The Water Fountain

I was only three or four years old or so at the time. It must have been at our place of worship. I was playing with the other children out in the hall, while most of the parents were gathered in another room. There were a few mothers nearby keeping watch while talking among themselves.

There was a water fountain in the hall. There was a small stool in front of the fountain, so that even the littlest who were capable to operate it could get a drink of water when thirsty. Predictably, we all started getting thirsty around the same time, and converged on the water fountain.

But there was this one girl. The self-appointed princess. The girl who thought that everything was about her, and that everyone was beneath her — leastways that’s how she usually behaved.

I don’t remember if anyone else got a drink or not before Little Miss Princess stepped up for hers. She drank, and drank, and drank – and drank again. And then she proceeded to drag the stool several feet away from the water fountain — and sit on it. She proclaimed that it was her throne, and that nobody else could have any water. Then she stood on it, and began to address her subjects.

One of the youngest children (who had definitely not had a drink of water yet) started crying. I was one of those very well-behaved children who tried to play nice with pretty much everyone. But I started seeing red.

This wasn’t something I had any time to think about; Justice demanded that I close the short distance between us, and forcefully oust the tyrant from her pilfered pedestal. I complied without hesitation.

She didn’t have time to see it coming, either. Or maybe it was simply because I didn’t show my anger outwardly. I might have been smiling almost conspiratorially when I marched right up to her and looked her in the eyes.

My hands spread out and my palms made firm contact with her center of mass. I threw all of the force I could muster from my tiny frame into giving her one good SHOVE. She landed squarely on her butt on the floor – startled, and crying in sudden indignation; dethroned and defeated.

I dragged the stool back over to the water fountain, and all the children drank.