by Askan-Nell Malkasian
Hanky and I didn’t like Butch because he was always punching me in the nose.
Butch never used to bother me until my father went to work on the 520 acres his father owned. Butch was not like his kind father, who let my parents and me live in a hut on the farm. Ever since we had moved across the Canadian border, we had had trouble, first my folks, then me.
George Hankoian, Herbert Smith, and I, Emil Lorraine, were in the same room in school – a small country school where six classes assembled under one teacher. George, nicknamed Hanky, and Herbert, nicknamed Butch, were in the fifth grade and I was in the third.
Everyone had a different liking for the last day of school when all the pupils gave recitations and sang songs for the parents. The girls liked that last day because they could wear satin dresses and big ribbon bows in their long unbraided hair. I was glad as Butch couldn’t insult me till fall.
Hanky and Butch had new suits, I had only a new tie. My trousers were neatly patched, my socks were darned so that they looked almost new, my faded-print shirt was stiffly starched, and my high, everyday boots were shined. My father had spent a whole evening shining them. I loved every inch of my best clothes, but Butch didn’t like them and told me so at the morning recess. I kept silent, as usual, but Butch wanted opposition. He pulled at the patch on my knee and I fell down. Some of the girls in their rustling satin dresses crowded round and laughed. That gave him a feeling of superiority.
“Look, Babyface Rainy is sitting down.”
“I’m not,” I said, and got up.
“Oh, yes, you are,” he said, pushing me down.
“You leave go of me, Butch Smith. I’ll – I’ll.”
“You will what?” he snickered, “your friend Hanky isn’t around to stop me this time.”
“Maybe I’ll hit you,” I answered feebly.
“You better not touch my new clothes with your dirty hands,” he warned.
I was afraid, not of his warning, but because I had never struck or hurt anyone. “I won’t touch your clothes. I want to poke your dirty face and stop your talk,” I shouted, as an angry defeated tear found freedom and rolled down.
“Look, Babyface Rainy is raining tears,” he said, laughing. “Hey, fellers, come here! Rainy is asking for a fight.”
I became more frightened. My friend Hanky was nowhere in sight, and I could not punch Butch since he was older and stronger than I. He was talking about my clothes and did not see me draw closer to him.
“Listen, Butch Smith, put up your hands and fight,” I shouted bravely, and gave him an unexpected sock. He fell down and I did not want him to get up. So I sat on his body and everyone came closer. Now was my chance to get even.
“Take back what you said,” I ordered.
“All right, only get off me,” he begged.
“Not unless you confess.”
“Say after me, Owning land and wearing new clothes does not make anyone bigger and better than being poor and wearing clean old clothes. Confess?”
“Cross my heart and hope to die if I lie.”
“Cross my heart and hope to die if I lie,” he repeated after me.
The girls objected to my treatment of Butch, but Hanky showed up at that moment.
“The fight was fair. I was watching from inside the schoolhouse.” Then turning to me, he added, “Rainy, I always knew you could fight your own battles some day; that is why I helped you, at first by fighting for you, and today by staying away.”
Boston in I944
That is my chief desire in the coming elections. We Pawtucketites realize we’d hardly be able to have a NAPA convention held in our city so we would like it nearby, in Boston, Massachusetts.
My other favorite candidates are: Mr. Holman for President; Miss Willametta Turnepseed for Official Editor; my printer, Alfred Babcock, for Vice-Pres.; and Mr. Crane for Executive Judge.
I’ve been told, by members I trust, that it’s wise to adopt the new constitution that Mr. Cole has drawn up. So there’s my ticket. Remember
BOSTON IN 1944!
by Anied Malkasian
As usual, I, Anied, the kid sister, get the left-over space. I’m used to it. I get outgrown clothes, their too tight shoes that are too big for me. Anyway, let me say I want three things: first, a job this summer; second, a pair of long stockings; third, to write a book about Mr. George H. Freitag.
Tulipa #2, published by Nellie Malkasian, Pawtucket, R. I. in May of 1943.
Product of the Kitty Kat Press