‘Krrrrrrrrrriiiinnngggg!!!!!’ The bell rings for pouse. I love pouse. It’s a time to play. We close our books, put them away, take out our lunchboxes. “Shjoooof!!!” and we’re off! Pouse!!!

I just loovvee pouse, especially when we’re in Mrs Cherry’s class because I get to sit closest to the door. She’s very pretty and dresses very nicely. She is always in a summer dress with her hair tied up, nails cut short and her librarian glasses.

We like sitting on the short face-brick wall between the courtyard and the playground. We always carefully lay our jerseys before we sit. Once I got nasty scratches on my legs and my gram-gram thought I fell, but I tried to tell her it was just from sitting on our favourite spot. I could tell she did not believe me because she looked at me the same way she does when I say I’m full when I don’t want to eat my veggies. Maybe she thinks I’m lying my way out of a spanking….She said the scratches looked nasty on me and, “A lady must always be neat!”.

It’s not I didn’t like I don’t like class, but pouse is better! Class time is always the same. “Good morrrning Mrs Cherry and how-are-you-todaaayyy.” Books out on the desk. Write, write, write. Always write, write, write. I want it to be pouse all the time.

Out we go to and rush to ‘our spot’. On the right is the courtyard, we sometimes hold assemblies there, and on the left, the playground. Left-side is always noisy and today there are some boys kicking around a soccer ball to each other. Must’ve been a new ball, because they look very excited. Anyway….on our side. We are ladies and chatting about what we’re going to do next pouse. I feel something bumping against my leg. It was that stupid shiny ball.

One of the boys asks me to kick the ball to him. He is probably in grade 7 or something. He’s tall, thin, short hair, and his laces on one shoe are untied. I’m not scared of him or anything, it’s just the way the way he says in a loud harsh voice: “Jy! Skop die bal! Is jy dan mal!”

I Ignore him and pack my lunch away. Pouse is almost over. I feel the collar of my tunic being pulled to the back. “Is jy than dof!?..Ek se mos skop die fokken bal!”

I wasn’t sure what was going on.

He shoves me. I trip. “Blerrie kaffir,” he says. “Kaffir! Kaffir! Kaffir!” his friends shout, pointing and laughing. Now soema other people are joining in.

“Kaffir van Langa!” he says. Then he lets go of my collar and walks away.

I loved pouse, it was a time to play. I don’t know what just happened. What did I do? How come gram-gram and Mrs Cherry haven’t told me about this before? He’s right about where I stay, he must be right about this Kaffir thing too…..wait….What’s a Kaffir??

Krrrrrrrrrriiiinnngggg!!!!!’. Pouse is over.