Daisy is Dead

I had to do it. They double-dared me. That’s how I saw the bodies of the dead horse and its headless rider lying there, waiting to be boiled down into glue. I screamed, the way anyone would scream.  And then the other boys and girls screamed while they turned and ran. Now, I was the only boy ever to have seen what was on the other side of the wall.

And when we ran across the road to our school, Daisy was lying on the ground by the gate and her hair was all matted down like a swimming cap and her mouth was on the wrong side of her face like she was trying not to kiss someone. Seeing Daisy like that, all crumpled and ugly with one of her eyes missing, made the girls cry. They didn’t want to hold her anymore and stroke her long blonde hair or brush it and dress her in flower-print skirts.

Miss Jones told us it was a fire, started by the big boys who threw a petrol bomb in through the open window. And now all of our books and toys were lying on the pavement, next to Daisy.

Miss Jones told us it was proof that we should never play with fire. Listen to the rhyme, she said:

“Poor Willie, all bows and sashes, fell into the fire and was burned to ashes. Now the room grows cold and chilly, for no one wants to poke poor Willie.”

And we listened but I didn’t know who Willie was or how he fell into the fire. If I fell into a fire, I would just climb back out. Miss Jones told us that Willie would never grow up and he would forever be a little boy. He is sitting at the feet of God because God suffers all the little children to come unto him. God loves dead children more than dead grown-ups because children are innocent like the lamb and will never become sinners.

So I didn’t tell Miss Jones that I had a box of matches in my pocket. And I was just waiting for a time to use them.


  1. Powerful piece– you pack a punch every time. The book will be great!

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