We were waiting for the principal of St. Britto’s in the lobby outside his office when the school recess bell rang. There was a roar that went through the air.

Elliott said, “I never realized we made so much noise in school.”

In the 10 minute break, Boy 1 came into the lobby and lounged against the cupboard crammed with trophies.

When he saw me fiddling with the camera, he straightened himself.

Boy 2 dragged himself in, pulling against Boy 3 who was trying to drag him out. “What’s happening?”, we said. “One boy poked me with a pen. Here, on my arm. When I was pushing me, Miss saw me, and she cut my internal assessment marks. I want to tell his name to the principal.” He bounded in, peeped in through the principal’s half-glass door, and ran out again.

Boy 4 came running in, his arm being pulled by Boy 5 and Boy 6. We raised our eyebrows inquiringly. “This boy is kicking me. I want to tell the principal.” He looked at the principal’s door and was pulled out again.

Boy 7 limped in, held up by Boys 8, 9, 10 and 11. He was bleeding at the knee. His friends strolled into the open office beside the principal’s office, and rummaged around in a drawer until they found some cotton to wipe his knee ineffectively. One boy poked at the wound, and made the injured boy scream. Everyone laughed. The boy poked the wound yet again. Boy 2 with his complaint came back.

The principal wisely remained busy until the bell rang to end the recess and the boys went back to class.