Friday, July 07, 2006

Back in the Day

Alpha and Beta, the humans whom I adopted and have spent these years training, used to teach school. I had to let them leave the house early in the morning, and often they wouldn't return until late in the day. I'm sure it was hard for them, but it was hard for me as well, letting them go off into the big world unsupervised like that.

They took off again yesterday to reunite with some friends they had made over the years and across the internet, friends from T-Net. A & B have haunted the chatboards there for quite a while, and developed almost blogosheric friendships with some of the people in the main live chatroom.

In between worrying about how they were representing me in the wide world in Austin, TX, and hoping they would look both ways for traffic on the road there and back, I had time to reminisce about our time together. Alpha likes to tell stories, see, even if he doesn't always remember the punch line. It's sometimes like reading that Mark Twain story "Grandpa's Goat," where you get to the end only to find yourself back at the beginning. Oh, well, at least the journey is entertaining. Besides, sometimes it's better that he not remember the punchline, as it's not terribly funny anyway.

A case in point (and, since he taught, he tends toward teacher-stories):

Mrs. Jones, the third-grade teacher, was having some difficulty with young Billy, a student in her class. He wasn't mean, he wasn't refusing to learn, in fact, he was learning everything rather quickly. But he didn't pay much attention to detail, and he could be disruptive with disturbing frequency.

Mrs. Jones determined to make a home visit, and speak with Billy's parents.

She parked her car in front of the address she'd been given, and sure enough, there was Billy playing with a puppy in the front yard. "Hi, Mrs. Jones," he shouted.

"Good afternoon, Billy," she said. "Where are your parents?"

"They ain't here." Billy rolled the puppy over.

Mrs. Jones added a note of sternness. "Billy! Where's your grammar?!"

"Oh, she's out in back weeding the tomatoes."

Ed. note: I added the part about the puppy. Alpha doesn't tell it that way.

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Blogger ms. whatsit said...

Another good story.

My Southern grammer always called 'em tah-maters.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

As a teacher myself, I can appreciate this story. Well done.

12:29 PM  

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