A sign of the times


what did you learn today in school?
I learned they can’t stop me from playing the fool
the teacher doesn’t know how to punish a child
who is shooting paper pellets and running wild
he can’t hit me with a ruler or beat me with a cane
so he gives me lines to write, and only the tame
will be scared of the punishment for making a kite
out of the paper on which I’m meant to write
I get a detention and although he may shout
he’s got no power to stop me from walking out
I just can’t wait for tomorrow to come
when I’ll be back in school and having some fun.

what did you learn in school today?
I learnt some games that the big boys play
we rigged a up some cards and and we set up crooked bets
and everybody paid us in cigarettes
we had so many that just for a kick
we forced a kid to smoke them until he was sick
we beat up a boy and set fire to his books
but on the way home I was getting looks
from his older brother and a few of his friends
and I think it’s too late to try and make amends
I’ve had enough of messing round playing the fool
Tomorrow I’m gonna need a knife in school.

Written for The Daily Post #Learning

ยฉJane Paterson Basil



40 thoughts on “A sign of the times

    1. Thank you Gbolabo! The education system is a mess and parents are out of their depth because they’re all working and haven’t got enough time or energy to focus on solutions. Even if they did, the kids are too streetwise foe their own good these days.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sad but true. We’ve had kids turn up with guns at school even here. Rare, but it has happened. Why is it that ADULTS seem to have no ability to impact or control children’s behaviour anymore? Something is badly out of kilter.

    Liked by 1 person

              1. Possibly higher. Although we are getting more violent crime occurring now. Every day there are stories on the news about horrific crimes, often fueled by drugs. I would never go out for a walk on my own at night now. Used to.

                Liked by 1 person

                    1. I tell myself that they have mare reason to be scared of me than I of them. I learned the trick when I was eighteen, and I find even now that people occasionally look nervous when I walk past them at night. I think I must be portraying myself as a great big hairy giant. I did something vaguely similar to stop shoplifters when I had a market stall years ago. t stopped working once I got a shop, because I was in a partnership and my partner’s psychic imput killed it.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Who knows? Maybe I’m just fooling myself and I’ll get my comeupance one of these days. It’s like walking a tightrope – if you want to do it, but you’re too scared you’ll never be free ๐Ÿ™‚

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Did I tell you I have a violent nature? I’m the only one of my siblings who has. So I don’t think that nobody will dare attack me; I only think it extremely unlikely. Behind that is the threat that if they do, they’ll be sorry ๐Ÿ™‚
                      I think the brain can pump physical strength into the body, but only if the brain has that knowledge.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    4. Oh yes, indeed it can! I have seen it in action. I recall back when I was working in aged care a little titch of woman you think you could bowl over with a breath for some reason felt threatened. She had dementia. It took 6 burly male nurses to restrain her!


  2. goodonyer mite (Strine for jolly good show old chap). Minorities rule and the middle plods on. We get what we deserve. Mind you looks like the law of the jungle and survival of the fittest works in your world?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I say, how frightfully thoughtful of you to not only take the trouble to read my somewhat foolish little rhyme, but also to take the time to compose a response which is both amusing and pertinent. (English for thanksfer readnan getnintuch.) Yes, the law of the jungle, but it’s a strange jungle constructed of brown envelopes containing forms, red tape and people wandering around in circles, trying to remember where they left their children today.


  3. How dose the saying go, “Many a true word spoke in jest”. Sadly it is no joke, I get verbal abuse on most days,when I am out on my nature photographing forays, from kids as young as 5 to those in their early teens. On one occasion I was stoned by a large gang of 5 to 8 year olds after I recovered my bicycle, which one of them had stolen, it was whilst I was riding away that the attack happened. In fact I was confronted today (23rd Aug 2016). whilst checking out some flora at the base of a fence on the same street where I live. I did not count how many, but after one of them started stabbing at things on my sample tray with his finger, at the same time asking me what it was. I thought hello here we go. For after asking him to stop, he replied. “Why”. My reply was, spontaneous, for I told him he was taking the piss, and walked away, big mistake. I hadn’t got but a few steps on my way when they started shouting verbal abuse at me and there number had swollen to double figures. I hasten to add that I could not understand a word of what they were chanting, and not caring to find out I continued on my way. The sad thing about all this is there is nothing myself or their parents can do about it, apart from reprimanding them, and all to no avail, for the next day they’ll do it again. By the way I am 72 years of age, which means absolutely nothing to the kids of today.

    With respect to you Jane, before I post this I have to thank Gbolabo Adetunji for rebloging this too, as had he not done so it would of been highly unlikely that I would of found your blog.

    Best wishes,


    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s horrible – to be surrounded by such monsters! Where on earth do you live?
      I think kids like that feel threatened by people with interests they’re unfamiliar with, and they’re angry with life, looking for someone to take it out on. But that doesn’t solve the problem.
      I suppose moving somewhere else is out of the question.
      I hope that one way or another your situaltion improves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadly myself, along with many others, don’t think the situation will At least not.until the law concerning the disciplining of domestic and school juvenile delinquency. is sorted. A highly controversial subject I know, but the way some youngster act is tantamount to anarchy. H E L P!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Not so controversial these days – I remember when almost everyone agreed that it was a crime to administer the cane. Most of them have changed their minds in recent years.
          In this country, when a young person rings the police and says a parent has hit them, the police assess the situation and often take the side of the parent. It’s OK for parents to use reasonable force. A few years ago social services would have been called in.

          Liked by 1 person

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