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I’ve received many questions about Late Bird.
“I know it’s a novel but is this you?”
Yes. It is based on my life. Because it ends in 2016 I couldn’t call it an auto-biography or a memoir. For those of you who’ve read it, you are now part of the Freedom Train and know (with the Big Fella Upstairs willing and the American Voter) why it ends in 2016.
“You talk about protection of children quite a bit. Were you bullied?”
Yes I was and hated it. As I grew stronger, older, and more confident the bullying still continued but the outcomes changed dramatically. Humans appear to fall into three categories. The oppressors, the protectors, and the meek (which it’s been said shall inherit the earth).
I am a protector whether I want to be or not (so much for my inheritance). It is ingrained in me and I know America has millions of Protectors amongst us. It’s why we have the strongest military in the world. Nothing replaces ethics. Nothing.
“These stories seem very personal and you seem very private.”
They are and I am. The purpose of Late Bird is to provide a difference making path. A better way. I am offering to serve the people. I am offering to serve America. To do this I had to be willing to share my life with America, whether it was painful or not.
With that said…welcome to another small portion of Late Bird.
God Bless America.
Excited and revved up for kickball, Falcon ran toward the playground. Rounding the building he noticed a half-dozen larger boys encompassing a kid crouched on the ground. Falcon had witnessed this scene once in first grade, and along with the other children hustled by like a herd of animals leaving the weak behind. He never forgot it as it filled his mind that night with disturbing dreams that disrupted his sleep. From then on he realized he could never again pass someone in trouble. If Falcon didn’t stand up, he wouldn’t be able to lie down at night and for that reason he inherently understood he was different from his peers. Had Falcon been bigger, tough, and more mature, he might’ve joked or talked the problem away. But at the moment, he was a Late Bird and only six.
Taking a deep breath, he approached the gang and muttered, “Leave him alone.”
The half-dozen boys spun around as if controlled by a puppeteer.
One kid snarled, “What’d you say you red-haired little freak?”
The Late Bird blinked and swallowed hard. His courage intact, he lacked the skill and experience to handle such a situation. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the little kid on the ground scramble to his feet and run away.
“I meant, why don’t you leave him alone? What’d he do to you?”
The third-grade mob surrounded Falcon and spewed a flurry of obscenities.
Their threatening voices created a crescendo in his head, his body trembled, and he could barely breathe. Realizing there was no way out desperation took hold. Wait! He spotted a teacher several yards away. No not a teacher…a recess monitor. It was her job to keep this very thing from happening. Falcon lost vision of the monitor as the biggest third grader he’d ever seen stepped forward, towered over him, and blocked the sun.
“Tell you what, freckle face,” He flicked Falcon’s forehead hard.
“Let my kid brother beat you up and we won’t touch you. But if you fight back we’re all gonna kick your butt!”
Late Bird looked at the little brother. They were in the same class. He was an Early Bird.
“Go on.” The huge third grader shoved his brother. “Jump him!”
The two victims stared at each other, neither one knowing what to do.
The little brother slid his hands into his front pockets, and then looked up at Late Bird who was taller.
“Lay down!” screamed the bully. “Let him jump you!”
A mass of kids gathered and started chanting “Fight, fight, fight!” while the bully and his buddies closed ranks.
“Get on the ground!” Two of the bullies grabbed Falcon and slammed him into the dirt.
Late Bird remembered the playground monitor. Where is she? He lifted his head and scanned the blacktop.
She stared straight at him, their eyes locked as she pressed the whistle to her lips.
Fists began to pummel his head and back. The words please help me stuck in his throat. To this day Falcon can’t explain what happened next. It’s a puzzle he’ll never have an answer to because there was no excuse. The recess monitor let her whistle fall, turned, and walked away.
Defeated the six-year-old child had no choice.
Late Bird lay down.
“Late Bird” by Jason Kraus
Restoring a nation one voice at a time