ImageThrough several talking books that I borrowed from the CNIB, I heard about some native children who ran away from their horrid residential schools. When I attended an institution for deaf and blind children, the bully menaced me so much that I fled for my life. From my Deliverance from Jericho memoir, here is how it happened.


Being teased was not the only problem I had with the school bully. “I’m gonna beat you up real good,” Charlie threatened one gloomy November day after school. “Just wait here until I’m finished what I’m doing in the next room and I’ll come pound your head in.” I had no idea what set him off that time but I felt he honestly meant to harm me.

What could I do? I picked up a letter opener which Mom gave me and pressed it against my neck. It was far too dull. I threw it down on my bed and left the dorm. Running through the gate, I felt determined to get far away from that miserable school bully. I stopped in an alley and contemplated my situation. I did not know how I would find food or even a safe place to sleep. Returning to the dorm was out of the question. I believed Charlie would beat me up the minute I entered the grounds.

While I stood next to a set of garbage cans, debating with myself, an old man opened the back door of his house and began to shout at me. “What do you think you’re doing!? Are you waiting for someone?” When I did not answer, he threatened to call the police. I walked reluctantly down the alley wondering where I should go next.

Eventually, I worked up enough nerve to return to the dorm. One of my dorm mates told Mr. Moiarty what happened and everybody searched the grounds for me. “We were about to call the police to look for you before you showed up,” he said.

“I was only joking, Atchison,” Charlie said when I arrived back in my room. “Can’t you take a joke?” How was I to know if it was one or not?” I thought. Hoping he would leave me be, I said nothing.


Deliverance from Jericho  contains ample examples of life in Canada’s infamous school for deaf and blind children. Read more about this paperback at the Bruce Atchison’s books link on the left hand side of th Blogspot page.


Author: bruce Atchison - author

I'm a legally-blind freelance writer as well as the author of three memoirs and scores of articles. Contact me for details.

One thought on “THE RUNNAWAY”

  1. Hi Bruce, I remember reading this in your book. At one time, I considered running away from the Arizona school for the blind, but I didn’t even leave the grounds because I didn’t know where I would go.

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