“I dare you to write the truth about Mr. Proctor,” Jimmy taunted.

“All right. I will!” Terry exclaimed.

‘No. Don’t do it.” Siri protested.

‘Mr. Proctor is a mean old man,’ Terry began. ‘He won’t let us run through his yard. That’s the quickest way from my house to Jimmy’s. He yells that we should walk all the way to the road down my driveway, then all the way back up Jimmy’s driveway. That is stupid.’

“I agree,” Jimmy read silently as Terry wrote.

“Be careful, Terry,” Siri cautioned. “Somebody else might read this.”

‘Mr. Proctor doesn’t know what it’s like to be a kid,’ Terry continued. “Mr. Proctor never was a kid, he was always a mean old man!’

“Way to go!” Jimmy cheered him on.

‘Mr. Proctor should have had kids of his own, then he would understand. If Proctor had had kids, he would understand that getting to each other’s house the quickest way is the best way. Proctor would have been a better father if his son had not been killed.’

“Oh,” said Jimmy. “I forgot about that.”

‘Proctor’s son and wife would have made him a happy man, but now she’s dead too.’

“Probably they would have,” Siri agreed.

‘Maybe Proctor is upset because we remind him of his boy.’

“Well…” Jimmy had not considered this.

‘Proctor needs some kids to adopt him as their grandfather, since there are no Granpa’s around here. Proctor has to be lonely, sitting in that old house by himself every day.’

“That’s right,” Siri agreed. “I’ve never seen anyone visit him.”


“That’s enough!” Jimmy announced. “Let’s go visit Mr. Proctor.”

“Maybe there’s something we can help him do,” suggested Siri.

The three friends walked over to their neighbor’s house to see if they could make a difference.

2 thoughts on “Proctor is a Mean Old Man by Duane L. Herrmann

    1. Thank you. I wanted to show that we need to look at the other person from their own point of view. That makes all the difference in the world.

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