"Leave him alone" I yelled as I walked out of the orphanage1 gate and saw several of the Spring Park School bullies2 pushing the deaf kid around. I did not know the boy at all but I knew that we were about the same age, because of his size. He lived in the old white house across the street from the orphanage where I lived. I had seen him on his front porch several times doing absolutely nothing, except just sitting there making funny like hand movements.
In the summer time we didn't get much to eat for Sunday supper, except watermelon and then we had to eat it outside behind the dining room so we would not make a mess on the tables inside. About the only time that I would see him was through the high chain-link fence that surrounded the orphanage when we ate our watermelon outside.
The deaf kid started making all kind of hand signals, real fast like. "You are a stupid idiot" said the bigger of the two bullies as he pushed the boy down on the ground. The other bully3 ran around behind the boy and kicked him as hard as he could in the back. The deaf boy's body started shaking all over and he curled up in a ball trying to shield and hide his face. He looked like he was trying to cry, or something but he just couldn't make any sounds, I don't think.
I ran as fast as I could back through the orphanage gate and into the thick azalea bushes. I uncovered my home-made bow which I had constructed out of bamboo and string. I grabbed four arrows that were also made of bamboo and they had coca cola tops bent4 around the ends to make real sharp tips. Then I ran back out the gate with an arrow cocked in the bow and I just stood there quiet like, breathing real hard just daring either one of them to kick or touch the boy again.
"You're a dumb freak just like him you big eared creep" said one of the boys as he grabbed his friend and backed off far enough so that the arrow would not hit them. "If you're so brave kick him again now" I said, shaking like a leaf. The bigger of the two bullies ran up and kicked the deaf boy in the middle of his back as hard as he could and then he ran out of arrow range again.