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"You had best stand there at attention young man." Screamed the matron at the orphanage.

"But I didn't do nothin' this time. Honest I didn't, Mother Winters." I told her.

"Hold out your hands." She instructed, as she drew back with the sand-paper covered bolo paddle.

"But I didn't do nothin'. I just been in my room." I replied again, as I started to cry.

"I'm getting a little sick and tired of you little bastards not minding me." Stated Mrs. Winters, the head matron.

"BONK" went the hard, coarse paddle as it it me on top of my head.

"Hold out your hands." She instructed again.

I balled up my fists and I stiffened my arms along my sides and I just stood there at attention.

"HOLD OUT YOUR HANDS YOU LITTLE BASTARD." She screamed as loud as she could.

I looked up into her eyes and I knew that she was going to hurt me. This time it was going to be really bad. Her eyes were rolled back into her eye sockets and she looked like a monster trying to bite on it's tongue. Her face was all wrinkly and it was all red like.

"I'm scared Mother Winters." I told her, as I stood there shaking.

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm." She hummed at me, as her eyes rolled around in their sockets.

She threw the bolo paddle to the floor and then she jumped directly at me. The next thing I knew I was up against the wall, her hand was around my neck. Her other hand had me by the hair of my head and she was forcing my head backwards against the wall. I just stood there with her face less than an inch from mine.

"You tell me your a little bastard." She snarled

"I don't know what that means, Mother Winters." I replied.

"It means that you are to say what I want you to say; when I want you to say it. Do you understand me?" She said.

"Yes Ma'am, Mother Winters." I told her.

"Tell me your a little bastardddddddd." She whispered.

"I'm not gonna say it" I replied.

"You say it. Say it right now." She said, as she dug her finger-nails into the side of my neck.

I struggled to free myself but I could not move. All at once she bent me over backwards causing my head to hit the wall.

"I'm a little bastard. Say it." She demanded.

No matter what she did I was not going to follow her orders. I had already decided that. All at once she grabbed me around the throat and she started to squeeze as hard as she could.

"I'm a little bastard. Say it NOW!" She demanded again.

I could hardly breathe. Tighter and tighter she squeezed my neck.

"Are you going to kill me?" I blurted out in a raspy voice, as I started to kick and panic.

"I'm a little bastard. Say it." Said Mother Winters.

"I'm...I'm....I'm a little bastardddddddd." I blurted out.

"Now, was that so hard?" She asked, as she raised her eye-brows and let go of my neck.

"No Ma'am." I replied, as I tried to catch my breath.

"You get back into that damn dining-room and you finish your damn breakfast." She ordered.

I wiped the tears from my eyes so the other children in the dinning-room would not know that I had been crying. I straightened out my clothes and I entered the large room where I returned to my assigned seat. I sat there eating my cold cream of wheat as slowly as I could. The dining-room was totally silent. Even the sound of eating utensils had ceased. As I looked around the room I saw that every eye was upon me. Each and every face was plastered with a look of fear.

"What did she do to you? Did she get you with the bolo?" Whispered Wayne.

"I had to call myself a "bastard. Whatever that is." I whispered back at him.

"That ain't so bad. He whispered again.

I did not have the slightest idea what the word "bastard" meant. How could I; I was only eight years old.

I guess the part that I hated the most was that it was very important, for some strange reason, that the orphanage always make us kids cry "Uncle". They had to constantly mentally, and physically beat us down. It always had to be their way even if it did not make an sense. I guess that was their way of controlling 60 children all at the same time.

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