Napoleon crowing.

Boys and girls, have you ever been bullied, or teased by someone? It isn't nice is it? It makes you feel yucky and scared and getting even or doing the same thing back to someone else isn't the answer either.

Think, "What would Jesus do?" In Luke 6:28, Jesus tells us to pray for those who hurt us. It doesn't get them off the hook; it just gives God room to work in their lives. But if you are being bullied, please, you really must tell your parents about it and your teacher too, because bullying is wrong and the person doing it needs to face up to it.

Let me tell you a couple of stories about bullies from when I was a girl. Now these bullies weren't people, they had fur and feathers.

We had a cat called Fluffy that was a real bully. She would fight any cat that came within a whisker of her favourite kitten, Sandy, even when he became a grown up cat.

The time came when she ran out of other cats to fight, as they had learned to by-pass our place. So she took on any animal that came within Coo-ee, even dogs.

One day an Alsatian came into our back yard with his owner to see my dad. The poor dog didn't know what hit him, one minute he was walking sedately beside his owner, minding his own business and the next, something he couldn't see landed on his back digging its claws into him!

Fluffy had been sitting on the top of the fence in a crouching position when the man and his dog walked by her.

The dog took off down the lane yelping all the way, Fluffy still clinging onto his back like a jockey! The dog's owner took the pipe he'd been smoking out of his mouth and his jaw went slack.

"What on earth..!" he said, then, "come back here you silly dog, it's only a cat!"

But the dog didn't come back, only a very smug looking cat did.

Fluffy waltzed back up our driveway, her tail straight up in the air like a flag-pole and every part of her fluffy fur in place as if she'd just won first prize at a cat show, and not just been out dog-riding!

The dogs around town soon got the message, "don't go near Fluffy's place," they'd woof to one another as they met. "Not unless you want to loose an ear or two!" would be the barked reply. It was just so embarrassing. Quite a few people told us that they couldn't walk past our place any more as their dogs were afraid of our cat! We eventually gave Fluffy to the grain store owners to help keep down the mice.

Some friends of my mother once gave me a Bantam hen and rooster. The hen promptly turned up her toes and dropped dead when she saw her living quarters.

The rooster thrived though and he soon became a real chicken-coop dictator. He might have been small; he was about three times smaller than the hens, yet this little pint sized, feathered bully, ordered them about like a general in an army! Napoleon, I named him. He soon had the chook-pen running just the way he wanted it.

Napoleon would strut about in his feathered finery just like the real dictator; all he needed was a funny shaped hat to complete the outfit. He had the poor hens up at the crack of dawn, just as soon as he crowed and he wouldn't take no for an answer. Any hen that wouldn't get off the perch when he ordered her too, got severally pecked.

The poor hens soon became frazzled. They hadn't bothered about getting up until about ten in the morning before; they'd not seen the need too. It quite put them off laying. They were so scared of being pecked by Napoleon if they sat down for too long that one day a hen actually laid an egg on my shoe while she was standing up!

Whenever I took their food in to them; whether it was grain or scraps, Napoleon had to have the first bite. After he'd had his fill, he would round up the hens, making a tremendous racket as he went about it, then he'd tell them to start eating. The feathered bully would stand back then, flap his wings and crow grandly.

My sister was terrified of him. Napoleon used to peck at her feet when it was her turn to feed the chooks. When it happened, she'd drop the bucket of scraps and run out screaming! Although she and the hens were afraid of Napoleon, I wasn't. He was afraid of me! I didn't ever hurt him, I'd just stand my ground and look at him and he'd turn tail and run!

Just when I thought the only solution to the chook-pen bullying was to put Napoleon in a pot; a very small pot mind, mum's friends asked could they have him back as their Bantam rooster had died.

I gave him back gladly and the difference it made to the hens lives was instantaneous. I could just about hear them sighing with relief and loosening their feather corsets, after he'd gone.

Now, they could relax and have a well earned rest, without being bossed around by him. The hens went right back to sleeping in until THEY wanted to get up and if they felt like having a little afternoon snack, or a dust-bath, well they jolly well could have one without being told whether they could or they couldn't by one bossy boots of a Bantam rooster!

Boys and girls, I know bullies seem powerful, but they get their power by making others afraid of them. God on the other hand is powerful, but He is very kind! (Psalm 62:11-12)