I was totally shocked when the teacher threw my
exercise book at my face. She stood there glowering at me
with her huge eyes. What had I done?
Next, the boy beside me got the same treatment.
One by one the teacher repeated her nasty actions on a
total of five boys. The whole class was dumbfounded by
her sudden outburst of anger. We were merely kids and
were terrified of her. The fact that she was the headmaster's wife did not help matters.
Then we were sent to the headmaster's office. The
five of us did not know what we had done wrong, but it
must be something terrible. Still, we walked bravely into
"You are all trouble-makers, aren't you?" the headmaster began. We looked at each other. What trouble did
"I hear you never do what the teacher tells you.
You are disobedient," continued the headmaster.
We protested but were told to shut up. Chong, my
classmate, had his hands in his pockets and the headmaster
said, "Manners maketh a man. You've got no manners
boy." Chong hastily took his hands out and stood at
Then the headmaster went on to accuse us of not
doing our work properly, being ill-mannered and noisy, among other things. He was wrong most of the time. I
admit that our work were not top-class material but the
accusations were grossly exaggerated or totally unfounded.
Anyhow each of us received a cut of the headmaster's cane. It did not hurt that much. What hurt was the
injustice done onto us. We were punished for flimsy
reasons but what could we do? We could do nothing but
walk slowly back to class and try to get along with the