I Growled A Kid

a -brothers (3)My little brother Billy was a  character; everybody loved him, and he was one of the happiest kids you could  be around. I was often witness to his devious side, though; especially the way he would torment our youngest brother, Ken. You can read about that in my poem, He’s Aggravatin! Some humorous stories about Billy are, Tramp… The Rest of The Story, and Ken: I Had to Go!, and Making Billy Smile.

Whenever Billy would get into trouble, he could often grin his way out of it; that cute little grin on his freckled face, combined with his innocent blue eyes, would melt the hardest of hearts. He had it down to an art, the boy did. But one day, he stepped into a pile of trouble his smiling face couldn’t get him out of.

I was a sophomore, so he would have been in the seventh grade, and I got out of school earlier than he did. If there wasn’t practice for one of the many sports I played in, I always got home first. One afternoon, I walked in the front door to find Billy sitting on the couch. He had his arms folded across his chest, and was glaring at something across the room. He gave me a quick glance then went back to his glaring.

“What are you doing home so early?” I asked him.

He didn’t look at me as he answered in a tone that said he’d been unduly punished. “I got suspended,” he said.

My mind did a somersault. Surely, I’d heard him wrong. Sweet Billy of the golden smile; suspended from school? I stared at his profile, waiting for the grin; he had to be joking. When no grin seemed to be forthcoming, I asked, “What did you do?” I expected the usual answer—“nothing”—but was surprised, not to mention confused, by his answer.

“I growled a kid,” he said. He scowled at the wall he’d been staring at.

I’d never heard of this thing called, growling a kid. “What does that mean?” I asked him. “Growling a kid.”

He looked at me with one eyebrow raised; he still wasn’t smiling, but there was a hint of amusement in his eyes; probably because he knew about something his big brother didn’t know about.

Still sullen, he lowered the raised eyebrow, and said, “You put a kid’s head in the toilet then you flush it.”

I smiled; not just because it instantly made sense to me why they would call this sordid activity growling—I could imagine the sound it must make in the growlee’s ears when the water in the toilet was swirling, gurgling and flushing—but I was also smiling at the thought of Billy holding the other kids head down, grinning, and hitting the lever.

I laughed and shook my head. “That’s pretty funny,” I said.

He couldn’t stop the grin from spreading on his face. “Yeh,” he said. “It was pretty funny.”

A horrific thought occurred to me. “Was there anything… you know… in it?” I asked.

He smiled real big at the thought of that then said, “No, just water.”

I said, “Still pretty gross, though.”

He shrugged his shoulders then went back to scowling at the wall.

I growled a kid… how funny is that?

2 Comments »

  1. Sherry Mashburn said

    never heard that expression, but apt

  2. Reblogged this on Marbles In My Pocket ~ The Official Blog of Charles L. Mashburn ~ Poems, Short Stories, and random thoughts from the author of "Be Still… and know that I am God" and commented:

    If ever there was just a boy, it was Billy Ray Mashburn. This little tale is priceless and true, and will be in the sequel to “Just A Boy”. (By the way, we are getting ever closer to publishing “Just A Boy”!

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