If it had rained the night before, or even that morning, during recess, the boys would toss stones at a target and the furthest would go distract the teacher. The others would take off their shoes and roll up their pants and stomp and splash in the puddles.
Then when the bell rang, they’d run, race, really, barefoot, their shoes, laces tied together, hung over their shoulders and stand in line.
Hunched over, catching their breath, they’d put their socks and shoes back on.
If caught, the teacher would scowl and scold them, but it didn’t matter, they felt free.