When I was a wee lass of eight, a new boy, Liam, came to our little elementary school. He was a few years older than myself, very tall, with a stylish mushroom cut and an attitude of carelessness. He soon proved that he had a knack for trouble and I think the teachers must have inwardly groaned at the thought of having him in their class. A real rascal, or scallywag as my Grandpa would have put it. He had the bad boy act down and us girls were helpless to its charm. He had a reputation to live up to.
Winter came and I was attending our school choir practices twice a week (What? Choir was cool). They started early in the morning, before class. I remember getting ready to go one morning, pulling on my rubber cowboy boots and my winter coat. We lived just across a field from the school and my mother would watch me walk to school from the living room window. I got to the middle of the school field when I saw it coming.
A great, big, black dog was running towards me, in what I thought was a death charge. (I was absolutely terrified of dogs at that age. Looking back, I know that the dog was probably just overly friendly and excited, but at the time, I sincerely thought that dog was trying to kill me.) I looked around, for some place to run and hide, but there was nothing but field all around me. And then the dog collided with me, jumping up and knocking me down. I was shrieking. The dog was biting my rubber cowboy boots. I didn't know what to do.
And then, he came. Liam ran onto the field towards me, carrying a big rock in his hands. He was shouting at the dog. He lobbed the rock into the field and the dog took after chasing it. With tears streaming down my face, he helped me to my feet and we ran into the school, before the dog could catch us. My mom had watched the entire scene unfold from the living room window, helpless to do anything. She had already called down to the school, frantic to see if I was alright. I had been badly scared, but not hurt. I think my mother was ready to hug and kiss Liam, that scallywag who saved me. After that event, he soon transferred schools and I never saw him again. I can't remember a single thing he did to deserve his bad reputation, but I will always remember how he came to my rescue that day and I will always be grateful for it (and so will my mom!).