“Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it’s all over.” — Octavia Butler
It had been a quiet afternoon. A group of energetic neighborhood youngsters wanted to enjoy a game of street hockey. Their goalie net had been set up near the opening curve of a dead-end street leading to a cul-de-sac.
The players gathered and after a few minutes of fun the action turned from innocent sports related activity into all out physical abuse directed at the smallest child there.
I was not aware when the melee had started but loud screams outside my patio door and the concerned shouts of many passersby aimed at the ruckus alerted me to the situation.
Outside my window I noticed a group of children holding another smaller child down on the ground while a larger one sat on top of him. The reinforcements also joined the action.
I grabbed my camera and started shooting pictures. I wanted to have physical evidence to offer the police should anything serious happen. I then walked out the back door and yelled at the group.
I asked them if they even lived in the building. They told me that they lived in another part of the complex. Then I not too politely told them to “get the hell off the premises and leave the little kid alone”.
He seemed grateful for my interference as he picked himself up and ran away from the group.. The bigger kid picked him up by the scruff of the neck and let him go.
A few minutes later an irate male parent approached the back door of the building. He seemed to be fuming and I did not open to door to attempt chatting with him.
When he threatened me with physical violence I called the 9-1-1 number . By the time the police arrived at the site ( two hours later) the kids had gone home. All I had left of the event was my five photos which I gave to the police.
They seemed irritated with my actions and advised me that the next time a similar situation occurs call them and keep my head down.
I suppose I could follow their advice but then my thoughts turn to the victim who could be laying on the ground injured and waiting for them to arrive on the scene.
The father was upset because I had yelled at his darlings and told me I did not own the street . Which is correct. But if you look again at the second and third inserts you will notice a tree trunk which is not even close to the site where they had initially chosen to play hockey
I hope that the youngster will sever his connection with this group of bullies and realize that friendship and belonging to a group does not involve receiving bruises or undue physical abuse.