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Secret of the Peaceful Warrior
A Story About Courage and Love
By Dan Millman, T. Taylor Bruce, Robert San Souci
H J Kramer and New World LibraryCopyright © 1991 Dan Millman
All rights reserved.
On a crisp morning in autumn, in a town not far away, Danny Morgan sat gazing out the kitchen window at his new neighborhood. Gone were the familiar backyard and his old friends. Today was his first day at Eastside School. Part of him was excited; another part was afraid.
From the next room, his mother called out, "Finish your breakfast, Danny! The neighbor's boy will be here any minute to walk with you to school."
The doorbell rang. As Danny dumped the remains of his oatmeal in the sink, his mother handed him a new lunch box. The doorbell rang again. "Well?" she said, smiling. "Are you going to open the door?"
In the doorway Danny saw a girl about his age. "My name is Joy," she said.
Turning toward his mother, Danny whispered, "Ma, you said it was going to be a boy!"
"I thought they said Joe," she whispered back. Louder, she added, "Have a good time, honey —see you after school," and gave him a big kiss.
Blushing, Danny wiped the kiss off his face, turned to Joy, and said with a sigh, "Okay, let's go."
They walked past Baker's Pond, past a row of old houses, and across the railroad tracks when, suddenly, Carl Brady, the school bully, stepped out from behind a parked car and blocked their path.
Danny tried to walk around him, but the older boy reached out and grabbed Danny's lunch box, tore it open, and looked inside. Disgusted, he threw the box on the ground scattering the contents over the sidewalk. He turned to Danny and snarled, "Where's your money?"
Danny reached into his pocket and slowly took out a five-dollar bill—his spending money for the whole week.
The older boy held out his hand. As Danny pulled the crinkled bill out of his pocket, they were startled by a voice behind them. "Don't give it to him, Danny!"
They turned to see Joy with her hands on her hips. "I have money," she said to the bully, "and it's yours if you catch me—but you're so slow, you couldn't even catch a cold!"
Both boys gaped at her, hardly believing her nerve.
"What?" Danny whispered.
"WHAT?" Carl bellowed. His face grew red. He clenched his fists. Then he lunged at Joy.
She just laughed, dodged him, and ran toward school. Carl took off after her, but she was too fast for him.
Danny found his way to school. As he looked for his class, he peered into the other rooms to see if Joy was all right. He found her classroom. She smiled and waved to him.
He waved back, then turned down the hall and saw the bully, staring at him. Danny quickly ducked into the safety of his classroom.
At lunch, Danny found Joy, sitting on the lawn, opening her lunch. "Thanks for what you did," he said.
"That's okay," she answered, holding out half of her sandwich. "I guess you're hungry. Want some?"
He nodded and took the sandwich from her. As they ate, he looked out across the school yard and saw the bully shooting baskets by himself. "He used to have a few friends," Joy said. "Then his father ran off, and his mother left him with an uncle or somebody like that. Since then, he's always alone. Everybody's afraid of him."
"Except you," Danny said.
"I can outrun him," Joy smiled.
"How'd you learn to run so fast?" Danny asked.
"My grandfather taught me."
Danny hesitated, then asked, "Do you think he could teach me, too?"
Joy shrugged. "I don't know. You could ask him. He lives over there," she said, pointing to an old house across the street. "He's a gardener," she added. "His name is Socrates."
Excerpted from Secret of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, T. Taylor Bruce, Robert San Souci. Copyright © 1991 Dan Millman. Excerpted by permission of H J Kramer and New World Library.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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