EPISODE 1 - ANTI BULLY
It was the first day of school for Paito, the new kid in the city.
Young Paito looked in all directions, as many children whizzed in all directions through the landscaped school yard. He was glad to see so many different species that were at school. He was a pig, like many others in this place. There were also dogs, cats, turtles, rabbits and even a giraffe that passed in front of Paito, talking and smiling along with his beaver friend.
"This place doesn’t seem too bad." Paito said, giving his approval to such a pleasant spectacle before him.
In front of the young new student stood the great building that received the students of the school. A great work of architecture made of bricks, the building had a very striking Gothic style due to the modern contrast created by the large windows that collected rays of light. Students and teachers could be seen walking through the hallowed hallways, showing a dynamic and natural environment.
"You seem lost," said a voice behind young Paito.
"A little. Can you help me find my class?" Paito mumbled, turning round to see a large hippo that was approaching him.
"Get out of my way!" yelled the frustrated hippo as he lumbered in with his gaze fixed on the school.
"Sorry, jeez" Paito said, stepping to the side.
The young hippopotamus, the same age as Paito, trudged past and bumped him away with his oblong side.
“Wow, how rude? Don’t you know how big you are already?" Paito thought. "No, it’s not that. He knew I was new here and I looked lost, yet he didn’t want to help me at all".
Paito tried not to think more of such a negative event as he stepped on the patio of his new school. The young pig, along with the other animals, edged almost instinctively towards the building as the school bell rang, signaling a start to their classes. The other animals laughed and walked hand in hand together with each other, while young Paito started walking slowly to class.
Ahead of him, he saw the hippopotamus walking with heavy and rugged steps. His hind legs took a few short but firm strides, while his front legs held the handles of the backpack that was slung across his back. Paito realized that this young man was pushing whoever that crossed his path, and people avoided him because of his mighty stature.
The young men who collided with the robust hippopotamus moved out of his path, some looking at him with confusion, fear or even hatred. Others touched their shoulders, flinching from bumping into him.
Paito entered through the glass door of the building, following the trail of clashes and complaints left by the unstoppable hippopotamus. From behind, he could see the trail of destruction that stalked the hippopotamus’ path. The young pig diverted his attention to the cheerful people who were leaning against the lockers while chatting, as pragmatic Paito continued walking knowing that he had to find his classroom.
The young students laughed and talked while waiting for class to start. Others even decorated their lockers with stickers, sharing a good moment of friendship and fun. Stickers were all the rage, as almost all lockers had stickers or messages written on their doors, cheering and motivating anyone who saw them.
Paito walked through the corridors and seeing how all the students entered their classrooms, made him anxious. He was embarrassed not knowing where to go, and the encounter with the hippo made him disoriented. In an instant, the corridors were empty. The silence was interrupted by some phrases the teachers murmured from their classrooms as they started class.
Paito heaved a sigh of relief. He then continued walking, enjoying the moment of tranquility and peace after being bombarded with so many new feelings and experiences. He stretched out his hand and placed his fingers on the first few doors of the lockers, gliding his hand while slowly walking, stroking and admiring the stickers decorated atop the frames of the lockers. He smiled watching and reading these supportive messages and creative stickers. "Hah, you still lost?!" boomed a deep and thunderous voice behind Paito's back.
A chill ran through the young pig's spine. He knew exactly whose voice it belonged to, despite hearing it only once in his life and that struck him with fear, rooting him to the ground. Paito turned to see the young man who was speaking to him, while he was still leaning on the lockers, fear-stricken by such a sudden accusing voice that broke the silence of his moment in solitude.
"Yes, I am looking for my classroom." Paito muttered without wanting to face the imposing hippopotamus.
"Are you that stupid?! How can it be that you don't know where your classroom is?!" the hippopotamus roared, his face hidden in the shadow of his own body, making him even more imposing and intimidating.
"I’m... I’m n...not stupid. I am a new student and...and….and I don't know where I should go. " Paito stuttered in fear by the violent tone, frozen by the intimidation he faced.
The hippopotamus lumbered up to the young pig with determined and slow steps.
“You being new, you have no idea who I am. I’ll give you a chance today and set the record straight. I’m the boss around here. You better do what I tell you, or you’re going to get into a lot of trouble.”" The hippo said with a menacing glare, as he pushed Paito hard against the lockers and pulled the slings of his backpack as he held onto Paito.
Paito's backpack fell to the ground and he stood rooted to the ground, his back against the locker behind him, not knowing what to do and a thousand thoughts raced through his mind.
"I....I won’t cause any trouble." Paito winced in a timid voice.
"I sure hope so. I cause the problems here." the hippo said with his big mouth open wide in front of Paito's face, exhaling a fetid rancid breath that smelled like bad cheese.
The young and burly hippo released Paito and left the way he came.
"See you tomorrow, little pig." said the huge young man, not giving Paito even a glance back.
Paito was still frozen, he couldn't react to what had just happened. He felt a helplessness and a loneliness that made his body shudder, falling slowly, leaning on the locker, until he was squatting, staring at the floor, with his hands on his head. He heaved a sigh of relief and tried to recollect himself. It was his first day at school and he wished he could start over.
It is times like these that I wish I could start over.
It is times like these that I feel no one ever cared.
It is times like these that I wish everything was over.
"You okay there??" a new strange voice alerted young Paito.
Paito couldn't look up, thinking a new bully had come.. A gentle hand laid on the shuddering young pig's shoulder.
"What happened?" the voice said soothingly.
"The hippo." Paito couldn't say anything else, whimpering, almost at the point of tears.
In the world I am living in,
there’s no place for bullies
Just friends both old and new
With one short, simple message -
“I’ll be there for you"
"Ah, that troublemaker. He's like that with everyone, even more so with new kids. He wants to set the pecking order. Come, I'll help you find your classroom. By the way, my name is Lusus." The boy with the sweet voice said as he extended his hand to Paito, helping him up.
Paito gazed at the young man who spoke to him calmly and helped him up. A young dog smiled back, and Paito felt like it was the hug of someone who understood him.
But it is also times like this that I discover people that still care.
And that is how Lusus became my best friend.
Lusus helped Paito put on his backpack. The two walked down the empty hallway, looking for the new student's classroom. It turned out that both boys shared a class, so they went into the classroom together where Lusus explained to the teacher that Paito was new.
During the morning, Paito couldn't stop thinking about the confrontation with the hippo, feeling nervous about what would happen if he saw him again. When his thoughts returned to the class, Paito would see his new friend, Lusus, and felt calm , hoping that everything would turn out well.
When the young kids left the classroom, they went to the schoolyard. The classes finished and it was time to go home. Paito and Lusus left together.
"There is the hippopotamus." Paito said, almost whispering, seeing his attacker in the distance.
"Do not worry, friend." Lusus's words moved Paito. "Let's go to my house to hang out. Do you feel like it?"
Paito could not refuse and delightfully accepted the offer from his new friend. When they got to Lusus's house, they ate quickly so that they could play in the young dog's room.
"Have you seen all those stickers on the lockers?" Lusus asked, as the two entered his room.
"Yes, I find them super ingenious!" Paito said cheerfully, happy to talk about what he liked the most about school so far.
“People here make their own stickers and put them on the lockers of the person they want to convey a message to. "They are all unique works of art. " Lusus said with the same elation and enthusiasm.
It was at that moment, Paito had a change of expression on his face, looking at the ground and lowering his head slightly as a sign of sadness and shame.
"As for that ..." Lusus said. "I'm sorry."
"It's not your fault, you helped me." Paito said, knowing that the two of them were talking about the situation with the hippopotamus. "I wish someone could do something."
"Where are the heroes when you need them?" Lusus joked to ease the tension.
"That's it!" Paito said excitedly.
"What?!" Lusus asked, surprised by the sudden bolt of enthusiasm from the pig.
"We need a hero!" Paito said convincingly.
"Wait, I think I have the phone number for the Justice League over here." Lusus joked.
"I'm serious." Paito said. "Someone has to take care of bullies like the hippo."
”And just who do you suggest?" the young dog asked in great confusion.
"You and me." Paito said.
"Do you want us to fight these people?" Lusus asked in surprise.
"No. Violence is not fought with violence. " Paito said. "We will make our hero prevail against evil deeds like that."
"I don’t think I understand. How are you going to do it? " Lusus said.
"We will let everyone know what happened." Paito said convinced. “Our hero will expose and report cases like this. We will make stickers of the hero fighting the villain. We will put them in all the lockers, everywhere, to spread the message."
"Not a bad idea." Said the young dog supporting Paito's idea.
"We have to come up with a name for our hero." Said the young pig excited by the idea.
"What do you think of Paisus?" Lusus said smiling.
"Great!" Paito was happy to realize that his new friend's idea for this hero’s name was the merging of their two names.
The two friends spent the whole afternoon imagining and drawing how the hero would defend them and other suffering victims. A character that everyone could relate to, who had the necessary powers to deal with any kind of abuse.
Behold. Paisus was created. Paisus had the body of a baby, illustrating how the impact from problems can start manifesting at a young age and should not be taken lightly.
Also donning a hybrid helmet, Paisus exuded energy from both Paito and Lusus. This mask would be the key object hiding the identity of their hero, who represents all the people in society, fighting against abuse and negative societal pressures.
The two young men stood in awe of their creation and held it up against the light to admire it.
They then took Paisus and created a sticker in a comic strip design style, in which the hero, Paisus, stood in front of a large, ominous being, hiding his face in the shadows. Paisus, armed only in his diaper and mask, was willing to stand against the menacing monster. It was synonymous with David versus Goliath.
The next morning, Paito and Lusus went to school to put the stickers on as many lockers and walls as they could. Nobody saw them do it and the same sticker was plastered throughout the corridors that used to display all the students’ art pieces.
When the rest of the students arrived at the school, they began talking amongst themselves, as the news of the hero who fought against the monster became famous among all. Some said that the hero existed and represented himself on the stickers, which allowed him to maintain his mysteriousness via anonymity. Others said that someone was announcing their arrival and warning monsters that threatened other people.
In the days that followed, the hippo did not threaten Paito again, due to the social pressure and heightened sense of alertness that the new hero had unleashed. New stickers of the hero were appearing, with different masks and costumes, showing that he was prepared to fight against any threat that affected any innocent.
"It seemed to have worked." Lusus said, slapping his friend on the shoulder.
"Thanks for helping me with this." Paito said.
"I'm always here for you, my friend." Lusus laughed.
The beginning of a great friendship had originated the introduction of Paisus and his adventures.