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Boris the Bully
Introduction For parents and teachers Many times when we read stories to our children we ask them to listen quietly. This book is designed for children to talk, to actively engage and to exchange ideas. To say to a child, “I want to hear your thoughts and I will take time to listen,” is powerful. It validates, empowers and builds conﬁdence. Woven into this story are suggested questions to encourage thinking and speaking skills. Use as many or few as you like and please make up your own. The objective is to develop critical thinking skills through story sharing. Wishing you much joy in this exciting time of learning and bonding. Annette
This is the story of how Paws the puppy makes a decision about what to do when he sees his little friend Chico the Chihuahua being picked on by Boris the bulldog .
Boris the Bully
Annette Ladowitz Clemson House Publishing 2012
Steven, my husband for all your advice and business skills, and David, my son for your endless creative technical support. Thank you both for your support, encouragement, prodding, and humor.
Paws is a playful, happy puppy with soft, golden fur, ﬂuffy ears and a long ﬂuffy tail. He loves to lick faces, swim, and to catch catch balls and sticks. He can run fast. Paws likes to be with children and he smiles a lot.
The other dogs all love Paws. He has all kinds of friends: big dogs, little dogs, brown, white and black dogs. Some are curly haired, straight haired and some have no hair at all. His friends are fat dogs and skinny dogs. Some have long tails, and some have short tails.
Boris is big and heavy. He lives down the street. He has short hair and big bulging eyes. HIs teeth stick out even when he closes his mouth. Boris has lots of wrinkles a short, stubby tail and often has a mean look. He snarls at other dogs and snaps at their feet. When he walks, he takes up the whole sidewalk. Boris often pushes the other dogs into the street. He is the strongest dog on the block. The other dogs stay away from him. Boris doesn’t have a lot of friends.
One day a new dog, a Chihuahua named Chico moved onto the block. He is a very, very tiny, dog with short thin legs. He has brown hair, big eyes and pointy ears that go straight up. Chico has a high pitched bark. He is the smallest dog on the block.
Every afternoon all the dogs go to the park to play. They run after each other and play tag. They sniff each other and catch sticks and balls. Sometimes they swim in the pond. They have lots of fun together.
One afternoon Chico came to the park for the ﬁrst time. He stood on the edge of the park and just watched because he was very, very shy. Soon other dogs came over to say hello.
On the other side of the park Boris watched Chico. When no one was looking, Boris went over to Chico and pushed him out of the park. The next day Chico sat in the park chewing a bone. Boris took Chico’s bone away.
Should Paws do anything? Could Chico do anything?
Every day when Boris saw Chico in the park he snapped at Chico’s little legs and chased him out of the park. “Ouch,” yelped Chico. “That hurts. Boris, stop biting me!” But Boris did not stop. Chico didn’t know what else to do. Soon he stopped coming to the park.
Should Paws do anything when he sees this happening? What could Chico do?
Paws was very upset. He didn’t like to see his new little friend scared and bullied, but he didn’t know what to do. Paws liked Chico and wanted to play with him. He wanted to bark loudly at Boris. He wanted to call Boris a big bully and tell him to stop picking on Chico. Then he thought that might only stop Boris for a little while. He wanted Boris to understand what he was doing was wrong. Paws didn’t know what to do. He decided to ask his friends for help.
What do you think Paws’s friends can do?
All the dogs were upset but they didn’t know what to do either.
They agreed to meet in Paws’s yard to ﬁgure it out together. Lucy the labradoodle, is a very smart dog and she spoke ﬁrst. She didn’t have the answer, either, but she always had good questions. “Does anyone know why Boris does this?” she asked. No one knew. Sandy the German shepherd had an idea. “Lets invite Boris to come see us and we can ask him.” The dogs thought that was a good idea and agreed to invite Boris and ﬁnd out why he was so mean to Chico. Paws volunteered to invite Boris.
The next morning Paws went to Boris’s house. “Hi Boris,” said Paws. “We have a problem in the neighborhood and can’t ﬁnd the answer. We are meeting tomorrow in my yard. Everyone would like you to help ﬁgure it out. Will you come?” Boris didn’t have many friends. He felt very important and happy to know that all the other dogs wanted him to be there. He said yes he would come.
The next day all the dogs came to the meeting. They had biscuits, bones, milk and all kinds of other treats. Paws spoke ﬁrst. “Thank you all for coming,” he said. “ We love to play together in the park every day, but lately something bad has been happening. Chico, our new neighbor, wants to play with us in the park. He is afraid to come to the park. We don’t understand why. Can anyone tell us?” The whole yard was quiet. All the dogs looked at each other and didn’t know what to say. Then Boris and two friends spoke. “Chico is skinny,” said one. “Chico has funny pointed ears,” said another. “Chico yelps and has a high-pitched voice,” said Boris. “He is tiny and different. He is not like the rest of us. I don’t like him”.
Lucy the labradoodle spoke next. “You don’t like him because he is different. Do you think this is a good reason? Look around you Boris. “Shelly the sheepdog has long hair that covers her eyes. “Paul, Polly, and Penelope the poodles are all different colors and have tight curly hair. “George the greyhound has a very thin body. “Henrietta the Chinese hairless dog doesn’t even have fur or hair. “We are all different. That is what makes us interesting. Now Boris, why are you really so upset with Chico?”
Boris wasn’t sure. Lucy suggested they try to ﬁnd out. She asked Boris to go for a walk with her. Boris liked Lucy. She didn’t bark at him. She didn’t run away from him. She wanted to go for a walk and talk with him. She just wanted to be with him, so he said yes.
Why do you think Boris really doesn’t like Chico?
The next day Lucy and Boris went for a long walk together. Lucy is special. She is different from other dogs. Lucy is a labradoodle. Her father is a Labrador retriever. Her mother is a French poodle. Lucy knows a lot about different countries and different dogs. She is fun. She knows so many things.
Lucy wanted to know about Boris. “What was it like when you were a puppy?” she asked. “I never thought about that,” he said.” Boris thought about it. Then he said when he was born he was very short. He had little stubby,wobbly legs and couldn’t run fast like the other puppies. He had lots of wrinkles. When he got a little older his teeth stuck out. He looked different, and sometimes maybe a little scary to the other dogs. “Lots of times dogs stayed away. They just didn’t know me. I was very sad and lonely.”
“Is that why you said you don’t like Chico, because of how he looks?” asked Lucy. “You are right. I judged Chico by how he looks. That’s just how the other dogs judged me when I was a puppy. “I’m sorry, I never thought about how Chico felt. He must be sad. That’s just how I felt. “I thought if I showed the other dogs how strong and tough I am, they would respect me and like me. I thought they would want to be my friend, but they just stayed away.”
“Do you think other dogs stay away from you because of how you look or do they stay away from you because of how you act?” asked Lucy. “I never thought about that,” said Boris.
Why do you think the other dogs stay away? Did acting tough make the other dogs respect Boris or did they fear him?
Then Lucy asked, “Would you still like to have more friends, Boris?” “Well sure I want more friends, but what can I do? I can’t change my wrinkles. I can’t run fast. What can I do about that? I can’t make the other dogs like me.”
Can Boris do anything to make the other dogs like him?
Boris asked, “Do you think all the other dogs will like me if I act differently?”
Do you think all the other dogs will like him?
“Boris we can’t be sure if all the other dogs will like you,” she said. “Some dogs may be silly and stay away because of how you look. Other dogs may want to know you and be your friend. Would you like to try to change and see if it works?”asked Lucy. “Well, I’m not sure. Do you think I can change?” Boris wanted friends but he was a little scared of changing. He knew he was strong. He knew how to act tough. He didn’t know what might happen if he changed.
What might happen if he changed? Do all the dogs have to be his friend?
After the walk Boris and Lucy were tired and hungry. They went back to Paws’s house. All the dogs had a surprise party for them. They dressed up to celebrate. They wanted to welcome Boris and hear what he decided to do.
What do you think Boris decided to do?
Boris told everyone his plan to change. “I’m going to apologize to Chico. I will bring new bones for him and see if he wants to have breakfast together.” “You could share the sidewalk with him and ask him if he wants to walk together,” suggested Shelly the German shepherd. “Yes,” decided Boris,”I’m going to ask him if he will be my friend. I can’t change my wrinkles but I can smile.”
What do you think will happen from now on?
After that, many dogs wanted to be his friend and to play with him. Boris learned to share the sidewalk and smile and now he is much happier.
About the author
Annette holds an MS in education, an MSW, and an LCSW in social work. She has taught in public schools in New York state and worked as a social worker in California. With over thirty years of experience in education and social work, she understands how early childhood forms the basis of our thinking, feeling and behaving for the rest of our lives. Working in a wide variety of settings, she has heard much evidence of how the early childhood years impact our lives forever. It is not by accident that high school students “suddenly” erupt and bring weapons to campus. The seeds of anger, powerlessness, and rage are set early in infancy and childhood. These early years can also be used to develop healthy values such as responsibility, love, and acceptance. Annette lives in Northern California with her husband. They have been married for 43 years and have two grown children.
Thank you to all my wonderful neighbors, friends and relatives. Alexis, Luke and JeAnna Weisend, Olivia Smart, Maria and Kelsey Dizon, Emily, Vickie and Tom Gemetti, Lamiya and Kalin Nguyen, Ben and Audrey Ladowitz, Shirley Lee and Barbara Fandrich for editing, Art Napolitano for the title, Lynn Napolitano, Dan Lee, Myrna Bodner, Abby Mason and Lori Maitski with Project Cornerstone for listening, caring, and sharing your thoughts. For your suggestions and encouragement, thank you. Annette
Boris the Bully
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