Best Short Stories, A School Bullying Story Titled 'The Hunted Fox'

Welcome to one of my best short stories.  The hunted fox, a school-bullying story, is based on fact. There are lots of lessons to be learned from this and I hope that some of you readers might comment on how things could have been handled differently. This is one of my free online short stories and you can view more from the links below. There is also a short story - another in the saga - which you might like - The Fox Hunter. Enjoy!

Patricia was a studious young lady on the brink of making choices as to what she was going to study in the last two years of secondary school. She was a loner but had one or two quality friendships.

An A grade student, her teachers could predict University. This was a rarity at this type of school; it was more an institution to keep kids off the streets than for academia. However, Patricia was always keen to learn and got a great sense of satisfaction for achieving good grades.

She never liked to see injustice and her close friends bullied. When ‘bundles’ occurred with them, she would stand up for the rights of others if she felt it justified. These bundles were events where most of the pupils from the school, would easily watch on the sidelines and chant “Bun-dle! Bun-dle! Bun-dle!”

There was a feeling of ritualistic darkness around this. Blessed are the peacemakers, the saying goes, however, in this situation, if the peacemaker attempted to break up the fight, she would be severely reprimanded as well.

Patricia remembered the story of ‘Lord of the Flies’. She didn’t want to be ‘Piggy’ – the victim of the group.


One day there was a rumour that some ‘hard’ girl was gunning for Patricia. She wanted to beat her up for something she had said. It was about another bully who had persistently thumped and kicked her whenever their paths had crossed. He, whilst messing about at the tennis courts – being where he shouldn’t have been, tripped by the netting.

Whilst falling, he got his tooth caught and this was yanked out. Patricia couldn’t help but laugh – it was karma, she thought, for always hurting and intimidating her. What comes around goes around. Unfortunately, this didn’t go down too well. It seemed that it was acceptable for someone to make another human beings life a misery, but not to have any recourse, despite it being divine intervention!

The short of the matter, that whether Patricia had laughed or not, this girl would have been brewing for a fight with her – even if it was to gain kudos points for being hard with the other kids. She was always taunting Patricia.


So the bundle commenced. There were a few others that had a bit of fun giving Patricia the odd kick whilst she was down. It must have seemed like fun to them as they beamed with pleasure. Fortunately, a teacher broke the crowd up. Both Patricia and the other girl were interviewed separately.

She said nothing – grassing up was the biggest sin of all in the world of the Street. It could lead to more bundles. She was then put on a red report, where she had to have all the teachers sign for her good behaviour. This was true for the other girl. They knew that Patricia was being bullied, but needed to be seen as doing something.


Patricia lived with bullying everyday. The usual things went on – intimidation, verbal teasing, the odd thump from nowhere. This was normal.


A new form of abuse was becoming fashionable. This was ‘grab the school bag, empty the contents and throw this around the room’ game. Oh the boys loved this one, especially if there were sanitory towels.

There were never any bins for these, so girls had to take them home. What fun the boys had throwing these around saying “Yuck, this ones for you Robbie!” And there you would see Patricia, frantically gathering the contents as quickly as possible, hands and knees on floor, chasing around until the teacher arrived for lesson.

The boys in Patricia’s class would find every opportunity to get their hands on her bag. Patricia never let the bag out of her sight. It became a behaviour that stayed with her for years. She always tucked her bag between her lap and the desk. She would then have control over any snatching.


It was a misty autumn morning on the fields. Patricia was looking outside the window from the classroom – this was a demountable portacabin. Oh blissful view of boys playing in the field, only looking closer, she noticed they were kicking something. Were these typical boys, playing football? Unfortunately not. They were kicking a fox, half alive.

She noticed at short intervals, how the fox tried to stand, but just stumbled and collapsed until another boot sent it flying in the direction of a receiving boy. Time seemed to stand still on this realisation – she couldn’t estimate how long this episode took until the bell rang, but finally the bell did ring and the boys disbanded to their classes.

Three of the gang returned to the portacabin in a hyped up state, “Horrrrrrrrrrrrny! Creeeeeeeeam horn!” they projected with a South West accent, masticating some paper. Turning this into a salivary pulp, they blew the new substance out so it spattered on the blackboard to greet the form tutor. When the tutor came into the classroom, he ignored the negative behaviour and the splattered evidence on his board and attempted to settle the boys down.

Patricia sat with head stooped, clutching her bag. She couldn’t say anything, just looked at her friend both girls with knowing eyes. This was a nightmare situation and Patricia realised that these boys were dangerous.


Patricia remembered the story of ‘Lord of the Flies’. She didn’t want to be ‘Piggy’ – the victim of the group. It certainly felt like the school environment was similar to attempt the survival on a deserted island. Piggy was hunted, just like the fox on the field, so Patricia knew she had to be careful.


Patricia continued to get good grades. The teachers were pleased with her work and she enjoyed the challenge that academia presented her. She felt a real sense of reward and this was the one thing that she could cling to for her self-esteem. The boys in the third and fourth year were not impressed. They hated Patricia.

“Fucking fat bitch! Get her! Don’t let her get away! Kill her! Kill her!”

One day, shortly after, she heard a rumour that some boys were going to ‘get’ her at lunchtime. She just thought that she would keep a low profile, as she always did, but the teachers did not want any children in the class.

Patricia tried to stay in the toilets but one of the boy’s girlfriends informed the boys of her whereabouts, so she was hooked out. She couldn’t believe what she saw. A whole crowd of year three and four boys, holding sticks, batons and planks of wood – one even had a crowbar.

The fear rose. Patricia’s heart started to pound. The adrenalin started to kick in and she felt weak and cold. There she was, with tears in her eyes. She had left the grounds at the second gates. These were situated away from the crowd, heading toward a main road. Patricia started to walk fast.

They had spotted her and started to run at her. She ran. She ran faster than she had ever run before. She felt sick. She couldn’t look, just run. The boys were waving their wares and gaining on her. Shouts of abuse “Fucking fat bitch! Get her! Don’t let her get away! Kill her! Kill her!” There was nowhere to turn.

She was the fox and they were the hunters. She was going to end up like the fox. The image burned in her mind. The kicking. There was evil in their eyes. The fox had been tortured and now it was her turn. She had never felt so frightened in her life. What next? If they caught her, she would stumble and fall. She would try to get up, but will drop. She will heave the last breath, just as the fox did.

Panting with a throbbing pounding heart, she saw a bungalow around the corner with a hedge. She ducked behind. If they had come for her, she could knock on the door, she thought. She controlled her heavy breath. Don’t hear me; please don’t hear, she prayed.

After ten minutes, the boys hadn’t turned up. It looked like perhaps the bell had gone. Maybe someone intervened. Patricia never found out and she wasn’t about to return. She gingerly made her way to town. Tears were drowning her face whilst her body shook. Sickness had set in and all she wanted to do was to go home.

With this in mind, she went to her mothers work. This was a government building that was secure, so she went to the back of the building and knocked on the window. One of her mother’s colleagues allowed Patricia entrance into the building. Patricia was inconsolable when her mother came to her. She could hard speak but just said “Not going back, never going back to school again!”

Eventually Patricia told her mother what had happened. Mother was aware of the bullying and had tried to get the issue resolved, unfortunately to no avail. There were many times that both her and her mother had stones thrown at them as they were walking home, but nothing could be resolved. It was a big problem to the family.

Home was refuge. However, even before this incident, Patricia was showing signs of anxiety. She would hyper ventilate, but now this situation had occurred, she hyperventilated to an extent she blanked out totally. Within a few days, after Patricia blanked out in the local Chemists in town, she was rushed to hospital.

She was then sent to a mental hospital for assessment. Patricia didn’t have many hyper ventilating episodes here, so she was released and referred to a psychologist. This situation was unpleasant for Patricia and her family. In order to induce the anxiety, the therapist spitefully and hurtfully said that she was fat and disgusting. For this reason, her parents left the sessions and did not return with Patricia.

It was six months before Patricia returned to school. In the meantime a special assembly was called. The ringleaders were lined up on the stage and the whole school were told as to why they were there. Patricia was invited to attend but this felt a bit dreamy to her. They were all caned after the stage humiliation, but this retribution did not take away the pain and memory that Patricia had to live with over the years.

Patricia was 38 years old and married with two children when she noticed a link on myspace. ‘Look up old friends from school’ was the link. She did this and noticed a boy in her year. Curiosity took hold and she sent a message. She asked if he could remember any old friends from school. He listed names. Names of those awful boys.

He turned out to be one of them. The fear rushed through her veins. Instantly, she was transported back in her mind. It didn’t occur to her that he was a perpetrator. The message wrote he was going through a difficult time during those days, his father had left home and NO, he didn’t remember Patricia.

Patricia thought about this. He didn’t remember her, her fear or have any idea of the years of her hurt and suffering. She wondered if he remembered the hunted fox but the pain was too deep. She didn’t reply.

This work is covered under Creative Commons License

More Stories about Abuse? Check this out: Sexual abuse, the account of a victim and how society made the affect worse than the crime.

Times Change. Behaviours Don't!

More by this Author


Comments 35 comments

Georgiakevin profile image

Georgiakevin 6 years ago from Central Georgia

Wow. this is powerful and touching. As a teacher I try hard to stop bullying but it still goes on sadly enough.My youngest daughter is a victim regularly and I teach in the same school.........sad isn't it?


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Teachers have it tough too. What can they do? Human nature has a cruel streak. Children as they grow learn to control this base instinct... the instinct to survive, even at the downfall of others. To be the centre of everything - all consuming. To take and waste, even at the expense of others. It is only later that they learn consequence. Without social rules, people become beastial. It is very tribal - Lord of the Flies.

Bullying lasts a life time in the victim. If it doesn't kill you (mentally or physically), it makes you tough.


Ghost32 6 years ago

I will not forget this one. The next time I see a "fox" being kicked, I may well just ask the perpetrators quietly, "Care to try your luck with the Wolf, boys?"

Though it would be untrue I was bullied as a child, I did carry the mark of "coward" through my first 3 years of high school. Blend that with the fact that I'd always wanted to protect the "girl with a rep", not persecute her, and my own need to toughen up was deep enough that--as you put it so well--it became absolutely necessary to either let it kill me...or toughen up.

The key turning point in that process occurred during the summer between my Junior and Senior years. Fifteen months later, having had the obligatory half dozen street fights to rehabilitate my reputation in my small Montana home town, it was clear there was no turning back. I promised myself to become proficient in physical confrontation. Knowing that was not likely to happen overnight, I made the decision to become absolutely deadly (in cases of absolute necessity) by the time I was 70 years old.

My wife and I met in Tonopah, Nevada, 13 years ago. A tiny redhead, she'd had to literally fight her way through life. I told her she could be a girl now, that I'd take care of the fighting...and many times since then, I've been faced with the need to make good on that promise. A few examples: At age 55, facing down a group of five men on a Sierra Vista, Arizona, sidewalk after they'd verbally harrassed Pam in my absence. Later that same year, in Montana, giving the self appointed Bully of the Mountain the first swing...and then giving him reason to decide not continuing to fight was a really good idea (I gained a black eye; the last physical contact between us was my kick to his groin.). At age 60, barking a war cry that froze a true mountain of a man in his tracks when he'd acted inappropriately. There are more, but you get the idea.

And of course, as you so clearly illustrate, bullies operate mostly in packs...so much of my personal study has involved the "handling" of multiple, simultaneous opponents.

I. Do. Not. Like. Bullies.


Ghost32 6 years ago

I just reread the opening of this masterpiece asking for ideas how this could have been handled differently. Sadly, considering Patricia as she and her circumstances are described, I don't have a clue. Violent mobs (which the "bundles" clearly are) are in my opinion best stopped by being faced with superior force, and that does not appear to have been an option available to your heroine.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

The experiences you encountered when you were growing up, has made you who you are today.

We are taught to be kind and considerate to others. To think in terms of fairness and freedom. As the child grows, there is this constant conflict in those ideals. There is a social rule and there is a survival rule.

I am sure that we are taught to be passive and kind because

it suits those in positions of power - it is a way of controlling people's behaviour.

Control is a form of bullying. We are all bullied, every day - at work, by governments and by someone who's social status is always slightly better than our own. It is like blackmail.. if you dont do such an such.. you will have a pay cut, go to jail for not paying your bills etc.

Thinking about this, a song enters my head. 'Know Your Rights' by the Clash..

This is a public service announcement

With guitar

Know your rights all three of them

Number 1

You have the right not to be killed - Murder is a CRIME!

Unless it was done by a Policeman or aristocrat

Know your rights

And Number 2

You have the right to food money - Providing of course you

Don't mind a little Investigation, humiliation

And if you cross your fingers, Rehabilitation

Know your rights

These are your rights

Number 3

You have the right to free Speech - as long as you're not

Dumb enough to actually try it.

Know your rights

These are your rights

All three of 'em

It has been suggested

In some quarters that this is not enough!

Well..............................

Get off the streets

Get off the streets

Run

You don't have a home to go to

Smush

Finally then I will read you your rights

You have the right to remain silent

You are warned that anything you say

Can and will be taken down

And used as evidence against you

Listen to this

Run

Know what I mean?

Thanks for reading my hub x


bat115 profile image

bat115 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

You really hit the nail on the head with this one. Powerful stuff.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Well, if you read the follow on hubs, you will realise that Patricia is abused as she grows up. She becomes numb and disconnected from her emotions. Bullying tactics change, but the outcome is always the same.

Thanks for dropping by! x


Madame X 6 years ago

What a wrenching story! It brings back all sorts of memories. The kids in my school were too cowardly to ever get physical but they just loved to destroy people with rumor and innuendo - none of it true, of course. I never understood where that kind of malice came from. What did they ever gain from causing so much pain? And then, like in your story, they don't even remember doing it!

Frankly though, I think they do but are too cowardly to admit it. And I've decided that causing pain to others is how they have chosen to ease their own. Seems I've met an awful lot of people like that.

Very interesting story - one I won't soon forget.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thanks for reading. I think people who bully and those that suffer this end up either becoming victims or controllers when they are adults. Have you read my hub on Victims or Controller, which one are you?

http://hubpages.com/health/Working-in-Care-Are-You...

Thanks for reading!

Patricia becomes The Fox Hunter... check the next chapter out!


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

What a riveting story. Great work.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Tammy... What would Strummer say? I fought the law and the law won! Thanks for reading xx


punchy 6 years ago

It is only when you get older and realise that if you saw that happening but just either laughed at it or ignored it and did nothing, that makes you almost as culpable as the perpetrators themselves. For that reason now I feel truly ashamed.. xx


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Punchy... Thank you michael.. sorry makes all the difference. When these things happen, it doesn't feel real, just a story. I forgive you x


susanlang profile image

susanlang 6 years ago

I thank you for sharing this read with me. I liked the ending and hope more people read this one.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

susanlang... Its funny how things and people linger in the mind of the abused. Thanks for reading x


Sherbet Penny profile image

Sherbet Penny 6 years ago from Galway, Ireland.

Wow great story, sad and too common. And I liked the end of the story, at 38, the memories and fear still haunt the person, terribly sad. Great hub. Thank you.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thanks Sherbet... That's the thing about shock.. it can have a marked effect on the person concerned. Thanks for reading x


Neil Ashworth profile image

Neil Ashworth 6 years ago from Ireland

This is good information and an interesting topic to write on. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


Neil Ashworth profile image

Neil Ashworth 6 years ago from Ireland

Like the content. Well put together!


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thank you Neil:)


Enlydia Listener profile image

Enlydia Listener 6 years ago from trailer in the country

Sounds like you also have post traumatic stress disorder...


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Thanks for reading MrDSpade :)


Tom T profile image

Tom T 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

Thanks for the story. Too much of this goes on and people have no idea the long term impact. I'm a fan now.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Tom T.. how lovely to meet you. Yes, it makes you wonder what other dangers our children face in school :(


starqueen13 profile image

starqueen13 6 years ago from Houston, Tx

i used to be a little bit of a bully when i was in 6th grade, but not like beating anyone up. i just stood up for myself so i wouldn't be pushed around


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

I am glad that anti bullying policies are now in place in schools. Unfortunately, this was not the case in the past. Thanks for your comment starqueen :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

I was an overweight kid back in grade school. It was a rough period for me, but not because of bullying. I guess I was big and was thought of as a good fighter, though I didn't really have any fights. It's hard enough for kids to deal with their problems even without the cruelty inflicted by other kids. As this story demonstrates, to the bulliers it is nothing, but to the recipient it is an event that can torture for a lifetime.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Christopher - great comment ! But maybe, one day, they might see a story like this and feel a pang of guilt. Do bullies grow out of it? Or does the bullying become more complex?

Thanks for reading :)


donnaleemason profile image

donnaleemason 5 years ago from North Dakota, USA

Awesome story. I have had to deal with bullying with my own children. The effects can be long term and devastating. Thanks.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

donnaleemason - I hope that they will turn a page and have a wonderful life in spite of bullying :)


skye2day profile image

skye2day 5 years ago from Rocky Mountains

shazwellyn thank you for such a riveting truth about the evil act of bullying. It is ramped. It is a very sad and sickening. My heart and prayers go to the victims. The bully is a victim of hurt and despair. It gives them no excuse to harm and injure another. I suppose it makes them feel bigger then. A child around my apartments was getting bullied. He declined to tell his parents because of fear. He would not tell me where he lived. I saw it in action. The bully himself is berated by his family on a daily basis. The bullies parents are drunkards and druggies, I hear. They are lost. We live in a fallen world. The enemy is out to destroy. There is one that can save and redeem and restore. Lets us pray. I really wish I could do more. I can pray and touch hearts with the Love of Christ. May God help us all. We all fall short the Glory of GOD. OUR kids so need the love of Jesus. Fantastic writer you are I am grateful I found you.

You answered my question about email being deleted from the hubs. Thank You for taking the time to answer. It was a very nice benefit and saved a bit of time. I am sorry hubs needed to remove it. Stevemc said to right click by the share section and up will pop send page by email to... It works for most email providers not yahoo must upgrade for 20. to yahoo plus. Anything for the money I suppose, to upgrade. I figured a way. E mail 20 or so at a time. Thanks for reply.

You have a huge following. I can see why. You are gifted sister. I will be back. Hey when you get a minute come for a read. I would love to see you at my hubs of love. I write short stories too. May God Bless your works shazwellyn. Keep on sister.


shazwellyn profile image

shazwellyn 5 years ago from Great Britain Author

skye2day - I feel quite emotional with your comment, you do hold the light within and I am grateful that we have found each other.

Thank you x


Mailey Smith 5 years ago

This story is sad but we can learn from Patricia's experienced. As a parent my children are the only treasures I have I can't afford something like this will happen to them. As much as possible I communicate with them after school. Open communication with your children is very important so that you will know how they feel, and you can take appropriate action if they have problems in school. Don't wait for your children be a victim of bullying, we must prevent it from happening. That's the reason why I provided my kids with Safekidzone it’s a mobile application that has a lot of features to help prevents a danger while at the same time being able to handle emergencies when they occur. When a panic button is pressed, my children’ s trusted friends, family members and the nearest 911 will be notified that they are in danger. It works for me because it gives me peace of mind and ensures my kids’ safety when I am not always with them. This is how I protect my kids http://safekidzone.com/


Becky 5 years ago

They may have anti-bullying laws but kids are still being bullied. At my daughters school, the worst bully is a teachers son and "HE" would never do that. I have taken my daughter out of school and she home-schools now. Much better, as far as she is concerned. I told the school and school board WHY I took her out of their school and they said I was lying. I am moving to another area where people will be believed when they complain about something. There is a reason that 1/3 of the girls in the High school are pregnant and that 3/4 of the kids are on drugs.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

A much needed hub on such a hreartbreaking topic. there is nothing worse than bullying. Here's to so many more for us both to share on here. I vote up and wish you a wonderful day.

Eddy.

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