Category Archives: Billy Wright


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.

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Billy Wright, six-year-old hero of the novel WHAT I DID, blogs here.

Have you ever been so angry you turned into an idiot?

I have, and so has Dad, and even Mum has once or twice, because in fact it’s normal.

–Be wary of the man who never raises his voice, Son.  He probably drowns kittens in his spare time.

Dad didn’t actually mean that quiet people kill pets.  I know because he told me afterwards he was just speaking met-meta-metaf … I can’t remember, but I do remember that no kittens actually drowned.

So yesterday, when I wasn’t allowed the whole Toblerone, but had to share some with my cousin Lizzie instead, and when I got a bit cross because of that and sort of did a nasty stare at Mum, which made her take the whole of the rest of the Toblerone away and say I was being ungrateful, I could feel it rising up, and up, and up, and …  and she was right … and I sort of knew it … and hated it, and … it … just … came … out … as:


–No you don’t.


–No you’re not.  You’re going to go to your room.


And I did go, using my hardest stamping on the stairs.  But when I reached the top landing Dad was already standing there just looking at me without saying anything, and suddenly I felt like a balloon that had let go of itself and screeched round the front room before landing in a very saggy way on somebody’s foot.

–I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry, I said.

–About what?

–About what I said to Mum.  I didn’t mean it.

Dad did a long pause.  Then his eyes got good creases beside them.  –Oh, that, he said.  Don’t worry; she knows it was just an empty threat.

–A what?

–Angry nonsense.  Only an idiot would take what you said seriously.


–Yes.  And remember this the next time somebody says something stupid to you: people say things they don’t really mean the whole time, he said.

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