Daily Archives: March 17, 2011

Word After Word After Word – Chapter 3

   The class was quiet – no coughing, no rustling of papers – at the sight of Ms. Mirabel. She wore a bright pink jacket trimmed with what looked like feathers. She wore long earrings that had feathers, too. Maybe  she would fly around the room, words falling like bird droppings on all of us.

   “I am going to sit in the back today,” siad Miss Cash. “It will be Ms. Mirabel’s class. Think of her as your teacher. She will be visiting us for six weeks, sometimes on a daily basis. At times she’ll be in charge of the class. Sometimes I will be.”

   The windows were open, and the breeze rippled the feathers on Ms. Mirabels.

   “I’m going to read some things to you,” said Ms. Mirabel. “Words. Some I hope you will like. You may not like some of what I read. You don’t have to like everything.”

   We all looked at one another. Miss Cash had never told us we didn’t have to like the things she read. I looked quickly at Miss Cash, but her face was still and stony.

   “Some words may make you happy, some may make you sad. Maybe some will make you angry. What I hope” – a sudden gust of wind made Ms. Mirabel’s hair lift – “what I hope is that something will whisper in your ear.”

   “What does that mean?” asked Russell.

   Miss Cash sighed loud enough for me to hear. Russell always asked questions that made Miss Cash sigh.

   Ms. Mirabel didn’t sigh. She smiled brightly.

   “You will know,” she said.

   Surprisingly, Russell grinned back at Ms. Mirabel as if they had a secret pact. Quietly, Miss Cash got up and opened the door at the back of the rrom and was gone.

   Ms. Mirabel looked at us. “First, a place.”

   “The barn was very large. It was very old. It smelled of bay and it smelled of  manure. It smelled of the perspiration of tired horses and the wonderful sweet breath of patient cows.”

   “Charlotte’s Web”, someone whispered excitedly.

   “I knew that,” said Russell.

   “Now, a moment, a time, a place,” said Ms. Mirabel. 

   “The road that led to Treegap had been trod out long before by a herd of cows who were, to say the least, relaxed. It wandered along in curves and easy angles, swayed off and up in a pleasant tangent to the top of a small hill, ambled down again between fringes of bee-hung clover, and then cut sidewise across a meadow.”  

   “Characters,” said Ms. Mirabel. And she began to read.  

   “`Did Mama sing every day?’ asked Caleb. ‘Every-single-day?’ He sat close to the fire, his chin in his hand. It was dusk, and the dogs lay beside him on the warm hearthstones. 

   “`Every-single-day,’ I told him for the second time this week. For the twentieth time this month. The hundredth time this year? And the past few years? 

   “`And did Papa sing, too?’

   “Yes, Papa sang, too. Don’t get so close, Caleb. You’ll heat up.’

   “He pushed his chair back. It made a hollow scraping sound on the hearthstones, and the dogs stirred. Lottie, small and black, wagged her tail and lifted her head. Nick slept on.

   “I turned the bread dough over and over on the marble slab on the kitchen table.

   “`Well, Papa doesn’t sing anymore,’ said Caleb very softly.  

   I smiled. I knew that story. 

   “Now a memory,” said Ms. Mirabel.  

   “The memory is this: a blue blanket in a basket that pricks her bare legs, and the world turning over as she tumbles out. A flash of trees, sky, clouds, and the hard driveway of dirt and gravel. Then she is lifted up and up and held tight. Kind faces, she remembers, but that mighbe the later memory of her imagination. Still, when the memory comes, sometimes many times a night and in the day, the arms that hold her are always safe.”   

   Ms. Mirabel smiled. “And a poem,” she said.  

            “A nut 

                        My poem.

            When cracked you’ll find inside

                        Words

                        Whispers

                        People

                        Place

            That tuck in snugly to make

                        Story.”

   Ms. Mirabel read on and on, some things I’d heard before, some things I hadn’t. The breezes came in and around us like the words Ms. Mirabel spoke. No one moved, even when the bell rang for lunch.

   Ms. Mirabel stopped.

   “Maybe tomorrow some of you will bring your writing. You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. I can read it for you. When we talk about it, we will be very kind. We will talk about what we like, and we will ask questions.”

   Ms. Mirabel waved her arm toward the door, her bird feathers rippling. “Go,” she said. 

   And we went.  

            Hollow boned

            Birds

            Sing!

            Until the sun falls down

            They tuck themselves under the

            Green leaves of trees

            And sleep until the sun calls

                        them to

            Sing again!

                                    ——- Henry

Fishing

On March 16th, yesterday, I went fishing with my dad, grandpa, grandma, and brother. The ride took about an hour and a half. When  we finally got there, my dad got out some chairs, bait, fishing rods, and a cooler. He set up a rod and put the minnow on as bait and then I started fishing. I waited and waited and waited and got……………………nothing. The view was spectacular though. There was a dam and water was gushing out of two very wide things. But the rest of the things were closed.  Soon I got bored and started playing with the bucket of minnows. What I did with the rod was I just leaned it against the wire fence. Then, my brother and I started climbing a miniature mountain of rocks. My grandpa was already at the top. We walked along a road  and   I went to the other side. It was a bridge. The view at the top……………..it’s awesome. There’s a grill way down and an island I think so far away that it’s very faint.  Sorry there aren’t any pictures, I took all of the super cool ones on our D.S.i. and I don’t think you can load pictures from the D.S.i. onto the computer. We went back down, and I checked the rod to see if it still had bait and it did so I kept playing around, walked, ate some chips, drank Gatorade, even skipped lunch! Later, my dad and grandma went down by the river edge to fish. I went down too, and then I went back up to get the bucket of minnows to bring it down to my dad and grandma. I checked on the rod again. It wouldn’t move. Hmmm, I thought. the hook probably got caught on something. But that’s not right. Dad would have gotten it free. So I pulled to check for the bait and then, I saw a fish mouth. I pulled even harder and the fish came into view. My brother was up there with me, so I told him to go down by the river’s edge to get our dad. He went and got my dad and grandpa. My grandpa held the fishing rod, my brother reeled it in, my dad lifted the line, and I watched. That fish was HUMONGUS! He was like an inch and a half thick,  about 11 or 12 inches long, and three, four, or five inches tall! The hook was stuck in his belly, and my dad had to use pliers to get it out! We put him in the cooler and filled it with water. We fished for a little more, and then we went home.