"Though boys throw stones at frogs in sport, the frogs die not in sport, but in earnest." -Bion of Borysthenes, philosopher (c. 325-250 BCE).
I have no idea where Borysthenes is (or was) located, but I like the way this Bion fellow thinks. I immediately think of words in place of stones. And a wilting of spirit in place of a physical death. We have all seen or experienced it: when our words were like an arrow and pierced another's soul. We may have meant them to be sardonic, a joke, a little jab, a bit of 'lording' it over another - but it went too far. These are occasionally the memories which come out in my memoir writing classes....a big, strong old fellow who led a successful life will reach for the Kleenex box as he recalls a respected family member telling that young boy inside him "if he didn't work harder, he'd be shipped off to the orphanage." One example of many. Be thoughtful, even in sport. - Beth Almond Ford