The Trouble With Fifth Graders

by ThatOneWriter


... Is Everything

Ugh. Fifth graders. There’s nothing worse in this world. They’re the source of all our problems.

I mean, sure, fourth graders are pretty bad, but they can be put in their place easy enough. Heck, I can take two or three at a time, no sweat. Maybe even more. But fifth graders? That’s when they start to get a little bigger. Just because you gotta take ‘em down one at a time, they think they actually stand a chance against you. Then they think they run things. The punks.

So I gotta rough ‘em up, right? Show ‘em who’s boss, knock ‘em down a peg, all that jazz. Just pick one puny colt, single him out from the crowd, then get him alone and wham! Left hook, right to the kisser! That’ll show him to challenge me. Don’t go starting fights you can’t win, I always say.

He takes a pathetic swing back, but I easily block it and grab his hoof. “Why’re ya hittin’ yourself? Why’re ya hittin’ yourself?” I taunt, punching him with the hoof I grabbed. He whips around, trying to kick me in the side. But I’m too sharp for that. I dodge out of the way, still holding his hoof, then I twist it until he cries out. I smirk. The little pest is starting to get the message.

But then more of the friggin’ twerps start appearing. They’re like stupid parasprites, just moving in and invading in such sheer numbers that they can’t be driven back. It makes my blood boil a bit. Don’t they know their place? They think they can use their numbers to defy the natural order, but they’ll learn how things are soon enough. They’ll see tomorrow.

I walk away—for now—right as the bell rings. I gotta go home and regroup, see? Strategize, make a plan of attack, and then those stupid fifth graders will realize that they’re nothing.

But this one colt’s tailing me, trying to follow me home. He’s saying he’s gonna tell Mom. Ha! Not if I beat him home! Just gotta shake him off my tail, then protect my mom from the corruption of this fifth grader's dirty lies.

I zig and zag, crossing back and forth across the street. I fake like I’m going left, but then I actually turn right. He’s still right behind me, though. He wasn’t fooled, not that I really expected him to be. I pick up the pace. I’m jogging now, and I’m losing him, bit by bit, but he’s not even a block behind. That’s still not good enough, so I cut through an alley and jump a fence that I know he can’t jump, since he can’t fly. Shortcut!

I can hear him panting as he tries to catch up on the long way around. Home’s only a few blocks away! I break into an all-out sprint, not hazarding a glance over my shoulder. My heart’s racing as I approach our familiar old single-story house. My heartbeat pounds in my ears.

I leap over the front steps onto the porch. I swing open the door.

“Mom! Don’t listen to anything the brat says! He totally started it.”

My mom glares at me. “What did you do?”

“I did nothing wrong!”

Rumble comes in then. His lip, which I busted, is bleeding kind of heavily, and it’s dripping all down the front of him. His one hoof is starting to swell and turn a bit purple, and I note he walks very gingerly on it.

Mom rushes up to him. I’m too late! I couldn’t save her from his evil influence. “Oh, sweetie,” she coos. “What happened?”

He sniffs, which is probably played up, because I only see a little bit of blood from his nose, and he definitely wasn’t crying until just now from what I saw. “Thunderlane beat me up.”

Mom turns and presses her snout right up in my face. My backing up a step was just from her pushing me. Clearly.

“Well, he was asking for it!” I gesture toward Rumble, who has now fully engaged Bawling Mode. His tears mix with the blood and the snot trailing down his face to form this disgusting sort of goop on the floor in front of him. Thankfully it’s wood and not carpet, so I never have to see that mess again.

Mom’s eyes, still mere inches from my own, narrow at me. She’s not buying it.

“He said he could take me on,” I clarify.

“So you beat him till he cried?” she said. She still doesn’t get it!

I throw up my hooves. “I had to show him his place! I did him a favor by ridding him of his delusion!”

“Show him his place?” Her jaw drops. She closes her eyes, real slow-like, then opens them. She lowers her voice. “Then I think I need to show you your place.”

A chill races down my spine. My throat’s very dry all of a sudden. “My place…?” I squeak.

“You’re grounded for the next three weeks.”

“Three weeks! But—”

She holds up her hoof. “And your brother gets access to all your video games while you’re grounded.”

I stare at her. “But that’s my stuff!”

An evil smile crosses her face. “I’m just ridding you of your delusion of owning everything.” Her face softens as she turns back to Rumble. “Aw, come here.” She wraps a front leg over him, hugging him from the side. “Let’s get you all cleaned up.”

I can’t believe it. He acted like he owned everything, and in the end he was right. He owned Mom, and that was all that mattered.

This is all his fault. I was just trying to solve the problem.

Stupid fifth graders.