Best Free Online Short Stories; Online Reading; Story About Bullying Pug

Let's Bully Pug!

Welcome to one of my best free online short stories! This online reading is on the issue of bullying and has been written from a real life experience. Back in the 1950s, bullying still existed. It is not surprising to see that despite the efforts being made in today's schools, the suffering continues.


This short story is an account from a boy back then... I have named him Pug, but I know him as Dad. He was the runt of the litter, the fat guy who was easy to make fun out of. Being a joker, himself, it was a coping mechanism to survive the constraints of school life and relationships.


Today, Pug, would have been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, but in those days, there wasn't such a condition. This story reminds me of a film back then called Blackboard Jungle. It was contraversial for those days, but I have included a media snippet for you to view. I hope to give you a feel of education back then. Dedicated to Dad... Pug!


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Who Is Pug?

Tommy ‘Pug’ Collins was short, fat and with a squashed-up face, giving him the look of a rather unprepossing pig. This was why both his classmates and the teachers at Elmswood Secondary School called him ‘Pug’, the kids to his face and the teachers to each other in the common room.

Richard West, Pug’s neighbour at the twin desk in form 3b, sprawled across the seat taking two-thirds of the space, leaving half of Pug’s bottom spilling over the side, like a lop-sided sack of potatoes.  Richard (Dick to his friends, but not to Pug) was everything that Pug was not.  He was tall, fair and with twinkling blue eyes that held the girls in 3b mesmerised.  He was good at games, good at lessons and even better at making Pug’s life a misery.

Miss Jenner, who normally took the third year girls P.E. today was standing in and taking 3b for the afternoon double period English lesson. She was as usual dressed in her short P.E. skirt and tight tank top. Her large well-rounded breasts, clearly unhampered by any further restraint, seemed to point directly at Pug; the nipples, like beckoning eyes, taunted his developing manhood.

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“Collins, stand up and read from the beginning of chapter three.”  Miss Jenners’ voice cut into Pug’s reverie like a hot knife through pig fat.  For a ghastly moment he thought that she had been reading the lurid images that had been going through his mind – in fact, similar thoughts had been going through her mind, but in connection with Pug’s classmate! 

Pug picked up the book and proceeded to stumble through the first few sentences, redness seeping up his neck and spreading down his face, giving him the appearance of a pig with sunburn. “All right, all right that’s enough,” said Miss Jenner, “Peggy, from the third paragraph, carry on.” Pug sat down, very conscious of the ripple of giggles and titters from the girls around the room. As he sat, so his ample rear end met the drawing pin that lay in wait on his side of the seat.

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Bullying Pug Slyly

That night as Pug lay in bed, he re-lived the day, a day like many others, a day to get through, another day he’d survived. Oh he wasn’t bullied in the accepted sense, he wasn’t way laid on the way to school. He wasn’t openly beaten. It was the sly jibe, the everlasting Mickey-taking, being the constant butt of jokes, and playing the role of clown, which he was forced to take, for if he did not, he would appear to be nothing more than a snivelling misery, wallowing in self-pity.

The next day was Friday, last day of the week, and two days of escape from school misery to look forward to.

The morning had passed well enough. At least he had got through it without being made to look a fool. He had spent the lunch without being noticed by anybody. The lanky metalwork teacher was on duty that lunchtime, and he swung the brass bell laconically, signalling to end of the break. The children formed themselves into long lines, four blocks of five lines, each block a year, each line a class. Pug reluctantly tagged onto the end of his allotted line.

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He shuffled along with the rest as 3b was called, with only one other pupil behind him. It was Skinner. Skinner was one of those gawky boys, a good half-a-head taller than any other lad in the class. He was not over endowed with brain, and certainly not with charm, and possibly because of this he had a certain feeling of inadequacy, which he compensated for by picking on a lad who he felt, could not pick back.

The first niggle was when Pug’s right shoe separated from his foot, held back by Skinner’s toe.  “Pick up your trotters, pig-Pug” taunted Skinner.

“Get back into line laddie,” shouted the teacher, as Pug retrieved the shoe.

Then poke, poke into his back.  “You’re soooo fat, you’re making my fingers bounce,” sneered Skinner.  Pug said nothing, but anger was rising in him like vomit bubbling up.  They passed into the building, and lined up outside the metalwork room, awaiting the teacher to finish shepherding the last couple of lines out of the playground.

Skinner started again. Pinching this time, his dirty broken fingernails squeezing Pug’s podgy flesh into red weals. Pug turned around, his face contorted into an uncharacteristic snarl. “Leave me alone, Skinner or I’ll…” “You’ll what?” sneered his tormentor. “You can’t do anything. You’re too fat.” He pushed a long finger into Pug’s stomach, sending him back a couple of paces. Pug started forward, his anger was now naked for all to see, but his advance was cut short by the sight of a long metal ruler held by the teacher. “I told you to stay in line, laddie. Are your ears so full of fat that you can’t hear me? Go and stand by my desk.”

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The class filed into the metalwork room, each boy standing by one of the greasy workbenches, except Pug, who stood by the large desk at the front of the room.  ‘Thank God the girls are at their needlework class and don’t have to see me,’ the thought.  “Right, laddie, hold out your hand” Pug closed his eyes. 

Every other teacher could remember most of the kids’ names, except this one, who called all the boys ‘laddie’.  The tiny smile that had started to form at the thought vanished as metal ruler and outstretched hand met.  Pug walked to his bench, trying to smile as tears pricked the back of his eyes.  His hand felt as if a steamroller had run over it.  Sniffing, he stuffed the offending appendage in his pocket, trying to disown the mind-exploding pain.

The afternoon wore on. Slowly the pain subsided, and Pug was able to think. He was useless at metalwork anyway, and with his hand now red and swollen, any attempt at trying to manipulate metal was out of the question, so he pretended to help the other pupils. The teacher’s eyes occasionally flicked towards him, but he was as aware as Pug himself, that trying to instil knowledge of how metal objects were made was completely hopeless.

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I'll Be There Fatso!

Towards the end of the period, Pug made his way to where Skinner was industriously pretending to work and hissed, “I’ll meet you at quarter past four on the green outside the school.” Skinner turned to Pug and said with a leer, “I’ll be there, fatso,” but behind his eyes Pug saw just a tiny hint of fear.

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School was over for the week. Kids streamed out of the gate laughing and running, each one hurrying away to start the weekend. Football tomorrow, Watford’s playing at home, something to look forward to. Bikes flew past in an avalanche of spinning wheels, flying jackets and whirring pedals, but Pug stood still, in the middle of the green, his jacket, satchel, tie and pullover in a neat pile by his feet.

Come on Skinner, I know I’m going to be beaten to a pulp, but I don’t care, he thought. He watched the gate, the early summer sun spreading patterns on the road as it shone through the leaves of the conker trees. He watched the stream of children turn to a trickle, and then he saw his adversary walk through the gate. He walked more slowly than Pug imagined he would. He did not seem tall, and he did not seem so sure of himself.

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Pug just stood and waited. Skinner came up to him. He started to speak, but pug wasn’t listening. It wasn’t sporting, it wasn’t cricket and it wasn’t what Tom Brown would have done, but the name calling, the taunting, the humiliations of the past couple of years came welling up inside. All of the shame, all of the hate that Pug had, not only for his tormenter but also for himself, were unleashed in one tremendous punch.

It was a classic right hand. All of Pug’s not inconsiderable weight was behind that blow. It slammed square on Skinner’s cheekbone, on the side of the nose and full in the eye. Blood spurted from both nostrils, and Skinner lay spread-eagled on the grass.

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There was no let up.  Pug knew that if he allowed Skinner to rise, he would have kill him.  Pug jumped on him, landing punch after punch at whatever part presented itself.  He did not see the ring of kids that encircled the pair, nor did he hear the chant of fight, fight, fight that filled the air.

Skinner’s defence against Pug’s onslaught became weaker and weaker. Eventually he was only able to keep his arms across his face in a last effort as self-protection, but it made no difference. Like a demon possessed, Pug’s fists slammed home again and again. This it was all over. Two pairs of strong arms, owned by a couple of fifth form prefects, lifted Pug off his victim. Pug looked down. He could not believe what he had done. On the grass, his face covered in blood, his clothes torn and filthy, squirmed Skinner. He was howling like a baby.

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When Pug saw the injuries that he had inflicted, he felt both ashamed and elated.  Ashamed that he could have been so bestial, but elated that he had done the beating, rather than be the one who was beaten.  He was as good as the other boys, as good as anyo0ne in the school.  He leaned down and helped Skinner up from the grass, and through cracked lips he mumbled his thanks.  Slowly Skinner, carrying his satchel by the now broken strap, shuffled off towards his home.

The crowd had dissipated, only the two prefects and a solitary girl remained. “We didn’t see this,” one of the prefects said, “but if you ever try it again, your going straight to the headmaster,” and with a knowing wink, they were gone. The girl came over, a girl from Pug’s class. A girl who Pug thought would never give him a second glance, for wasn’t he the class fool, the butt of all jokes, the fat boy who would never amount to anything. He had long ago given up any idea of a girl such as this, wanting anything to do with him.

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She looked shyly at Pug, and colouring slightly said “ Walk me home, Tommy?” Tommy! She had actually called him by his name, not Put or fatty, or any one of the other pig-like names that he had come to accept. He did not answer, but placed her arm through his, and with one arm linked to a girl, and the other swinging his satchel, he walked away from the school, ready to enjoy not only the weekend, but hopefully the rest of his school life.

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Free Online Short Stories : Bullying - The Subject Of This Online Reading

As you have learned, times of yesteryear are of no difference today.  Bullying still exists within this, so called, developed society.  Cultures change, and so do environments, but people are people no matter what part of history they grew up in.  The tribal instinct to destroy is still prevailant - as many of today's wars demonstrate.  The advent of the Internet contributes to a smaller world.  Human behaviour is also transferrable.  As such, we now hear of online bullying stories that are designed by one section of the population to belittle and intimidate another section.  Is this civilized behaviour?  No.  People never seem to be deterred in vetting their anger, frustrations and inadequacies on others. 

This is only one of my free online short stories - I have many varied and different ones on offer.  Should you wish to read on, the links are set below.  In the meantime, take a look at the clip of 'Blackboard Jungle' - at a school near you!

© This work is covered under Creative Commons License

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Comments 8 comments

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 6 years ago from At the Gemba

Glad to see that he fought back ....


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Yes... what a hero! Thanks and love to write his story on his behalf - makes it a legacy, you know?


Jane@CM profile image

Jane@CM 6 years ago

You are a fine story teller!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thanks Jane :)


K9keystrokes profile image

K9keystrokes 5 years ago from Northern, California

A wonderful read! Thank you for sharing it. Remarkable guy, and a really well written story. I am moved.

K9


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thanks K9 - yes, I think he is pretty remarkable :)


dwise94 3 years ago

They like to say that fighting back makes the victim just as bad as the bully, but I disagree. There's a difference between bullying and standing up for yourself. Well-written, and I loved it!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 3 years ago from Great Britain Author

Much appreciated comment, dwise94 :)

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