Don’t Hit My Sister, That’s My Job

When I was a kid my family lived way out in the country and my brothers and I had a ninety-minute bus ride to school. I always sat in front because I was one of the youngest. I dreaded the stop a few miles away from home where this kid Danny got on the bus, because he would pick on me the rest of the way to school. After a

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Muay Thai: A Dangerous Path out of Poverty

Nut turns twelve today as he walks down the rainy street from his training camp toward his village’s boxing ring. His shin splints ache with each step, but he’s grown accustomed to it. Like many Thai children his age, he has already trained in his country’s national martial art, Muay Thai, for several years. Muay Thai is more than a martial art for many Thai people: it’s a way of

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The Dark Side of the Pooh

“Jerome Bernard Parent, what are you doing?” my mother asked. Uh oh. Full name. I’m in trouble. “I’m just reading,” I said, showing her the book. “That’s rude for a guest to be doing. Now go outside with the other kids and play.” “All right,” I said. “In a minute.” I peeked down the stairs. All of the grownups, including my mother, were drinking and talking loudly about the upcoming

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The Chicken Chronicles, Part 3

It never occurred to me that the pool was a danger. Grandma Ruby cautioned me about the four-foot fence (“Oh, they’ll be able to get over that pretty soon,” she said on her first visit), but I hadn’t been very concerned. We had a six foot fence around the yard and secured the chickens in their coop each night. Besides, Grandma Ruby’s chickens ranged her yard freely among her young

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Blue Heron of the Fountain Valley

He’s a pencil sketch implausibility of a bird, high-stepping it out from the rain-drenched rushes of the pond’s edge, his neck a skinny swoosh you could almost miss, making the parabolic drama of that bill the more startling still. He reacts to some invisible shift in the wind or stirring in the pond-scrabble round his magnified praying-mantis legs, and in remarkable silence, lifts off. Dusky azure wings like the twin

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