Orphan Survival Stories Index |
Someone was nice enough to donate several old girls’ bicycles to the orphanage. As they were not men’s bikes, we boys were not very excited, because we knew that we would never get to ride them. However, after one of the boys got caught stealing a bike from the schoolyard, the orphanage officials decided to allow the boys to ride the girl’s bikes one Sunday afternoon.
Mr. and Mrs. Henderson had several of the boys bring the girl’s bikes out to the rocky roadway in the center of the orphanage. They told us that we could ride around the large grass circle three times each. I had never ridden a bicycle, so I was rather scared, especially when Mr. Henderson was yelling and screaming at us to hurry up and finish.
When it was my turn, I tried to ride the bicycle, but could not steer it in a straight line. I was swerving all over the grass and then back out onto the road. Mrs. Henderson's black and white dog named Jewel was barking, chasing me, and making me nervous and scared. Finally, I got up some speed and the dog came running after me, which caused me to fall onto the rocky road. Mr. and Mrs. Henderson began to yell at me, because the bicycle was lying on top of Jewel.
I got up from the road and started to run away, because the Henderson’s were running toward me. I was bleeding and ran into the boys’ building bathroom. When I looked at my right hand, there was a bone sticking out through the skin. I was very scared at that point and did not know what to do. I could not go to the Henderson’s, because of what happened to their little dog; they would punish me or worse.
I showed it to one of the other boys and we decided to wash my hand off with cold water. Then he took me into the library and piled a bunch of books on my hand. When that did not work, he decided it was out of joint and had me lay my hand on the homework table. Then he hit it really, really hard with a great big book. Boy, it hurt and blood went everywhere. However it did some good, because the bone was gone then.
Later, Mrs. Henderson called me out to the front porch and she really let me have it. As I sat there, she was petting her dog and telling it that everything was going to be all right. I just sat there looking at that dog and watching the blood still dripping from my hand.
When Mr. Henderson came up on the front porch, he saw the blood on the floor and asked me what was wrong. I told him that nothing was wrong, but he wanted to see my hand anyway. He took me inside, washed off my hand and told me that it was just a little cut. Then he poured Merthiolate all over my hand, which burned like heck and I yelled aloud. He told me to stop acting like a baby and said, "Look you little knuckle-head, get your little ass up to your room and don't come back out." And, that I did.
My little broken hand finally healed, but I guess my little heart never did ‘cause it still hurts a little bit, even today.