Battle with Fighting

"Don't do it, Noel," Sam whispered urgently in his friend's ear. "He's trying to goad you into hitting him first."

"What's it going to be, No-Ell the Christmas Boy?" asked Daniel. "Are you afraid your pretty little face will get messed up?"

Noel tried to jerk his arm free from Sam's restraining hand. "Leave me alone, Sam," Noel whispered fiercely to his friend. "Daniel is just begging for someone to teach him a lesson."

Sam grasped Noel's arm more firmly. "Do you know what will happen if you do what he wants? You'll be in big trouble. You know the rule about fighting on school grounds. Besides, what will Mr. Fields say?" asked Sam. "Think! What is it we repeat in taekwondo class each day? Honor, courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, courage, and community. They're not just words."

Noel silently repeated the words Sam recited. Noel's fists clenched and unclenched as he held them in guard position. Finally, he won the battle within himself. He dropped his left hand and held his right hand out in a "stop" gesture. Then he and Sam walked away.

"Scaredy cat! Coward!" yelled Daniel as the other two boys walked away. Some of Daniel's friends offered cat calls of their own, hoping to make the pair angry enough to come back or perhaps run away. It didn't matter to them. Either would suit them.

"What do I do now?" asked Noel. "He's just going to keep on at me until something happens."

"Mr. Fields mentioned something about this in our protection class last week. Do you remember?" asked Sam.

"I missed that lesson," said Noel. "Remember, I had a cold, and Mom said I needed to stay home."

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