Photo credit: Mandy Smith
This week’s task: to weave a tale about a hero in your life. It can be a real life hero or an imaginary one.
When I went to high school Tiny Small was a kid in my class.
We were all pre pubescent in those days and Tiny was this small round kid, somewhat wider than he was tall.
Once puberty hit Tiny stopped expanding and began sprouting. By the time we reached the end of our school years Tiny was six feet plus.
As he went through puberty and his arms and legs grew his body gave the appearance that it wasn’t sure where his arms and legs should be at any one given moment.
As a gangly kid he suffered the slings and arrows from the other kids. Tiny was a quiet boy and always smiled at his malefactors and went about whatever it was he was doing.
He worked a lot on the library, he studied hard and he needed to, as he was what we called a plodder, he worked hard to get where he wanted.
He was one of those kids in your class that you really didn’t know much about and as he wasn’t a sporty boy he didn’t feature in sporting achievement announcements on school assemblies, but rather was a boy most of us thought was another kid taking up a seat in the classroom.
Tiny lived next door to Jules Diamond. Tiny’s room was opposite to Jules’ room and separated by a wooden paling fence.
They never said anything to each other that I knew of, but were by fate neighbours.
Jules was a fairly nondescript girl who sat in the front of the room, worked by herself and rarely spoke to anyone. What interactions we did have with her were always short and polite and she was not a person to pursue conversation.
As a neighbour Tiny was privy to the goings on over the fence. During our final year in High School he had listened to Jules cry each night in her room. He heard her father yelling at her and occasionally there would be a thump on the floor and then the crying would begin.
One night it became too much for Tiny and he went and knocked on the front door of the Diamond house.
Jules’ father, Uncut, opened the door and Tiny asked if Jules was ok as he had heard her crying.
Her father said she was fine that she had tripped in the bathroom and bumped her head but he was grateful to Tiny for inquiring about his daughter and shut the door.
A half hour later Tiny heard Uncut getting stuck into his daughter again and this time he went over with a purpose.
When Uncut opened the door Tiny grabbed him and thrust him against the wall and threatened him with violence if he heard him raise his voice to Jules again.
Uncut dusted himself off and called the police, which was to be his undoing.
Accusing Tiny of trespass and assault the police questioned Tiny and Tiny poured out his story about Jules and the treatment she received from her father.
A little later the police went to Uncut and discovered a whole bunch of things to charge him with. Mrs Uncut weighed in with her story as well and we then knew that she too suffered under Uncut.
The outcome was that Tiny whom we all thought of as a bit of a soft touch had shown a toughness none of us had given him credit for.
When the news broke about what had happened we all asked the same question: Why had he involved himself?
Tiny’s answer was simple, Jules was one of us.
Tiny who saw what he did as nothing anyone else wouldn’t do, had earned himself the respect and admiration of all.
We all knew there were kids in our school who were suffering all sorts of bad stuff, but in Tiny we had found a hero, one who stood up for one of us.
Tiny was always a quiet boy but one who stood tallest among us and who still only nodded to Jules when they passed in the schoolyard.