Billy Wright, six-year-old hero of the novel WHAT I DID, blogs here
Have you ever bitten anybody?
I have, but not for ages, not since I was a tiny idiot.
Back then I wasn’t good at much. For example I couldn’t do interesting talking, or walking far, or eating spinach. Now I can do all three of those things. Not at the same time, though: you’re not supposed to talk with your mouth full. But back then I couldn’t even do one of those things properly and it was very annoying which is sometimes called frustrating.
If you frustrate a leopard by treading on its territory it may attack you using one of two antics: it may whack you with its claws or chew on you with its very sharp bite. I did biting. It’s allowed in the animal kingdom but not in preschool. If you do it there they call your Dad and he has to come and take you home and shout –WHY OH WHY CAN’T YOU JUST GET IT INTO YOUR TINY MIND: BITING IS BAD, NOT ALLOWED, WRONG!
So I stopped it.
But shall I tell you something interesting? Okay, it’s this: although I stopped biting people I still quite often wanted to bite people because the biting feeling itself didn’t go away. It still hasn’t. When Simon came to my house and tensionally undid my Lego stealth bomber I was extremely frustrating and could easily have bitten him.
I didn’t, though, because I’m six.
One of the other things I’m good at now that I’m six is looking at a person and saying what kind of animal they would be. Mum is prairie dog because she is tireless and they can lope across the African plain for days. Dad is more like a leopard. He has a lot of different growls, can sleep up a tree if he has to, and although he’s never bitten me he does have sharp claws.
Stand back! Be careful! Don’t do frustrating him!
I’ve drawn a leopard. They cannot change their spots.