That night after Peggy went to bed, she smiled into her pillow.
“Jesus, I know you want me to pray for those mean kids, and I’ll try to. But first I want to thank You for giving me one friend, and maybe another one.”