Prologue: This is my true story.
The account is completely accurate.
Names have been changed and a detailed added, but
I will share more about that tomorrow when I write about the writing.
It was a big marmalade cat.
When I see a marmalade cat, I always remember the day my first grade teacher, Miss. Rogers, died.
She was in her reading chair—it looked like any wooden library chair only with very short legs. A reading group was gathered around her. I was at my desk like others in my group. Softly, Sally Rae slipped past me. Oh no, Sally Rae, I thought, you’re in big trouble. We were never to interrupt a reading group.
Without a word, Miss Rogers turned to Sally Rae; her pencil slipped from her fingers and clattered on the wood floor. The hollow sound echoed in our quiet classroom. All eyes were on Sally Rae and Miss Rogers. Miss Rogers leaned forward to pick up her pencil, and as she did, she slumped slowly to the floor in a heap.
Someone gasp and the room was still—very still, too still for first grade.
Then suddenly, Terry leaped up from his desk and dashed toward the hall, “I’m getting Mr. Bailey!” Mr. Bailey was our principal.
They told us to get our coats from the cloak hall, and our hats and scarves. They said it was cold outside. We lined up and walked slowly onto the playground. No one sat on the swings; no one climbed the slide; no one played on the teeter totters. No one talked.
Huddled together, we stood. We waited, watching the school door. A neighborhood marmalade cat joined us. Meowing and rubbing gently against our legs, she paid no attention to the siren and the flashing red lights. Still we waited. We saw them come out. And then the ambulance drove slowly away without a siren, without the flashing red lights.
We returned to our schoolroom, a class without a teacher.
© 2016 Alice Nine All rights reserved.
A special thanks to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, Beth, Kathleen, and Deb for a place at Two Writing Teachers where teachers and others can share their stories each Tuesday throughout the year and every day during the month of March.