The Herald Bulletin

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October 4, 2013

Verna Davis: Don't choose silence over the truth

Once upon a time, in a little church in the vale, there was a typical little boy and his younger sister. When his mother wasn't looking, he would pull his sister's hair, pinch her in the arm, and punch her in the ribs. When she cried, she was scolded her for whining. When the mother stopped looking, the brother would begin the process all over again.

However, as the minister's wife in that little church in the vale, and a good friend of the mother of this particular brother/sister pair, I had been a witness to this brother's bullying for quite a while.

Then, after a particularly harsh hair tug, sister had had enough. With all her strength, she doubled her little fist and socked her brother in the jaw. He screamed his pain and she smiled her satisfaction. Mom immediately began scolding the sister for hitting brother. Now sister was the one crying and brother began smiling.

That's when I knew, no matter what the consequences, I had to tell my friend the truth: Her son was not as innocent as he appeared. I knew brother would resent me, but sister would forever after look at me as her personal angel/hero. I also knew that mom might not look favorably on my interference. But the urge to tell the truth was so strong, I could not keep silent.

After I explained what I had seen countless times, she looked at her son and said, "Is this true?" Caught red-handed, he glared at me and nodded. Mom turned to her daughter and asked how long brother had been doing this. She said, "How long has he been my brother?"

Now, nearly 20 years later, we all still laugh at the situation, and thankfully, we are still great friends. (I believe, however, that sister still thinks I saved her from a childhood of brotherly bullying.)

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