Tuesday, 27 September 2011


Children usually forgive tricks played on them by adults. Lying is a different matter. The quickest way for an adult to lose the trust of children is to trick them with a lie and then refuse to apologize for it. I don't need a degree in child psychology to know this is true.

On September 20th, I posted an excerpt from Deliverance from Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) about a singularly disagreeable supervisor charged with our care each weekday. Here's how he retaliated when we complained too much about the early morning runs he forced on us.


The strain on Mr. Thynne of urging twelve reluctant boys to do his bidding finally took its toll. Everybody groaned and complained so bitterly that he gave up enforcing his exercise plan. He decided that, since we refused to exert ourselves voluntarily, he would trick us into it. We were relaxing after supper when he came rushing in and exclaimed, "There's a fire on Eighth Avenue! Quick! Come and see it! Hurry before it goes out!"

We all ran down the stairs, out of the dorm, and up to the gate in the chain-link fence. Those of us with vision glanced all around for smoke and flames. "Where's the fire?" several of us asked as we strained to detect any sign of a conflagration.

"I just said that to get you guys to exercise," Mr. Thynne admitted. We groaned in unison and trudged sheepishly back to the dorm.

Because Mr. Thynne's conduct and attitude disgusted us, we had no respect for him. We nicknamed our supervisor "pretty boy" and "Mr. Knackers" behind his back. Life was bad enough with Mr. Moiarty on the weekends but now this singularly disagreeable man was running our lives all week.


Deliverance from Jericho contains many more vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Click here to read more about this compelling story. You may also e-mail me directly if the comment form doesn't work.

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