The Bullies by Marykelly
On the top of a hill, near some dark, gloomy trees sits a big, old, wooden house. All day long and all night long the house creaks and shakes. The shutters slam, the windows bang, the front porch groans, the roof keeps trying to slide off. Inside the house lives the Bully family; Papa Bully, Mama Bully and the little Bullys. No one knows how many little Bullys there are because they've never stayed still long enough to be counted. The Bullys chase each other around and around the house. They push and shove. They race up and down the stairs. They tumble and fall. They run from one room to the other, bumping and banging together. The old wooden house shivers and shakes.
Each morning Papa Bully goes to work. He looks in the mirror to fix his frown. When his mouth is turned down and his forehead is wrinkled, he rushes out the door and slams it shut. He jumps in his car and honks the horn all the way to work. He blusters into his office where he chews pencils, tears papers, pounds his desk and yells at everyone until it's time to go home.
Each morning the school bus stops at the bottom of the hill to pick up the little Bullys for school. They run past the mirror to check their frowns. They burst out the front door. They tumble, they fall, they push each other down the hill. They stumble up the bus stairs, scramble up the sides of the bus, and topple in the windows. The bus shivers and shakes all the way to school. When the Bullys get to school they argue and fight, they pull hair, they break crayons, they scurry from one seat to another until it's time to go home.
Each morning Mama Bully checks her frown before she goes to the grocery store. She grabs a shopping cart and charges down the aisles. She bangs into the shelves breaking bottles, denting cans, tearing boxes. With her basket full of groceries she races to the front of the line when it's time to check out and go home.
Each evening when Mama Bully fixes dinner she dumps everything in the middle of the table. All the Bullys come running. They elbow and nudge. They climb over and under each other to grab a handful of food. They growl and snarl and shove their food into hungry mouths. They even eat the chicken bones, the apple cores, the egg shells, the banana peels. Then they glower and frown at one another because everything is gone.
On the top of another hill, near some bright, graceful willow trees sits a big, new, wooden house. Inside the house lives the Tucker family. One evening Mrs. Tucker has a fancy dinner for some of her friends. She calls the town baker and she asks him to send her a big box of cookies for her dinner party. The baker takes a fresh batch of cookies out of his oven and packs them carefully in a big box. He calls his delivery boy and helps him strap the box of cookies to his bicycle. The baker tells the delivery boy to take the cookies to the big wooden house on the hill.
Now, the delivery boy is new in town. He pedals his bicycle up the hill to the big, old wooden house that shivers and shakes. He parks his bicycle, puts the box of cookies in one hand, and knocks on the door with the other hand. Inside the house the running and pushing stop. The snarling and growling stop. All the Bullys look at each other in surprise. No one has ever knocked on the Bully's door before.
Papa Bully opens the front door. Mama Bully and the little Bullys crowd behind him to look out. The delivery boy smiles. Papa Bully smiles back. Mama Bully and the little Bullys smile. The delivery boy gives Papa Bully the box of cookies. Then he hops on his bicycle and rides down the hill.
All the Bullys smell the sweet, rich aroma of the cookies and they keep on smiling. Mama Bully puts the cookies on a dish. The Bullys sit around the table eating the cookies. No one has ever visited the Bullys before. No one has ever done something nice for the Bullys before, From that evening on the Bullys stop pushing and shoving, snarling and growling. The big, old wooden house gives a heavy sigh and stops shaking.
Everyone in town, including Mrs. Tucker, is happy that the delivery boy made such a good mistake. They discover that a little bit of kindness, even if it's accidental, can go a long way to touch hearts and change ways.
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