Old Feud

As a way of enduring those dark days, Steve and Michelle made sure their children felt safe at home. But Lucy and Jack had to be courageous in school. The fact was, sometimes people just had a problem in life. It was a tough lesson for them to have to learn. Steve looked at his children and was determined to break the cycle of underlying tension he had with his own parents. He would support both his son and his daughter.

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On a bitterly cold morning, Steve was queuing up in Chit-Chats. He looked at the slices of cake and mince pies. On the board behind the counter, there were an array of hot and cold drinks on offer. Steve slowly progressed toward the till. When it was his turn, he bought a take-away coffee and bacon buttie, and popped his spare change in the tinsel-covered box for tips. After slipping his woolly hat and gloves on, he opened the door to a blast of icy wind.

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If he was honest, Gronk was frightened. But he would never admit it, even to himself. He felt fear in the pit of his stomach. His eyes bulged as pressure increased on his neck. The side of his face pressed against the brickwork. Steve was angry. The moment seemed to freeze in time. Then Steve breathed slowly in and released his grip. Gronk spluttered and leant over putting his hands on his knees. He swallowed hard, then turned to walk away, trying to appear lofty. The Posheys had already moved on, shaking their heads. Gronk composed himself and, after a fluttery wave to his family, pointed to Gnoshers. Munter and crew hurried downhill toward the pedestrianised area.

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The unsuspecting Steve ambled by the shops. A car horn blared as a Poshey waved a fist while tailgating a commoner in a smaller car. A classic manoeuvre from the Snook School of Motoring. Distracted, Steve saw a Poshey couple strolling toward him. The lady wore designer clothes and pushed a designer buggy for her designer baby. A pagoda umbrella with frilly trim completed her look. The gentleman by her side wore a stiff shirt, stripy tie, tweed jacket, red trousers and expensive shoes. Their noses were firmly in the air. It looked as though they were going to force him off the pavement.

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Posh House

The Gronk-LaTwonks went for a walk around Good Side of the Snook and were in awe of the grand houses. One especially caught Gronk’s eye. It was on the best street as far as he was concerned and rose imposingly above the other houses. A double-fronted building, it was a distinguished white and the arched central doorway protruded perfectly. The owners had an incredibly upper crust triple-barrelled surname. The Fortescue-Stuck-Ups were only ever seen either in their sports car or attending extravagant parties. Gronk was jealous of this Poshey family. Really jealous. He wanted to be respected and admired like them. Or even better, just like the olden day Lord Snookington. One day that will be all mine, he thought.

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Prize Fighter

During a brief respite in the campaign, Gronk decided to test his prowess as a prize fighter. He sloped off to his back garden for some privacy. He did not want anyone to see his secret fighting moves. He practised some wide stances, then raised his fists. He had studied photographs and videos of the University of Snookford’s Fisticuffs Club. Gronk made sure the backs of his fists faced his imaginary opponent, just like the members of that prestigious club. He moved around and took a few swipes at thin air.

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Over the coming weeks, Steve and Michelle noticed a change in their children’s behaviour. They were a lot quieter than usual. And there were tell-tale bruises that showed all was not well. After a family meeting, the bullying came out. Both Lucy and Jack dreaded going to school and their parents knew they had to do something about it. They decided to talk to Gronk and Munter at the upcoming parent-teacher evening.

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Annual Talent Contest

During lessons, Griselina began sitting close to Lucy to copy her work. Whenever she did, Griselina immediately put her hand up and told the teacher Lucy had been copying. Each time the teacher checked, the two workbooks did indeed have identical answers and Lucy was scolded. This happened so often that Lucy had to explain herself to Miss Whippet. She was labelled a cheat because Griselina was an accomplished con-artist. One chilly afternoon, a poster was put on the school noticeboard.

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