There was a young and healthy boy named Daniel. He was eight years old and went to a school that was extremely welcoming to all students.

One day, a new student joined the school. The student wasn’t just any student, she was differently-abled. Her name was Charlotte and she came to school on a wheelchair.

Most of the people in Daniel’s class had never seen a person on a wheelchair. Daniel burst into laughter while the others just stared at her. Charlotte was very upset, so the teacher intervened.

“Please be kind to Charlotte. She fell off her bike and hurt her leg badly. This is why she can’t walk,” the teacher explained.

The class fell silent. Charlotte began to introduce herself.

“H-h-hello everybody m-m-my name is Charlotte and I am eight y-y-years old. I f-f-fell of my blue mountain bike a c-c-couple of months ago and I’m still r-r-recovering from my fall,” she stammered shyly. Charlotte went over to her desk and the teacher moved the extra chair to make space for Charlotte.

When the lesson resumed, Charlotte participated fully and did very well. All the students were shocked. Daniel was jealous because before Charlotte arrived, he was the best student in the entire class and the most popular one. But everyone wanted to be Charlotte’s friend now.

During the physics class, Daniel did something mean. He started throwing paper balls at Charlotte, which had all sorts of horrible things written on them. Charlotte was about to burst into tears, but she stayed strong and didn’t cry. Instead, she handed them to the science teacher.

The teacher didn’t know who wrote the notes, but when she looked carefully, she recognised Daniel’s handwriting. Daniel knew he was in big trouble.

“Detention for you on Saturday, Daniel,” bellowed the teacher. Daniel groaned in anger. He was furious, but continued to bully Charlotte. In recess, Daniel put loads and loads of mustard on her lunch when she wasn’t looking.

Charlotte’s new friend, Anna, told Charlotte what Daniel had done. Daniel was in big trouble again. At the end of the day, the teachers talked to Daniel and his parents about how he had been misbehaving. Daniel’s parents were not happy about what they heard from the teachers.

After they were done, Daniel and his parents left the school. His parents were very disappointed in him and Daniel knew he would have to listen to a lecture under the scorching hot sun. So, he ran across the street without even looking left or right and BANG!

A car crashed right into Daniel. His parents called the ambulance and they arrived almost instantly. The paramedics carried Daniel into the ambulance and rushed to the hospital. Daniel had injured his leg and he would have to walk using crutches for a whole year.

He had finally learnt his lesson, and vowed never to bully Charlotte or anyone like her ever again. As the saying goes, “What goes around, comes around.”

Published in Dawn, Young World, July 25th, 2020