It’s a world gone Lord of the Flies. All I have to do is look outside my kitchen window to see it. In my garden (which has basically been unattended since my accident), the bully plants run amok. There’s been no one to reign them in, cut them back, pull them out by the roots, keep them in their place.
Bullies need stewards. They tend to be very Machiavellian.
The bullies in my backyard.
Mint, oh mint.
Mint is a big ole’ backyard bully. It has silenced my coreopsis, strangled my gaura. It wants to take over all of Northwest Arkansas, I can tell. Yanking a bit out each afternoon only fuels it. Gives it an audience. I fear this is a job for more than one person. When the breeze blows just right, I ignore it. But there comes a point it becomes overpowering, even mixed with white rum and lime juice.
In my yard, it’s a world gone Lord of the Flies.
Remember those volunteer tomatoes that popped up during late spring? Oh my. They have all but taken over my front yard border. The teeny tiny currant tomatoes are the most aggressive of all. It’s like because they are small, they have something to prove. Maybe I should have nipped them before they went crazy out of control. Maybe.
Bullying is ugly in every form.
What makes one? Lots of things. Aggressive behavior. The need to dominate. Hey, look at me! I’m the smartest, strongest…
Lack of empathy toward all the other flowers and plants.
Tomatoes are about to strangle my Little Free Library!
Books? Who needs books? Tomatoes don’t read.
The bully on the playground.
In my novel, The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee, the school bully terrorizes Gracie on the bus, in the classroom, on the playground. I remember the school bully before bullying had a name. The school bully traumatized me once or ten times. That’s why I included a bully in my story. Gracie handled things in her own way. Things were different in the 1970s.
At some point we learn from our mistakes. Or we should.
In the setting for Accidental Salvation, cyberbullying wasn’t a thing yet. But other characteristics of school bullying are present in the book. The bully who torments Gracie is female. She makes fun of people. She’s aggressive physically, verbally, and emotionally. Peer pressure pushes students to go along with her. She gets angry when she doesn’t get her way. There may be pouting.
What if the bully takes control?
So here’s a question.
What if the school bully becomes principal of the school? You can bet all rules will go by the wayside. The bully’s so called friends would be hall monitors. Recess? The whole day would be recess. Playground rules would change.
No one would cut the grass or tend to the flower beds. Books would be banned or burned in a pile on the parking lot. The cafeteria would only serve cotton candy.
Or maybe school would be out forever and ever.
It would be very Lord of the Flies. Like the view outside my window right now.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Farm. Food. Garden. Life.
School’s Out, Alice Cooper