“The Bully Blog”
by Mya Gaines
My name is Mya Gaines, and I have a thing about bullies.
A bully can make you wish there was a school for bravery. Take Wylie Van Puck, for instance. Last week, I heard some kids laughing on the beach at Mountain Lake where I live. They stood around Wylie, who was drawing a picture in the sand with a stick. I walked up and saw it was the outline of a girl. Then, Wylie bent down and scooped two round holes out of the sand girl’s chest.
“This is Mya,” he said. “She’s not only flat-chested, she’s concave.”
To this day, I can’t hear the word “concave” without having a massive cringe. That’s what bullies do to you.
Sometimes, a bully can be someone or something you never imagined.
My friend Will would say that a bully is the bird poop messing up his stepdad’s red
Corvette and he has to clean it off. My mother swears it’s the weeds choking her
After a history lesson on World War Two, I realized that bullies can be one country invading another—or a corporation invading your backyard.
And that brings me to this blog because enough is soooo enough.
A few months ago, a company called Energy Unlimited broke a promise to one of my BFF’s, Hope Springer. Her parents own a farm in Pennsylvania. Their pond was full of koi fish and turtles and frogs. It also had a duck named Webster and a Golden Retriever, Fetch, who became best friends. They bonded after Fetch chased off a fox pouncing on Webster. Fetch and Webster swam in the pond and did laps every day until the trouble started.
Hope’s parents can’t pay their bills, so they loaned some land to Energy Unlimited. A company land man—that’s a salesman—showed up at the Springers’ door, promising to help them keep the farm. All they had to do was sign some papers.
That’s how I learned about fracking.
Fracking is like burping the land to bring up gas. Not just patting it on the back like my mom did with my little brother, but shoving a drill deep into its belly and forcing sand, water, and chemicals down to break up the shale, which can hold a zillion majorly awesome fossils.
Can you imagine dinosaur bones and perfectly formed prehistoric seashells and plants and insects smashed to smithereens?
Well, the Springers’ farm was fracked up, down, and sideways. I saw the drill towers and waste pits. I saw Fetch and Webster get sick after swimming in the pond, which smelled like my grandma’s old stove that leaked gas. I even saw the Springers’ kitchen faucet catch fire.
The week the fracking stopped, the smells got even worse. Then Webster went to duck heaven. That’s when I decided to train to and become a heroine. As I said, bullies are everywhere and enough is enough.
I live across the border from the Springers in Tall Pines, New York, next to Mountain Lake, the most awesome place in the whole world. It’s where I grew up to be my twelve-year-old self. I know almost every tree in the forest by the lake, where I draw pictures of the animals curled up in the shadows. I’m worried Mountain Lake might get fracked, too.
So I’m thinking about starting a club and maybe calling it The Rainbow Brigade, because I believe that rainbows have magical powers and so do colors. Like, red means you’re passionate about something and you want to protect it the way I want to protect Mountain Lake.
If you’re tired of bullies or even if you’ve bullied someone you can join and become a hero or heroine. Do you have a favorite color? Or a mission? Would you like the club to be named something else if you joined it?
Do you want to learn how to be brave even if you’re scared? I do. So I’m reading all the books I can about Anne Frank and Joan of Arc and Eleanor of Aquitane and Rosa Parks, who might be on a postage stamp one day. Rosa Parks stood up to bullies on a bus and the bus companies in the South that tried to stop her from taking a front seat because she was black.
We can talk about the things you like best about your world and the things that make you majorly mad. It would also be cool to think of other forms that bullies can take and how they get in your way and stop you from dreaming.
We can help each other.
Kid Power! How awesome is that?
I’ll keep you posted on my mission.