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Go Ahead !  Pick Up Your Marbles and Leave ! Go Ahead ! Pick Up Your Marbles and Leave !
by Leah Sellers
2011-06-24 11:17:53
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Under a blazing hot summer sun in Jasper, Texas, six sweaty Children are focused on a serious Game of Marbles.
 
Click, clack, clack.  “I got’cha !” the tall blonde boy jumped up and hollered into the thicket of whispering, swaying pine trees.

 
The tall boy was a Bully and a Cheater.  Whenever one of the other Children would begin to win a Game, the tall Bully Boy would throw twigs, sticks or other debris and obstacles down into the sandy Game Pit to impede his adversary’s Marbles.  Or he would push and shove more sand down into the Pit and exclaim, “Oh, sorry.  That was an accident.”
 
Above all else, the tall Bully Boy had to win !
 
The other children would mumble to themselves or amongst themselves in complaint, but never directly challenged the tall Bully Boy.  He was big and tall and mean.  And had a reputation of pounding all of his opponents into the ground.
 
However, this hot summer’s day the blustering, cheating Bully Boy went too far with a relatively unknown Outsider.  The Visiting Cousin.
 
“Ha, ha !” the bully Boy laughed, as he pointed his beefy finger at the red faced skinny boy.  “You play like a nigger !  A wimpy little, nigger !”
 
The Visiting Cousin (who had been polite and restrained until this point in time) looked straight into the Bully Boy’s piggish (no insult to pigs intended) blue eyes and said,  “You shouldn’t use bad words like that.  No one should ever use that word.  There’s no call for it.”
 
“Nigger, nigger, nigger”, the Bully Boy taunted.  “You’re crazy, girl !  There’s nothin’ wrong with that word  !  Besides that, you can’t tell me what to do !  I’ll do just what I please, any time I please !”
 
“There is, too, something wrong with that word.  It’s a mean spirited insult“, the Visiting Cousin replied.  “You only called Robby that awful word because he was winning.  You always do that.  One way or another you always do that.”
 
Do what ?” the Bully Boy demanded.
 
“Cheat and Bully people to keep them from getting ahead in the Game.  To keep them from winning.  You don’t have to win all of the time you know.  There’s nothing wrong with sharing at winning.”
 
The Visiting Cousin turned toward her older Jasper Cousin, Stephen.  “Tell him, Stephen.  Tell him that’s a bad word and that he shouldn’t use it.”
 
Stephen stared blankly at his Visiting Cousin.  He kept his lips closed in a thin, tightly zippered line.
 
The Visiting Cousin stared blatantly back at her Jasper Cousin, Stephen, and said simply,
“Spic.”
 
“You take that back !”  Stephen shouted.  His birth name had been Estefan.  The Visiting Cousin’s aunt and uncle had adopted Estefan, the street urchin, right out of a mission-orphanage when he was eight years old.
 
When the Visiting Cousin’s aunt, uncle and newly adopted Cousin, Estefan, had crossed the border into Texas, Estefan was called Stephen from that day forward.
 
“You take that back or I’ll tell mama !” Stephen (Estefan) huffed and puffed.
 
“Why ?” challenged the visiting Cousin.  “As insults go, Spic is no different from nigger.  And you seem to think that it’s alright to call someone nigger.  Spic, nigger, cracker…they’re all interchangeable.  They’re all terribly rude insults.  And, you know it, Stephen.  You’ve been raised to know it.”
 
The Visiting Cousin suddenly broke out into song.  “Jesus, loves the little Children.  All the Children of the World.  Red and Yellow, Black and White.  They are precious in his sight.  Jesus, loves the little Children of the World.”
 
She paused and added, “Spic and Chink and Nigger and Cracker.  They are precious in his sight.  Jesus loves the little Children of the World.  And Adults, too !”
 
The Bully Boy hurruphed, “You are C-R-A-Z-Y, girl.  Crazy !”
 
“That’s debatable, but the fact that you’re a Bully, a Cheat and a Bigot is not.”  the Visiting Cousin retorted.
 
“I don’t have to take this.  I’m pickin’ up my Marbles and leavin’ !” the Bully Boy yelled.
 
As the Bully Boy collected his Marbles into his leather pouch he glared belligerently at the Visiting Cousin.  “Y’all are all niggers !”
 
The Visiting Cousin calmly returned the Bully Boy’s stare and began singing, “Jesus, loves the little Children.  All the Children of the World.  Even Cheatin’, Bigoted, Bully Boys.  Red and Yellow, Black and White, They are precious in his sight.  Jesus, loves the little Children of the World…”
 
The Bully Boy spit in the Visiting Cousin’s direction, but missed.
 
“You can stop singin’, now.  He’s gone,”  Stephen declared.  “I’m sorry that I didn’t take up for you.”
 
“That’s alright, Stephen.  I Forgive you,” the Visiting Cousin replied.  “Mama always says We are what we’re Raised to Be.  We are what We Choose to Think and Feel is Right and Important.  Anyway, he’s pretty scarey.”
 
Smiling widely the Visiting Cousin knelt down into the Game Pit.  “Alright, who’s ready to challenge me to a fair-and-square Game of Marbles ?”

    
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