Sunday, March 25, 2018


To all the teachers that had bear with me, stood by me, thank you!

photo by geralt at pixabay


When the form teacher announced that morning that one of our classmates had left us we were not sure of the message, what it really meant. You see, what do primary one kids know about accidents and death? He fell into a well at home last night and that's that. He was a quiet kid, well-mannered, and we may miss him.

Miss Wee went out of the classroom, in between English lessons, a few times, I think, to dry her tears. The mood was somewhat sombre, we were quite well behaved for the rest of the day, even the class bully did not try to lift the skirts of the girls.

Then came the end of school day, and as Miss Wee dismissed us, we came running out to the patch of forest near the school, took out our empty match boxes, threw down our bags and plunged into the tall grasses to catch fighting spiders.

school bell rings -
chalk dust
on the teacher's hair

written 05/10/2016
revised 22/03/2018

"We break rules. We break their hearts. Yet we may not break their spirits." - dsnake1

And if you are thinking of them : Lulu - To Sir With Love

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2018

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Blogger Mary said...

Grief takes many forms, but the loss of one so young is very hard. I am sure Miss Wee didn't know what to say. Perhaps she was quite young too? I remember when the brother of a classmate died in a boating accident when I was in 8th grade. SOO very hard.

25 March, 2018 21:35  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

The story is so beautifully understated, so powerful for being so factual. And the haiku is a gem.

25 March, 2018 22:02  
Blogger Donna said...

You captured how life moves on after death especially for children as at that age we don't what death really means.


25 March, 2018 22:13  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


i remembered the incident very clearly, we do not really understand how one so young can die. i think the grade is equivalent to your country's first grade of schooling.
yes, the teacher was quite young, she was clearly quite affected by it.


thank you!
it was chalk and blackboards at that time. i always remembered the chalk dust. on me too. :)


yes, at that age, children do not really understand the concept of death, i think. thus, after school, it's back to play, even in the dangers of a forest.

25 March, 2018 22:46  
Blogger Rob Jackson said...

Children are able to recover, if that is the right word, so quickly. Is it they who do not understand or us?

25 March, 2018 23:42  
Blogger Sherry Blue Sky said...

The understating of this event makes for great impact. Children are so resilient. There is comfort in their rushing out to play after school.

25 March, 2018 23:44  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thanks for visiting.
adults tend to complicate things.


yes, children are so resilient. :)

26 March, 2018 00:03  
Blogger brudberg said...

I think death at young age seems so unreal, and the understated sorrow in the silence is so well described. Made me remember my younger cousin dying in cancer... I could not grasp it until much later and then I realized how little I really knew him.

26 March, 2018 00:12  
Blogger Sanaa Rizvi said...

Children are innocent beings who are unaware of the horrors of life.. they know not reality of death and how it affects all those around it. Beautifully evocative write.

26 March, 2018 01:05  
Blogger annell said...

Death is hard no matter what the age, be it classmate, or partner. Someone you hardly knew, or someone you loved.

26 March, 2018 01:42  
Blogger totomai said...

You have perfectly capture the innocence of youth here. Oh, and the fighting spiders, you made me remember my childhood. We alwatys look forward after school to play with them.

26 March, 2018 02:36  
Blogger R.K. Garon said...

A wonderful (though sad) story/Haibun

26 March, 2018 03:14  
Blogger Wendy Bourke said...

Wonderful nuances in this splendidly drawn haibun - that speaks to the contradictions, coping mechanisms and eccentricities of human behavior - and the life lessons we move through, acquiring self-knowledge and sorting it out.

26 March, 2018 07:28  
Blogger rallentanda said...

Chalk on her hair...a nice touch. You have penetrated the self contained essence of a small child...oblivious mostly to anything outside their orbit.

26 March, 2018 18:34  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


it's true, it seems so unreal at that young age.


yes, children are innocent beings.


it's hard at any age, but at that time it's hard to realise that he's not coming back.


i read somewhere that fighting spiders during my childhood were popular only in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. :)


thank you! :)


thank you for your kind comment. :)

26 March, 2018 22:43  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

thank you, rallentanda!

26 March, 2018 22:55  
Blogger A Cuban In London said...

Beautiful, beautiful writing. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

27 March, 2018 05:06  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Cuban! :)

27 March, 2018 14:48  

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