Bullying headmaster with a softer side
The whispering started when he left the staff room briefing.
He knew it would. They would never understand or question him, didn't dare. Rod of iron, that was what they needed. He towered above everyone else, looked down on them. Liberal namby pamby ideals, you couldn't mollycoddle these kids. They needed to be strong to survive, it was tough out there. He knew, he'd been there, they hadn't.
Straight from school to university, no idea of what the outside world was like, or the background these kids came from.
That was were the last head had made his mistakes. Recruited cheap, opted for those with little experience and full of ideals. There were some with possibilities, but they would need whipping into shape, shape up or ship out. The kids already knew where they stood with him. He had himself clear on his first day.
"Do what you're told and don't ever question my authority" he'd bellowed at them, kids and staff alike. It had worked, corridors went silent at his approach. He only had to open a classroom door and there was a hush. The smokers in the tennis courts cleared out on his approach.
The Davis family, feared by kids and teachers alike, had been to see him. He knew the type, had come from the same background. He dealt with them too.
It was the end of the day, a wet miserable day when the skies had emptied. He was on the gates watching them leave, glaring at them all equally. One of the Davis clan caught his eye, furtively putting something in his pocket.
'Davis, here boy', he barked.
Phil Davis sidled over, keeping his hand in his pocket, everyone else seemed to vanish around him.
He leaned down over him, he was the smallest of the tribe.
'What have you just put in your pocket?
'Nothing sir', he said, with a surprising edge of defiance.
'Take your hand out of your pocket, and show me what you have in the pocket...now!'
Phil peered up at him, small and weasely, unexpected defiance in his eyes, but he slowly and carefully removed his hand, there was a small field mouse curled up in it, wet and bedraggled.
'Found it sir, it's wet sir, taking it home to look after it sir'
'At the last count your family had 2 Rottweilers and an Alsatian, how long do you think it will last boy' he said quietly.
' Keeping it in a shoe box under my bed sir, till it gets better and I can let it go sir'
He looked at the small trembling ball of fur, it probably wouldn't last an hour.
He looked at the boy, and dismissed him with a flick of his head.
He watched the boy go, not letting his guard down.
He hoped the God of small, defenceless, quivering things was looking down and would show some compassion. He'd keep an eye on young Phil himself.