Children are attacked by brute bullies every day and defend themselves different ways.
Children's book for ages 4-12
Erika M Szabo
When Bianca, Daniel, and Peanut, the St. Bernard, are confronted by Mark and his cronies, the BFFs stand up to him with the help of Peanut.
“I’m glad school is over,” Bianca said to Daniel as they walked on the sidewalk toward the river with towels on their shoulders. Peanut, as usual, walked with them staying close to Bianca.
“Me too,” Daniel said to his best friend with a sigh. “We don’t have to study or do homework for the entire summer, and I don’t have to deal with Mark. He said he will spend the summer vacation at his grandma’s house. Luckily it is far away in another town.”
“It makes me so angry that he’s getting away with hurting other kids, and he’s been picking on you for the past few weeks.”
“My ears were ringing for days because I hit my head on the desk,” Daniel said. “And the teacher didn’t believe me when I told him that Mark pushed me, so I didn’t tell my parents. It’s best to stay out of Mark’s way. He is very strong.”
“I don’t understand why those boys hang out with that big bully,” Bianca growled under her breath, feeling frustrated. “He gets them in trouble all the time.”
“Mark told Peter that because he is strong and wild as a wolf and nobody can mess with him and his boys, he named his group the Wolf Pack. But I think he got the name from a movie. I guess the boys feel safe with Mark because he’s strong,” Daniel sighed.
“Oh, look! The BFFs are going for a swim with their stupid mutt!” Mark yelled.
Bianca looked back and saw Mark standing by the fence, surrounded by three smaller boys.
“The loooovebirds,” chuckled Scott, one of Mark’s skinny friends, wearing a purple shirt. He looked at the husky boy with admiration.
“They think they’re better than us just because Danny boy won the spelling bee and her girlfriend came up with that stupid science project,” Mark growled.
“Yeah,” Aiden, the boy in a green shirt, agreed. “They’re not better than us.”
“Stupid geeks,” Scott said as he looked at Mark for approval.
Mark sneered and raised his arm. Two of his cronies happily gave him a high five one by one, except one. Peter pushed his glasses up on his nose nervously and shifted his weight from one foot to the other.
“Hey!” Hearing Mark’s angry shout, Bianca and Daniel turned back and looked at the group of boys.
“Hey,” Mark yelled again. “What are you two whispering about?”
“It’s none of your business!” Bianca said angrily.
“Yeah?” Mark yelled. “I’m going to tell my dad that you’re walking your mutt without a leash. He’s a policeman, you know.”
Bianca’s blood boiled with anger, and she lashed out at Mark. “Yes, we know that, Mark. You told us many times, but your dad knows that Peanut wouldn’t hurt anyone.”
“He’s just a big, dumb dog that should be locked up. Who gave him that stupid name, anyway?” Mark cackled.
“Leave us alone, Mark,” Daniel shouted angrily.
“Or what?” Mark pointed his round chin forward but cowered back when he heard Peanut’s bark that sounded like thunder. The huge dog took a step toward him.
“Peanut! No!” Bianca yelled.
The giant dog stopped and looked back at Bianca with a twinkle in his eyes, and then he looked at Mark again. A low, threatening rumble escaped the dog’s throat as he opened his mouth showing his sharp teeth.
Mark’s usual arrogant expression changed. He looked frightened and flattened his body against the fence. The three boys slowly inched their way farther away from Mark who held onto the fence and didn’t move.
When Peanut saw how scared the boy was, he held his head high with a satisfied look on his face and turned his back on Mark. He kicked a few times with his hind legs toward Mark, showering him with dust and small gravel.
Bianca giggled and whispered to Daniel, “I swear Peanut can tell how he feels without words a lot better than most people with words.”
Daniel looked at her questioningly when he heard Mark’s shaky voice.
“Why…?” Mark cleared his throat. “Why did your mutt do that?”
“That’s his way of telling you that he doesn’t like you,” Bianca laughed, “That’s what he does with poop. He turns his back on it, kicks dirt over it and then walks away.”
“What?” Mark said. “So now you’re saying I’m poop?”
“No, I didn’t say that,” Bianca answered calmly while watching Mark’s cronies, who were trying to hold back the laughter that was about to erupt from their chests. “I said that’s what Peanut does with poop,” Bianca said coldly.
It dawned on Daniel what Bianca meant by Peanut telling how he feels, and he laughed out loud.
Mark’s face turned red, and he shot an angry look at his cronies. The smile froze on their faces, and they averted his gaze.
Mark yelled at them, “They’re stupid and I hate that mutt! Let’s go, guys, they’re not worth it!”
“But she said you were poop,” Scott said trying hard to keep a straight face and not to laugh out loud.
“I don’t care what she said,” Mark grumbled. “She’s just a stupid girl.”
Scott shook his head angrily, looked away and mumbled under his breath, “She’s very smart and she’s nice, too.”
“Who cares?” Mark growled.
A disgusted look mixed with fear spread on Aiden’s face as he glanced at Mark and then shot a small, apologetic smile at Daniel and Bianca.
Peter said with a shaky little voice, “I don’t want to.” And then he whispered under his breath, “You’re not the boss of me…Poops.”
“What did you say? I couldn’t hear you!” Mark snarled and took a step toward Peter.
“Nothing, I said I have to go home, now,” Peter mumbled, retreating. He looked frightened and relieved that Mark didn’t hear what he said. “My mom will kill me ‘cause I didn’t take the garbage out,” Peter said in a hurry.
Peter turned and started running down the sidewalk toward his house. Mark shrugged his shoulders and waved to the other two boys to follow him.
Can the BFFs save the drowning kittens?
Find out what happens, read the story in the book...
The next day when the BFF Gang reached the river, they saw their friends playing in the water with a beach ball. Peter, the usually shy boy, looking a lot more confident than the day before, yelled, “Come on in, the water is great!”
Bianca and Daniel were surprised to see Peter with the group because the other kids never wanted to play with Peter while he was friends with Mark and his cronies.
“Peter told us what your dog did to Mark yesterday,” one of the boys laughed. “Poops got what he deserved, right Peter?”
Bianca and Daniel looked at each other and put their towels on the sand. Daniel cast a disapproving look at Peter as he was wading through the water toward him. Peter’s jeering expression quickly changed.
“That was low, Peter,” Daniel said when he reached him. “Mark is a bully, but you don’t have to go down to his level and start calling him names.”
Peter stood in the water with a guilty look on his face and said, “You’re right. I’m a jerk and I’m no better than Mark. But the way Bianca’s dog kicked dirt on him was just too funny, I couldn’t help myself, I had to tell someone.”
Daniel laughed, “Yes, it was funny. Although Peanut doesn’t speak human, he can tell what’s on his mind.”
The group of kids stood in the shallow water looking just as guilty as Peter. Daniel punched Peter’s shoulder playfully and said, “No name calling. Okay? Mark is who he is, and he will be a bully until he wants to change.”
“Sure thing,” Peter said. “I’m not going to hang out with that bully anymore, no matter what he says or does. I’m scared of him, but I can run away if he tries to hurt me.”
“Yes, you can run a lot faster than Mark,” Daniel laughed. “You’re the fastest runner in school. Let’s play,” Daniel said as he picked up the ball and threw it at Peter spraying him with water.
Peanut growled softly, staring at the bushes near the water. Bianca saw Mark and his two cronies standing by the bush.
Mark looked angry as he was staring at the kids who were playing in the water. Scott and Aiden stood next to him with gloomy expression on their faces. Bianca thought they want to play with us, I know it. I wish they would stand up to Mark. Those two boys don’t seem to be mean, they’re just too afraid of that big bully. Bianca sighed and patted Peanut’s head sadly.
Peanut growled, still staring at Mark and the two boys. Mark shrugged his shoulders angrily and started walking away. The two boys followed him with sad expressions on their faces.
Bianca joined the kids in the water and the group played until they became as wrinkled as prunes and their stomachs growled with hunger.
Children's book for ages 4-12 available in eBook, print, and audio book