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Yvonne's Swan Song

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~ Dedicated to all victims of bullying,
which include girls & boys of all 
ages, sizes, and backgrounds.
(That includes me too.) ~

Yvonne was very, very, very happy.
She loved her mother.
She loved her brother Phillip.
And she loved swans.
Oh, did she ever love swans!

She loved the way they looked
With their smooth, fluffy feathers,
And colorful beaks of orange, yellow and red.
She would watch them for hours 
As they glided over water
In the pond at the park.

Her favorite thing was when two swans
Would get close, ever so close, 
Head to head, forming a heart
With their beautiful, curved necks.

Her next favorite thing was 
When baby swan cygnets
Would bunch together, 
Closely following behind their mother.

She loved swans so much that she 
Made a song about them.
Yvonne called it her Swan Song.

“Oh, lovely swan, as you swim in the pond,
Your baby cygnets play—I could watch them all day!
Whatever I do, when I think about you
I wonder if you think about me too!”

Yvonne sang her swan song
All the way to school in the morning
And all the way back home in the afternoon.

Yvonne loved school too.
She was a very good student.  
She studied hard for her tests.
Her grades were very good.
Her teachers were impressed.
Yvonne was helpful to her classmates.
And she was very, very, very happy.

One day a new kid showed up at school.
His name was Harry, and he seemed kinda cool.  
The teacher welcomed Harry to the class
And told everyone to be nice to him.
Harry was a little bigger than most of the kids.
And Harry didn’t smile.  He didn’t say a word.

Harry sat at the empty desk next to Yvonne.
Yvonne was excited about making a new friend.
“Hi, Harry.  I’m Yvonne.  Pleased to meet you.”
“Shut up!” Harry said.  “Leave me alone.”
Yvonne wondered why Harry was so mean.
In fact, he looked rather scary.
“Scary Harry” thought Yvonne.

Every day Yvonne and her friends 
Would try to be nice to Harry.
Every day, Harry would be mean to them.
The only kids Harry liked were the bully kids,
The ones who were mean like Harry.
Harry was bigger and meaner.
Soon all the bullies were following him.

Every day they would pick on different kids. 
One day they started picking on Yvonne.
Scary Harry taught his bully friends
An awful poem about Yvonne.  
They would shout it out when Yvonne came to school
And they would shout it out when she left for home too.

“Yvonne sang her swan song
She worked so hard all-day long.
When she came home she fell down
'Cause her legs didn’t have any bones!”

Yvonne was very hurt by their horrible, hateful poem,
And she would cry and run away as fast as she could.
Scary Harry and the bullies would laugh and laugh
And keep shouting it over again and again.

They also made up an awful poem 
About Yvonne’s brother Phillip.

“Her brother’s name was Phillip. 
He had such big wide hips.
When he tried to drink from a straw he couldn’t
'Cause his mouth didn’t have any lips!”

Yvonne was no longer very, very, very happy, 
She felt fear, stress and sadness all the time.
Fear made her not want to go to school.
Sadness made her stop acting like her true self.

She no longer wanted to go to the park to see the swans.
Stress left her stomach in knots.
She found it hard to sleep.
What could she do?  
What would you do if this happened to you?

Yvonne did not want to be a tattletale,
But decided it would be best to tell her mother.
Yvonne told her everything.
About the new kid, Scary Harry, and the bully kids;
About them bullying her and her friends;
About the awful poems about her and Phillip;
About her fear of going to school;
About her sadness over not wanting to see the swans;
About the stress leaving her stomach in knots.
She told her mother everything,
And then she cried and cried and cried.

Her mother wept with her, and 
When the time was right she asked, 
“What do you do when they bully you?”
“I start to cry and then run away” sobbed Yvonne.
“What do you WANT to do when they bully you?”
“I want to hit them hard and make them stop!” 

With loving eyes, her mother replied
“Yvonne, I am so sorry for you.  
But I know exactly what you should do.”
“Really?” Yvonne asked between sobs.
“Really!” responded her mother.  “Listen closely.”
Placing her hands gently on Yvonne’s shoulders,
Her mother kindly looked into Yvonne’s eyes and said:

“You can beat a bully without using your fists,
If you don’t react to their bullying.  
If you don’t react, the bullies will lose interest.
Don’t retaliate, or be mean to them, 
Because that will only add to the problem.
Act confident, don’t be afraid.  
Bullies notice when you’re afraid.

Walk away, don’t run.  
It shows you have self-control, 
Something the bullies don’t have.
Don’t walk to school alone.   
Walk with a friend.

Since bullies love secrecy, tell someone.  
Tell a teacher, just like you told me.
Even though you may feel like a tattletale, 
You shouldn’t have to face it alone.”

Yvonne hugged her mother long and hard.
She was so happy she had finally told her mother.
“Let’s go to the park and see the swans” her mother said.
Yvonne, her mother and Phillip went, and had a wonderful time.
Yvonne felt like singing her swan song again,
So she sang it loud and strong
In the park by the pond and all the way home.

“Oh, lovely swan, as you swim in the pond
Your baby cygnets play—I could watch them all day!
Whatever I do, when I think about you
I wonder if you think about me too!”

The next day at school, 
When scary Harry and the bully kids 
Shouted the awful poems, 
Yvonne remembered everything her mother had told her.
She even told her friends, so they would know what to do.
And she told her teacher too.

It didn’t take long before the bullying slowed down.
Scary Harry eventually stopped being as scary.
Yvonne was once again very, very, very happy.

She loved her mother more and more each day.
She loved her brother Phillip.
She loved her school too.
And she loved swans.
Oh, did she ever love swans!

November 15, 2019
F G I series 4 narrative
Brian Strand, sponsor

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018

Post Comments
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Date: 11/15/2019 11:01:00 AM
Mark, wow, this touched my heart deeply, for I was very much like the little girl Yvonne and my mother and father told me almost the same thing... bullies can destroy a child's life and your narrative poem for sure showed the destruction of bullies, well done and congratulations on your deserved podium placement in Brian's Blog Series !
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Mark Toney
Date: 11/15/2019 12:00:00 PM
Constance, your kind, heartfelt comment means a lot to me. ~Mark
Date: 6/15/2018 5:43:00 AM
That's lovely.....good way to react when we face problems. Enjoyed reading this poem.
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Mark Toney
Date: 6/15/2018 9:39:00 AM
Jenifer, thank you for taking the time to send some encouragement my way.
Date: 6/15/2018 12:14:00 AM
Thoroughly enjoyed your poetic story...Seren
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Mark Toney
Date: 6/15/2018 12:58:00 AM
Thank you kind Seren.
Date: 6/4/2018 11:53:00 AM
Am really glad "Mums" way of dealing with bullies worked for Yvonne and she was very very very happy again, nice story :)
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Mark Toney
Date: 6/4/2018 12:27:00 PM
I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thank you so much, Paris-Maree.
Date: 5/16/2018 8:50:00 AM
I am thinking Viet Nam as I read this; pray that it won't be me. And it is a jungle. Missing your family would be just a small part of what you are missing - missing your life. Thanks for bringing these feelings to the table in the form of a poem.
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Date: 5/16/2018 8:46:00 AM
True! True! And wonderfully true!
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Date: 5/16/2018 8:45:00 AM
"Useless, a nothing, not worth a damn"l - so many children would blossom a lot faster if they had never heard these words. Thank you for being brave enough and smart enough to use them. They are the crux of this brilliant poem, Sandra.
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Date: 5/16/2018 8:38:00 AM
This brief poem portrays what women do everywhere, every day. Well written, Carrie.
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Date: 5/16/2018 8:35:00 AM
This poem has an optimistic ending; nice.
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Date: 5/16/2018 8:29:00 AM
Every person in the world need to teach their child the moral of this poem. If you do not react to the bully, if they do not feel they have taken your power, they stop because it is no fun anymore. Well written, Mark.
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Mark Toney
Date: 5/16/2018 9:30:00 AM
So true, Caren. Thank you for taking time to send some encouraging words my way :) ~Mark