It all started, as many things often do, with a misunderstanding.
Evergreen School. 8:38am. Sunny day.
Jimmy sat down in his seat, far row, second from the back, like he always did. Mary was sitting in front of him, and she was very tall for her age. Thus, Jimmy did what he always did and leaned around her so that he could see the front of the room.
“Good morning, class. My name is Miss. Understanding. Mr. Zister is sick today with a terrible cough, so I was called in to take his place here today. I told Mr. Zister that a nice air mister would help clear up that cough. Anyway, I’ll be your teacher today.”
She stood under the Canadian flag, and Melvin, the class know-it-all took notice.
“Miss. Understanding, your standing under the Canadian flag and that’s something Mr. Zister insists we shouldn’t do while we’re standing to sing our outstanding national anthem.”
Miss. Understanding’ face turned red. Red as the Canadian flag that she was standing under.
“Oh, I am terribly sorry!”
She moved to the side and, as luck would have it, slipped on a banana peel that Lucile Bascana had carelessly dropped.
“Whaaaa!” And down she went.
Lucile Bascana felt awful about dropping the banana peel. It wasn’t real to feel that Lucile would ever drop a banana peel on the floor. She was usually quite pleasant and responsible. For real!
“Miss. Understanding. Lucile Bascana is the one who dropped the banana peel on the floor.” Melvin spoke up.
Just then Jimmy turned red, just like the flag, and sank in his seat. For he knew that the banana peel was no banana peel of Lucile Bascana. It was his!
Miss. Understanding stood back up, under the flag again, and Melvin was just about to point that out again when Jimmy stood up.
“Miss. Understanding. I’m afraid that there’s been a misunderstanding. You see, that banana peel is really mine. That’s the deal, with that banana peel. Lucile had nothing to do with it.”
“Thank you for being so honest, Jimmy. But I’m afraid the choice that you made will have to bear some consequences. Here, Jimmy, lemme give you a trash bag or two to go around the school ground to collect such things as this banana peel.”
“Outstanding idea, Miss. Understanding!”
Jimmy thought it fair, and with his friend Jeff LeMaire, he set off out there to the school grounds.
And clean the grounds, they did! Jimmy and Jeff cleared those grounds ’til there was nothing left. They cleaned up and down, they cleaned right and left.
While they were roaming around, the ran into their friend Merle the Squirrel. Merle the Squirrel was a rather fat cat, so no one could quite understand the meaning of his name. As it turns out, Merle was from the litter of a mother with large curls. Simple, yet refined, her curls would unwind, and that left her days rather busy.
Then Merle was born, and without word or warn, she gave him the job of recurling her fur. After a while, Merle was done with her. Even though she was his mother, he went out looking for another. Anyone who would treat him with respect and love.
Anyway, as you can probably guess, he met a rather nice mom squirrel. She was kind and gentle, licking his wounds of stinging nettles, and he liked that very much just fine.
Anyway, back to the story…
Jimmy and Jeff liked Merle the Squirrel. They noticed he had a new shirt and complimented his style.
“Say, Merle, that’s quite a shirt, give us a twirl!”
And twirl Merle did! The beauty of the twirl was the envy of all the girls. And with that Merle knew that he was the flashiest of manliest squirrels. Confidence enhanced, a fat cat who loved to prance, Merle was the head instructor of Merle Twirl Dance Studio.
Suddenly, the boys could all her a voice. A familiar one, but only just a bit. It was Miss. Understanding, hollering here and there, looking for where they could be.
“Jimmy and Jeff, I hope you haven’t left! We’ve still got a lot of school to do. I see there isn’t much left to collect, so come see what’s next. You’ve done an outstanding job. I hope you learned some what of a lesson regarding your little misunderstanding and I hope that this lesson doesn’t lessen your will to be willing to give 100% of your effort in class today. Jimmy and Jeff, where did you go? Are you coming back in, I’d like to know.”
Jimmy looked at Jeff and Jeff looked at Jimmy. They both glanced at Merle, who was high up on a roof, climbing down a chimney.
“I don’t mean to be rude!” he called, “But I’ll catch up with you later, dudes!”
Jeff ran fast, Jimmy ran faster. It was as though Jeff was quick, but Jimmy was a master. Into the class they flew, and then they knew what to do. Standing tall, they caught that end of the Anthem and all, and sat down just where their butts should be.
“Great to see that you could join us, boys. It really does bring us all so much joy to see that you’ve brought us all so much garbage and trash, to recycle, throw away, or stash for a rainy day.”
Miss. Understanding turned and wrote on the blackboard. The students all looked around, puzzled and frowned, at the thought of what on earth Miss. Understanding would do with trash on a rainy day.
She turned and said, “Now, I know what you’re thinking. what could she possibly be thinking? But you have to remember, you have to know, that pieces of trash are great sources of protein for strange, human-looking aliens like me!” From the trash that the boys had collected, Miss. Understanding picked up a pop can and started to crunch on it!
Suddenly, Jimmy woke up in his bed! He was sweating, he was scared. All just a dream, but oh so underprepared.
It all started with a misunderstanding, and it all ended with a strange Jimmy-ate-too-much-pizza-before-bed bad dream. He rubbed his tummy once our twice, until it felt right, until it felt nice. And plopped his head back down on his bed, hoping for no more misunderstandings
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