Chapter 4 of 4 – Fourth-grader JoJo has become the victim of bullying by the sixth-grade gang known as the Bully B’s: Bob, Bo, and Bill. JoJo’s mission is to discover a way to deal with them in a positive manner before they decide to beat him up again.
- Click here to return to Story chapters 1-4 links: JoJo and the three Bully B’s to see the previous chapters in this story.
Chapter 4 - A last showdown in the alley
That weekend was his weekend to spend with his father and grandparents. All three of them loved telling funny jokes and stories. By the end of the weekend, JoJo finally felt brave enough and strong enough to face all three guys at once, if he had to.
On Tuesday, exactly two weeks after he first got beat up, … dun-dun-dunnnnn … the showdown happened. After leaving Harrison’s Drugstore, he heard noises in the alleyway. JoJo took a deep breath. Then he forced himself to walk right into the alleyway and laugh.
JoJo said, “You know, this makes me think about that time that my Dad took me squirrel hunting. You’re the big hunters. I’m the little squirrel. Of course, I know you all are too smart to do what my Dad did. You won’t believe it!” (JoJo began laughing for real as he recalled that day.)
“I was seven at the time. My Dad had been bragging, like he was some big game hunter, so I figured he knew what he was doing. After walking a long time, he decided to squat down by a tree to eat some peanut butter crackers.”
“I think a squirrel smelled that peanut butter, because it came out of his hole and looked down at us. I said, ‘Hey, Dad. There’s a squirrel.’”
“I guess my Dad was in a hurry to show off, because he didn’t bother to stand up. He put down his packet of peanut butter crackers. Still squatting, he picked up his gun and took aim.”
JoJo asked, “You guys ever been hunting?” All three boys nodded. “I figured. Well, I never had and didn’t know what to expect. When my Dad shot off that rifle, that kickback thing happened. And My Dad, … my Dad, … he toppled over backwards … and he landed … in a big, … steaming … cow patty!”
JoJo practically fell over, he was laughing so hard. In spite of themselves, all three tough guys started laughing, too.
Eventually, JoJo turned to Bob and asked, “What kind of animals have you hunted, Bob?”
Bob bragged, “I’ve shot wild turkeys and squirrels, and I even shot a deer once.”
Bo and Bill also told about the various animals they had hunted.
JoJo asked, “Have you all ever had any funny things happen to you while hunting?”
The guys were torn. Bo thought of a great hunting story he could tell but was kind of afraid to. Bill thought of one, too. Both boys looked at Bob, wondering whether he would approve.
Suddenly, Bo couldn’t resist. He began to tell a funny hunting story that he had heard. Then Bill told one. Finally, Bob did too.
Then Bo ordered JoJo to tell about the smooth peanut butter he was eating that day and what he did with it.
The guys talked for a bit longer. Finally Bill asked, “JoJo, I heard that you were telling people you tripped over your bike. Why didn’t you ever tell what we did to you that day?”
JoJo said, “I’m no snitch! Naturally, I’d rather you not do it again. But I’m no snitch!”
Chapter 4A: JoJo wonders if he’ll make a clean get-away
The guys didn’t say anything. Finally, JoJo asked, “Do you mind if I tell Tommy your hunting stories? They were really funny!”
Bob and the others just nodded. JoJo said, “Well, I better get going before my Mom sends out a search party. I’ll see ya later.” They nodded again.
JoJo turned and started walking. He wondered, “Did my stunt work? Will they really let me leave?”
JoJo could sense that all three pairs of eyes were trained on his back. His heart started pounding in nervousness.
Suddenly, Bo called out, “Hey, JoJo!”
JoJo felt his heart stutter as he slowly turned around.
Bo said, “Your Dad was sitting in a bunch of cow poop! That really showed him who’s the boss - the squirrel!” He laughed. “HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!”
JoJo felt his heart-rate return to normal. He then laughed right along with Bo, Bob, and Bill.
Afterward, JoJo waved good-bye and walked SAFELY away.
Chapter 4B: Conclusion
JoJo was absolutely thrilled! Inside his head, he was dancing - not a ‘victim dance’, certainly not a ‘bully dance’, but a ‘hero’s dance of victory’.
JoJo felt really good about these new set of choices he was making: to stand up straight and tall, to look people proudly in the eyes, and to smile, laugh, and joke around no matter how he was feeling inside.
JoJo knew his life was never going to be the same again.
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