The Neighborhood Bullies

I was on my knees crying, candy scattered all around me while the Crewboys laughed. Every time I tried to get up they pushed me to the ground again. I was surrounded. Four boys and a girl had me pinned down. I didn’t stand a chance against them.

Across the street my cousin Abby stood frozen, watching in horror. Afraid to come and help lest they get her too, afraid to run home and leave me alone with them, Abby stood staring openmouthed in terror.

The Crewboys had been terrorizing us for months. We had to pass thru their territory to get to the candy store. If we were unlucky enough to be spotted the chase began, us running as fast as our eight year old legs could carry us, the Crewboys hot on our tails.

There were five of them, four brothers and a sister. The boys ranged from nine to thirteen years old. They had crew cuts, a rare sight when most boys had shaggy hair in honor of the Beatles. Hence the nickname “Crewboys”. The girl, Sarah, was fifteen. She was their leader.

Two little kids walking home with bags full of candy, Abby and I were easy targets for the Crewboy Gang and many a day had us gasping for air by the time we reached the safety of our block. The candy store was a lure we couldn’t resist. A quarter would fill a small bag with penny candy from the colorful candy jars at Pinky’s.

We had always managed to get home before the Crewboys caught us but our luck ran out on this ill-fated day. Abby was faster than I and in the lead as the Crewboys chased us. They caught me and pushed me to the ground. My bag of candy flew open and all the candy scattered in the street. I had hoped they just wanted the candy and would grab it and run but they had no interest in the candy. They wanted to bully me. That’s how they got their kicks.

Abby kept running until she was far enough away to escape them and then stopped to watch helplessly as they tormented me. The Crewboys towered over me with big feet ready for kicking. It wasn’t looking good.

Then out of nowhere came a tall, raven haired man with a long, lean face and piercing black eyes. He came charging in waving his arms and hollering like a madman and the Crewboys took off like the devil incarnate was after them. But he was no devil, he was my guardian angel straight from heaven come to save me from these neighborhood bullies. My hero helped me up and asked if I were okay and walked us safely home.

More than forty years later I still remember this man. I never knew his name or saw him again or even had a chance to thank him. But I remember him and in sharing our story, send him many thank you’s. His good deed never went forgotten.

What happened to the Crewboys? Abby’s big brother took care of them after that incident and they never bothered us again.

I am the narrator for the audiobook version of Broken Butterfly, and I’ll tell you, this is one of the most heart-wrenching stories I’ve read. I actually had to take breaks from narrating to cry, this story was so powerful. It’s an incredibly inspirational story, because it so eloquently demonstrates the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity. Stephanie Finell was brain damaged from the bite of a mosquito. If you know anyone who lives with a brain-damaged person, or who is struggling to live with severe injuries or illnesses in a child, or anyone that just wants to read how blessings can surprise you in the most unexpected ways — Get This Book.

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