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A FAIRY-TALE COMES TRUE?



“What did he say?” I asked Karen Thomas.

“He said we are going to dissect frogs.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means we are going to cut them open.”

“I AIN’T GONNA CUT NOTH’N OPEN,” I yelled at the teacher.

“Mr. Dean Kaiser, you will do as you are instructed.”

I rose from my seat and began walking toward the classroom door.

“You get your butt back to your seat,” demanded the teacher.

“I aint killing nothing. Really, I don’t believe in killing nothing,” I replied.

Out the classroom doorway I ran; running, as fast as I could down the long third floor hallway. Skipping every other step I made my way to the main floor and outside I flew. I hid behind the old, two-story, white abandoned house for several hours until I saw the busses loading to carry the students’ home.

After returning to the Children’s Home Society Orphanage I was summoned to the main dining room where Mother Winters, the head matron, was waiting. Sitting on the floor in front of her was a small cardboard box. As I stopped in front of her I looked down and saw a toad frog near one edge of the box.

She kneeled down and motioned for me to do the same.

“You love frogs?” She said, in a soft kind voice.

“Yes Ma’am Mother Winters. I love frogs and especially lizards. They don’t hurt anybody.”

“YOU LOVE FROGS YOU LITTLE BASTARD?” She screamed, as she pulled a butter knife from behind her back. With a crashing blow she stabbed the knife into the middle of the frog’s back.

I am not sure exactly what happened at that instant. The pain was so excruciating that it doubled me over and I fell to the floor. I was screaming in the most agonizing pain that I have ever felt in my life. I pushed myself up onto my hands, raised my head as high as possible, and I slammed my face into the concrete floor, as hard as I could. Blood squirted in every direction. I jumped up from the floor and grabbed the knife, still stuck in the frog, and I threw it at Mother Winters. I grabbed the frog; fell to my knees with every portion of my body shaking. I kissed the frog and holding it toward heaven I screamed, “Jesus please, please, please, please, pleaseeeeeeeeeeee,” as loud as I could.

The next thing I remember I was handcuffed and riding in the back of a police car. Within half an hour I was locked away in the Duval County Juvenile Detention Center on Market Street.

As I lay on my steel bunk I thought about all the animals I had seen killed at the orphanage. By the age of twelve I had seen more than twenty-five possums, squirrels, butterflies, cats and dogs killed or slaughtered. Right then and there I swore that I would never kill, hurt or injure any animal unless I was going to eat it for food, and I have kept that promise.

In spite of my past and finally making my way to the reform schools, jails and finally to several prisons; I never physically hurt any animal or human being. I guess maybe it was that frog that turned a young boy into a Prince instead of a killer.



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