free read is copyrighted and may not be copied/shared without written
permission from the author.
What a day I’ve had!
Mrs. Mulrooney, my absolutely, positively, all-time favorite teacher
in the world gets hauled out of our classroom by two men wearing white
who assure us she will be better soon.
than what? I tried to ask. But they didn’t listen. She is the
best already, I said, but the principal told me to hush and take my
seat. Take it where? I asked. At this, Mrs. Mulrooney began to sob.
I knew she didn’t want to leave me, her favorite student.
Mrs. Mulrooney loved me so much, I was asked nearly every day to please
take the erasers out to the sidewalk and pound the chalk out of them.
She knew this was my favorite activity because it gave me time to dig
in the grass and find creatures of all kinds to bring back for her aquarium.
Her goldfish loved me, too. I could tell because of the way they came
right up to the top to greet the friends I brought them, and then floated
on their backs, relaxing, the rest of the day. I’m not sure why
Mrs. Mulrooney kept taking them home and bringing in different ones.
She must have a really big aquarium in her home and wants to make sure
they all have a chance to see her favorite student.
me. I’m her favorite.
followed Mrs. Mulrooney and the men in white down the hall and out to
the big white truck. They gave her a nice white blanket that covered
her arms and let her sit all alone in the big back seat. Wow, what an
honor, I thought. They know how special she is, too! I asked if I could
have a ride. Mrs. Mulrooney should have company on her trip. They said
I should go back to class. I said there is no class without Mrs. Mulrooney.
They said another teacher would take her place until she returned. I
said no one would take Mrs. Mulrooney’s place. They called the
principal again. The principal likes me, too. He comes running to see
me all the time and lets me sit in his office on the big squishy couch.
I don’t know how the holes got in there. I was just feeling it
with my fingers. I can’t help that I was holding my pencil at
the time. We were in the middle of writing an essay when he came to
essay was about my family. Mrs. Mulrooney said we should write about
what our family does together. I wrote that my family does nothing together.
Mrs. Mulrooney said that couldn’t be true, and I should think
harder. So I thought harder, then I thought about Mrs. Mulrooney being
my mom instead of my mom being my mom and I asked Mrs. Mulrooney what
we would do together if she was my mom.
Mulrooney is so funny. She said she would move away if she was my mom.
I asked her where we would move? She said I should think quietly to
myself and write about my family. So I wrote about Mrs. Mulrooney being
my mom and Captain Kirk being my dad and about all of us taking a trip
together in space. Of course, I had to ask how to spell “Enterprise”
because I’m not a good speller. She said to look it up in the
dictionary. I laughed. Mrs. Mulrooney knows I don’t like the dictionary.
For one thing, it’s heavy. There are too many words loading down
its cargo space. Mrs. Mulrooney said I was strong, I could handle carrying
not my fault I dropped it on Sally’s toes. She had them all sticking
out in the pathway, and the dictionary is heavy. It’s not my fault
she screams so loud, either. I had to cover my ears until she was done.
I think Mrs. Mulrooney said something to me, then, but I had my fingers
in my ears and didn’t hear. Mrs. Mulrooney sent Sally out of the
room to see the nurse. She didn’t like her screaming, either.
Maybe the nurse gave her a pill, like the ones my mom takes when my
dad says she is screaming too much. My mom says my dad would scream,
too, if he had to be home with me all afternoon.
Mulrooney carried the dictionary for me and set it on my desk. I went
to sharpen my pencil. It wasn’t very dull, but I like to sharpen
my pencil. The noise it makes is like a spaceship engine starting to
run. Mrs. Mulrooney said it was sharp enough and I could sit down now
and finish my essay. I said the engine wasn’t warm enough yet.
It had to run long enough to get warm. Mrs. Mulrooney said there was
no spaceship in her classroom and I was bothering the other students.
I said they were bothered enough without my help and the spaceship was
in the room because I saw it in my head.
Mulrooney put her arm around my shoulders. She does this a lot, because
I’m her favorite. Mrs. Mulrooney walked me to my desk and asked
me to finish my paper about my family. I told her my family didn’t
want me to write about them. She said she wouldn’t send it home
to my family, then. We have secrets like this, me and Mrs. Mulrooney.
still had to spell “Enterprise” because I want my paper
to be the best one and to make Mrs. Mulrooney smile. I asked how to
start “Enterprise” because I didn’t know where to
look in the dictionary. She said it started with an “e”
and I said okay. I found the “e” section but didn’t
know where to look after that. There is a big “e” section.
I think they should get rid of the ones they don’t need, like
the big ones I can’t read. Then I could find “Enterprise”
easier. I turned pages, and turned pages, and turned pages, but I didn’t
know which one said “Enterprise” so I asked Mrs. Mulrooney
what came after the “e” and she said to sound it out. So
I made a noise like the Enterprise firing its engines.
Mulrooney helped me and made a noise like the doors on the Enterprise
opening and shutting. Then Mrs. Mulrooney said that “n”
came after “e” and I should be quiet so the other students
could work. It’s not my fault they have trouble thinking. I can
think while I’m making noise. That’s why I’m Mrs.
Mulrooney’s favorite. I’m the smartest.
still had trouble finding “Enterprise” and started looking
at the definitions to find which word it was. Some of the definitions
didn’t make sense to me and I asked Mrs. Mulrooney what they were.
Mrs. Mulrooney said I should just look for the word I wanted and look
more at the dictionary when I was at home. I said we don’t have
a dictionary at home. My mom and dad know all the words already. They
are smart, too. My mom tells my dad he is all the time, but I don’t
know why it has something to do with a donkey. I guess donkeys must
be the smartest animals in their class, like I am.
not my fault the other kids started laughing. They can’t help
it if they aren’t smart. They all have dictionaries at home. I
don’t need one because my mom and my dad will teach me all the
Mulrooney spelled “Enterprise” for me and told me to keep
writing my paper. I said I had to take the dictionary back. It landed
with a thud on the table. It sounded funny. I picked it up again and
found Jessica’s starfish broken in little pieces. Jessica started
crying. Mrs. Mulrooney said I should apologize, but I didn’t leave
the starfish on the table. They should make the dictionary not so heavy.
It’s all those “e” words.
Mulrooney said I should go see the principal and gave me a special pass.
The principal made the door-swooshing noise when he saw me. He knows
I like the Captain Kirk shows. The principal lets me talk to him a lot.
That’s ‘cause I’m his favorite, too.
principal went outside his office to talk to Mrs. Mulrooney over the
private phone only the teachers use. I plopped on the big squishy couch
and poked it with my fingers. My pencil liked the big squishy couch,
too. I would sharpen it again when I went back to Mrs. Mulrooney’s
class because the couch made it too dull.
principal’s face got all red and puffy when he looked at what
my pencil did to the big squishy couch. He asked why I made holes in
his couch and I said I didn’t. My finger is soft. See? I showed
him how my finger poked at it without hurting it. I said my pencil wasn’t
as soft as my finger. See? I showed him how it was my pencil’s
fault. He said I should go collect the erasers from all of the rooms
and take them out to the sidewalk.
jumped up and ran down the hall! This would give me a lot of time to
collect things for Mrs. Mulrooney! I couldn’t carry all of them
at one time, so I went outside and dropped the erasers from one class
and went back and forth until I had all of them outside. My special
note from the principal said I could go outside. All of the other kids
had to stay inside and write about their families. I was special.
pounded erasers all over the sidewalk, making patterns that looked like
the Milky Way. Some of the Milky Way stayed on my clothes. I thought
it was funny. So I pounded erasers on my clothes instead of on the sidewalk.
I could be an alien that Captain Kirk would come and rescue from the
terrible curse of the dictionary people. I know Captain Kirk doesn’t
use dictionaries, either.
not my fault that some of the Milky Way fell off and landed on the floors
when I took the erasers back inside. I learned that the Milky Way is
slippery when it falls off onto shiny floors. The secretary yelled when
she stood up again. Mrs. Mulrooney would love to know that! It would
make a great skating rink!
didn’t have enough left on my clothes from carrying the erasers
to make a skating rink, so I rolled in the Milky Way that I had pounded
onto the sidewalk. Then I saw a little grasshopper playing beside me
and I grabbed him for a present for Mrs. Mulrooney’s new fish.
I got back to class, I held the grasshopper in one hand and jumped really
hard in the open space beside Mrs. Mulrooney’s desk. A lot of
the Milky Way fell off my clothes and made a great white skating rink
all over the shiny brown floor. Mrs. Mulrooney was so excited that she
wanted to be the first one to try it. Mrs. Mulrooney is so funny. She
acted like she didn’t know how to skate and fell down with a loud
yell. It was my name. She was thanking me for the great idea. At least,
I guess that’s what she was doing. I didn’t understand some
of the words she used, but the rest of the students jumped up and yelled
out the door. They wanted everyone to come try my new skating rink.
principal came and pulled me out again. I guess he wanted to know how
I thought up such an idea. Before I left, I opened Mrs. Mulrooney’s
top desk drawer, where she keeps the notes she uses to send me to see
the principal, and I put the grasshopper gift, along with two big fat
squirmy worms I had found, in the drawer so she could give her fish
the gifts herself. I knew that would make her happy.
heard Mrs. Mulrooney squeal in excitement when she found the gift. I
was barely out of the room. The principal told me to stay, and ran back
to Mrs. Mulrooney’s room.
next thing I know, the men in white came and I followed them back into
Mrs. Mulrooney’s room.
hope they don’t mess her up too much. Mrs. Mulrooney is already
the greatest teacher ever. I’ll go see her as soon as my mom and
my dad let me out of my room. They locked the door because they don’t
want to share me with anyone else. They have three kids, but I’m
This story was originally published in The Oasis, summer 2007.
are always welcome in my guest book.