“This was the worst day of my life,” he screamed as the tears began to fall. “I’m not a baby but it hurts so much.”
Throwing himself down on his bed, Jonah let the tears come. He was tired of being strong. As the oldest of the three boys, he watched out for his brothers and shouldered his fair share of chores for a twelve-year-old. It made him feel older and responsible. But now he felt beaten and abused, whipped by the words of Steve Vincent.
“What does he know. Steve is such a little prick.” Jonah choaked out among the tears. Wiping his nose with his arm, he sat up as a knock sounded on the door to his room. “Yeah?”
Jonah’s dad peeked his head into Jonah’s bedroom. “Is it safe to come in?” he asked with a smile on his face.
“I guess, but it’s been a bad day.”
“I could tell. The doors must have done something to upset you. They were sure taking a beating. Do you want to talk about it?”
“Not really…but Steve is such a jerk. Do you know what he did today? At lunch he stood up and recited the story of the Three Little Pigs in the cafeteria and when he got to the part about the pig who made his house out of straw, he said that the pig’s name was Jonah. Everyone was laughing at me. He even started chanting ‘This little piggy went wee-wee-wee all the way home’. I was so mad that I wanted to hit, punch or even kick him. I knew that I shouldn’t use my fists, so I dumped my lasagna on his head. Of course, I got in trouble with the principal, Mr. Stevens. You would think that he would have understood. Steve is such a idiot that he didn’t even get in trouble.” Jonah shared his day with the passion of a prize-fighter after a winning battle. He never seemed to take a breath.
“I see. Steve sounds like a real loser. I’m sorry that you were
teased. I’ve taught you to let it bounce off your back but this sounds like more than ordinary teasing. It sounds like Steve has targeted you. Maybe we can go to the basement later and practice throwing some punches. It might help you feel better.
But I want to share a story with you about your Great-Grandpa Pigg. It will give you a different perspective on things.”
Jonah sat up and listened intently to his dad. He was interested in hearing more about his family. His dad didn’t really share much about his great-grandfather except that he had served in Vietnam and was a decorated veteran.
“You knew you were named after your great-grandpa. His name was Jonah too. When you were born, we saw something in your face that reminded us of his strength and compassion.
Great-Grandpa Jonah was serving in Vietnam. This was not a popular war. Many people didn’t believe that the United States should have gotten involved. But you couldn’t tell Great-Grandpa that. He wanted to do anything he could to keep the world safe.
He was overseas and met this Vietnamese family who lived in the jungle near the US base. The family was trying to hide from the enemy and thought that by living nearby the Americans, they would be safer. The father of the family would sometimes
interpret for your great-grandfather’s unit. In turn he used to sneak them his extra rations or would sometimes give them extra blankets, money, or whatever he could get. Your great-grandpa became one of their family. One day when he was out on a recon mission, the enemy came in and slaughtered the family, right down to the sixteen-month old baby. In blood on the people’s hut was the words ‘Evil American Pig’. When your great-grandfather found out, he set out to track down those
“Did he kill the bad guys who killed the family?”
“Yes, your great-grandfather did find those responsible. He refused to speak about what he did when he found them. But the whole incident changed him. When the war was over and he came home, he once explained the whole story to me. He said that seeing the word Pig in a derogatory way, made him ashamed of his name until he settled the score. When he made those men pay for what they did to that family, he celebrated in his name. He was a Pigg but a proud one.”
“And I was named after him?” Jonah asked with awe in his voice.
“Yes, but while your great-grandpa was recognized for his time in Vietnam and the work he did there. He never forgot the family who paid the ultimate price for being a friend to him. When people looked down on his name or teased him about it…he’d remember Vietnam. Soon he developed a sarcastic tone that kept other people away from teasing him about his name. His tongue was as sharp as a tack and no one wanted to feel its sting. Using humor to throw the other person off, was his way of coping with the teasing. He never felt that his name was a bad
“I want to be like him. What can I do to not let the teasing bother
Wiping his face with his hands, Jonah looked up at his dad with
red and tired eyes. However, a smile was beginning to show on his lips. That look of determination was there in his gaze as well.
“I will teach you how to use humor and sarcasm to put Steve on the offensive. And I want you to always remember your great-grandfather. His name wasn’t derogatory. It was the name of a hero. Now, come on and let’s get some punches in before mom calls us to dinner.”
Grabbing his son by the shoulders and giving him a hug, Mr. Pigg knew that this was only the beginning of a rough road for Jonah but hopefully he had given him a push in the right direction. After all, family and honor are always
the most important to the Piggs.
JL Oiler Bethany Cross DonnaSteele
Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy Blair McDowell
Sarah Bella Virginia Nelson Nora Snowdon
E Jaime Lila Munro Nancy LaPonzina
Cassandre Dayne DH Black Patricia Logan
Dakotah Black Janelle Lee Kate Roth
KT Bishop Kharisma Rhayne Elicia Seawell
Kiki Howell Ursula Whistler Eden Glenn
Siobhan Kinkade Michel Prince
Sarabeth Gordon Valerie Muller Britni Hill
Wendy Smith Suzzana C Ryan