Had you asked him, Clarence Roland would have told you he that he expected it to be a pretty typical day in grade three. He got up, put on a green shirt and blue jeans, combed his flyaway straw-colored hair and his father made pancakes for breakfast, his mother drove him to school. There, his teacher, Mrs. Cartwright, had them practice cursive, multiplication, and she read them another chapter of Nancy Drew. Then the bell rang, and they were directed out to recess.
That was when things took an unexpected turn.
Clarence was playing Starcrushers with his friends, Jeremy and Will, just enjoying himself, like a typical eight-year-old, when he heard the voice of a little girl crying accompanied by the voice of a boy laughing and taunting.
"Stop! Leave me alone!" the girl wept.
"Chubby-chubby two-by-four/can't fit through that open door!" the boy taunted.
Clarence turned around, and saw a younger, somewhat overweight girl with brown hair under a tree being bullied by a boy from another 3rd grade class. He couldn't just let this boy be mean to that poor little girl. He had to do something.
"Hey you!" he called, throwing a handful of rubber playground mulch at the bully's back, "Pick on somebody your own size for once!"
The boy turned around. "You wanna mess with me, eh?" he said.
"Go—go on!" Clarence said, nervously, as this boy was bigger than him, and could easily bruise him.
"Don't say I didn't warn ya, kid…" the boy said, approaching Clarence. Clarence stood there a second, sure he was about to get a black eye, when suddenly he got an idea.
He pulled the boy's knit cap off, and threw it in the mud leftover from the rain the previous night, stomping it further in, making sure it got dirty. The boy picked up his cap, looked at it, then ran off, trying to conceal his tears.
Clarence stood there, shocked at what had just happened. Just then, the little girl, who had been watching, ran over to him.
"You saved me!" she squealed happily. "My hero!" she hugged him tightly and affectionately. "Thank you, nice man." she said, visibly grateful.
"Hey, it was nothing," said Clarence, "he didn't have any right to pick on you. What's your name?"
"Lorelei Finch…" she said, smiling, blushing and looking away somewhat bashfully.
"I'm Clarence Roland." Clarence said.
"You know what you're like?!" Lorelei suddenly burst out, "You're like a brave knight in shining armour who saves the princess from the evil witch or dragon or something! Thank you, Clarence Roland." and she hugged him again.
"You're welcome, Lorelei." Clarence said, returned the hug.