Miss Penelope’s Distraction
When Miss Penelope walked into her third-grade class, a hush, like rain, came over her students. It might have been because Miss Penelope was tall and beautiful with naturally-curly, flaming-red hair. Or it might have been because Miss Penelope was carrying her teacup poodle, Nippers, in her tea-cup. Then again, it might have been because Miss Penelope had three legs.
Benjamin Bananason’s hand shot up before Miss Penelope was even done writing MISS PENELOPE on the blackboard.
“Yes Benjamin.” Miss Penelope said.
“Is there going to be homework this year? What time’s lunch? And may I please use the bathroom?”
Miss Penelope crossed two of her legs and leaned on the other while she answered Benjamin’s last question affirmatively and pondered the other two questions.
While she was thinking, Rebecca Ribeye raised her hand.
“My aunt, Lavern, has naturally-curly, flaming-red hair just like yours, Miss Penelope. She had to go to prison though. What’s your doggie’s name?”
“Nippers” Miss Penelope answered, and then raised the tea-cup containing Nippers to her lips as though she would take a sip — but gave Nippers a kiss instead.
The children laughed until it was time for recess.
That’s when Principal Connie Vickers marched in.
“Well? How did they respond?” Connie Vickers demanded. “I would imagine the children were not able to talk about anything else all morning but your—“
“My teacup poodle, Nippers?”
“No, not Nippers! Your . . . your . . . .” Connie squirmed and tried not to look at any of Miss Penelope’s legs.
“Oh you mean my distraction.” Miss Penelope said helpfully. “My naturally-curly, flaming-red hair. “
“No! Not that distraction! I’m talking about your extra leg Miss Penelope. I’m talking about the fact that you have THREE legs, Miss Penelope!”
In the silence that followed, Principal Connie Vickers reached her finger over to pet Nippers whose razor- sharp, tiny teeth went into the fleshy part of Connie Vickers finger like a knife through warm butter.
Until next time . . . I love you