I am busily working on my novel, The Magical Miss Morgan. I would very much like to finish in November, but, at less than half way through, I don’t think it is likely. It is a novel about being a teacher. It is about both classroom magic, and dealing with the magical legacy of having a brother who is a wizard. So, this example Canto is telling about sitting at the teacher’s desk after class, talking to a “real” fairy. In the Paffooney, you see Miss Morgan with two students who are also Norwall Pirates, Blueberry Bates and Mike Murphy.
Canto Twenty-Three – After School at Miss Morgan’s Desk
Francis sat in the chair behind her desk and stared into the open planner spread out in front of her. She still had two days to get the following week’s plan accomplished. It was, however quite blank. For the last half hour she had done nothing but stare at it and think horrible thoughts about Six-Three.
“Please, dear teacher and storyteller,” said Donner plaintively, “respond that I may know you are unharmed and not mentally damaged.”
“Oh, hello, Bug. I’m okay, but I have had a very bad day.”
“What’s the matter?” the little insect-man had fluttered down to her desktop from somewhere above.
“Oh, sometimes students and their parents make me question if I’m in the right profession.”
“You are a lore-mistress. What higher calling could there be?”
“I just mean that I hate being in a job where you have to deal with willfully ignorant people.”
“I know what you mean. Dealing with Garriss and his brother Torchy is like that. No matter how many times you show them how to put out a campfire, they just seem too stupid to get it right.”
“No, Bug, my problem is not really like that. Cutie and her mother are not stupid. They are both quite bright. But they have a reason to not understand what I am trying to explain to them about my curriculum and my teaching methods. They want to set me up as a problem to be corrected, and so they refuse to see that my teaching methods are not the problem.”
“I have listened intently to the lore of Bilbo. I don’t know exactly what kind of fey creature a Hobbit truly is, but the world you describe… the world of Bilbo… is very accurate from the viewpoint of the fair folk. Tellosia is just like this Middle Earth you tell the young ones about.”
“Oh, heavens! I hope that doesn’t mean there are dragons flying around Belle City somewhere!”
“No, no. Dragon flies aplenty, but no dragons for at least six hundred years.”
Francis stared at Donner with a look that would’ve stunned any human student. Dragons? Really? Even six hundred years ago? Donner was completely oblivious to her disbelief. But maybe that was a good thing. If there were a dragon, maybe her disbelief could kill it and save the world.
“How did the mission we sent Garriss on turn out?” Donner asked innocently.
“Tim Kellogg took him to Norwall, just as we discussed. He gave your little fire child to a sweet little girl named Blueberry Bates. She is making drawings of him to pass around school and talk about fairies being real.” Francis frowned at the bug. “But tell me, Donner, can Garriss really teach the girl a spell to set someone’s underwear on fire?”
“Oh, yes. That is a simple glammer with pixie dust and the right tinder.”
“Oh, that is not good. I need to head things off again…”
It was almost too much. Her brother’s legacy of magic and the Pirates’ liars’ club made her life unnecessarily complicated. She and Jim needed to sort out how they were going to deal with Krissy, and on top of it all, Mrs. Detlafsen was intent on making a political issue out of Francis’ teaching style.
“If you are worried,” offered Donner sweetly, “I can teach you a spell to make a rain cloud hover over someone’s head. A nice big ten inch cloud… six gallons worth of rainwater… and you can make it rain on whichever person you need to soak. That should put out any fire that Garriss started.”
“Is Garriss hurt by water? Can it extinguish him? Hurt him in any way?”
“Magical water applied in the right way can snuff out a fire wisp, if you do it right. But Garriss is no beginner when it comes to magical fire… or even magical water.”
“That’s good. Tim’s little band of Pirate maniacs probably won’t kill him, then.”
“Believe me,” said Donner, grinning, “If my people haven’t been able to snuff out that fool in the last century, with all the reasons they have for trying, your young pie-rats don’t stand a chance of doing it.”