By Sylvia Williams – Summerland, B.C.
It was a warm spring day on the prairies. The snow had melted leaving muddy puddles around our house and deeper water on each side of the railway tracks. My joy of spring was putting on my rubber boots and splashing about in the water or mud.
But this was a school day! As a child I was blessed that our homes were next or near the schools. All I had to do was walk a very short distance and I was at school.
The teacher, by this time of year, had no need to come early to get the big stove heated up before we students arrived. The stove was situated at the middle back of the room, so in winter months we could march around the classroom until the place was warm enough to sit down.
This day we just walked in and sat at our designated desks. Mine happened to be at the window side of the school and at the front of the room opposite the teacher’s desk. I was surprised this day to see a small, colourful airplane, obviously made of plasticine, sitting on top of a stack of books that were on the teacher’s desk.
About the same time our teacher, Miss B., spotted the airplane and asked if any of us knew where it came from, or who made it. Silence.
So classes began. At recess when the students went outside to play ball or go on the swing or teeter-totter, I was left inside (as usual) doing arithmetic – my worst subject.
As the students left, I noticed a boy (one I played with after school) go past the teacher’s desk, grab the airplane, and squish it. You can guess the outcome.
As I was the only student not outside during recess, Miss B. concluded that I had ruined the plane. She was so upset and although I denied doing the dastardly deed, she told me to stay after school for the strap. I had never been strapped before. I went home for lunch and told my mother what had happened. Her reply, “Sibby, I will pray about it.”
The afternoon dragged by. Students were dismissed at 4 p.m. the blinds on all the windows were pulled down and my classmates were outside listening. Again, I assured Miss B. that I had not touched the plane, but I knew who had and didn’t want to be a tattletale. So she didn’t strap me. I proudly walked past the kids who were waiting to hear me yell!
I now think of how lonely my teacher must have been, that she was nearly in tears when she saw that little squished plane.
I learned later that my dear brother and his friend, Bill, had opened one of the windows the day before, entered the school and had created that little plane. I nearly got the strap because of their prank! But, as usual, with big brothers, you forgive, but do not forget.