|physical bullying - but bullying can also be calling names|
"You were there. That's enough." I tells him.
"I didn't say nothin' about that boy," Ben looks at me with his forehead bunched up, "I don't understand."
"You were there. Now you figure what that means, and when you know what I'm tellin' you here, you can come back out of that room. Until then, you just sit in there and think about it awhile."
Ben lives down the street, and I been watchin' today when he gets off the bus and walks past the house, but this was the first day I see my grandson, Larry, with those children. They were standin' there in a bunch, makin' fun of that little boy, and Granny knows how that feels.
Granny remembers years ago that name the children called her in school, all those years ago. "Long John Sliver" they called me then, cause I was skinny and my Mama cut my hair straight across, and I was gettin' tall. Names like that they stick a bit. Larry needs to know what all that means to children and us grownups need to also, cause it feels bad for a long, long time when someone calls you names.
It's dinnertime. I know that boy he's hungry now and worried bout his shame and I wonder if he knows just what he's done today and how cause everybody does name-calling, doesn't ever make it really right whether that's with children in Cloutierville or politics in elections. Name-calling means people don't talk with each other and won't do what they should.
"Granny, loves you child," I tells him, as he peers across the pillow he's got holdin' on his chin when I go back into his room. "You know now what you did that Granny says is bad, you standin' there and all?"
"I didn't say nothin' that's what you mean. I didn't tell those kids to stop, and I should've done that to help Larry, I think," Ben says, and he looks back up at me with that little face still worried bout makin' his Granny mad, but now he's learned what grownups should too that not speakin' up when something's wrong is just as bad as doin' that somethin' bad yourself.