Lucas and the Bully

By Eric B. Murdock

Church Magazines

(Based on a true story)

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Lucas felt great about what he said … until he saw the look on Pedro’s face.

“Let us oft speak kind words to each other” (Hymns, no. 232).

Lucas and the Bully

Illustration by Brad Teare

“Oh no! Here comes Pedro!”

Everyone at school knew that Pedro was a bully. He was big, and he was mean! He called other kids names, took their lunches, and chased them around the school yard. No one wanted to be around him.

Pedro walked by Lucas and his friend Arthur. He called them “losers” and pushed Arthur.

Lucas was tired of Pedro being so mean. Without even thinking, he shouted, “Stop it, Pedro!”

Lucas couldn’t believe it. He’d just stood up to the biggest bully in school!

Pedro stormed up to Lucas and grabbed his shirt. “What did you say?” Lucas’s heart beat so fast it felt like it would jump out of his chest! “I’ll give you one warning,” Pedro said. “But you’d better watch out!” He shoved Lucas and walked away.

After that, Lucas did his best to avoid Pedro, but Pedro always found him. He kept Lucas off the swings, pushed him during dodgeball, tripped him in the cafeteria, and always said mean things.

One day Lucas and Arthur were playing with Arthur’s soccer ball. Pedro jumped out from behind a tree and grabbed it.

“Please give it back,” said Arthur.

“Who’s going to make me?” Pedro pushed Lucas and laughed.

Lucas could feel his stomach twist in knots. He was so angry! “You know what, Pedro?” Lucas said. “You’re the meanest kid I know! Nobody likes you. Everyone wishes you’d go away!”

Pedro stopped laughing. Lucas felt great about what he said … until he saw the look on Pedro’s face. Was he about to cry? Pedro quickly looked down and walked away.

Lucas instantly felt terrible. For the rest of the day, no matter how hard he tried, Lucas couldn’t get rid of the terrible feeling. That night, he tossed and turned in bed. He kept thinking about how sad Pedro had looked.

How could Pedro feel bad? Lucas thought. He doesn’t care if he’s mean to other kids. I had to say something, right? The more Lucas thought about it, the more he realized he was right to stand up for himself and his friend. But he was wrong to say those mean things.

Lucas knelt by his bed and asked Heavenly Father to forgive him. He told Heavenly Father that he never wanted to hurt anyone like that ever again. He wanted to be kind. When Lucas said “amen,” he knew what he had to do.

After lunch the next day, Lucas found Pedro standing against a wall by himself. Lucas was nervous. What would Pedro do? Lucas took a deep breath and walked over.

“Um, I’m sorry about yesterday.”

Pedro looked surprised. “You’re sorry?”

“Yes. I said some really mean things to you, and I shouldn’t have. I’m sorry.”

Pedro stared down at his shoes. “It’s OK.”

The bell rang. Lucas started walking back to class. He felt so much better. But there was one more thing he wanted to say. He turned back around. “We could play soccer at recess tomorrow if you want.”

A small smile crossed Pedro’s face. “That sounds good.”

After that, things got better with Pedro. He was still a bully sometimes, but he wasn’t as mean. He even played with Lucas a few times at recess. And it was actually fun! At the end of the school year, Pedro told Lucas that he was moving away. Then he said something that really surprised Lucas.

“Thanks for being my friend,” Pedro said. “Even when I wasn’t nice.”

The warm feeling in Lucas’s heart let him know that being kind is always the right choice.