A schoolboy is bullied by the very big Darren Bishop both verbally and with intimidatory intent to provoke a fight. The smaller boy is frightened and tries to keep his cool to avoid physical conflict. He wants to beat him at something. After hurling abuse about the boy and his father, he thrashes the bully over the 200 metres at sports day. "I'll get you", said the bully and confronts him at school next day calling him a coward, pushing for a fight. It was then that the boy thought up a clever plan. He challenged the bully to dare enter a field and play at being a matador with a raging, ferocious bull called Olly. The smaller boy knew Olly well. He was really gentle and tame despite his fierce look. He goes into the field first. Olly does his charging at a coat flapping in front of him. Then it is the bully Darren's turn. He was petrified and turned and ran away with his friends. The boy had turned into a smart hero.
He ran home to tell his parents all about it. His father was horrified as the neat twist in the story explains (no spoiler). The hero, however, realises how much danger he had escaped from but had the pleasure of showing the school how lily-livered the bully really was. He had not even shown his face at school the next day.
The moral of the story is that bullying does not necesarily have to be confrontational and that being shrewd and quick-witted can often defuse a showdown. Also, look before you leap and be sure of your facts. This is a super little book that I read with my 7 year old grandaughter who has seen children at school "pushing people and saying nasty things". I had to explain some of the words and we talked about the differences between being playful, naughty and nasty. I have read it with her several times and she now has the book. Hope this well-written and illustrated tale will be useful to her and her friends.