I told you yesterday the wonderful news about my novel, Magical Miss Morgan. Since I am still celebrating that, I thought I would share a little peek into that competition novel. This is chapter two, called a canto in Mickey-speak. And though it is not the first chapter, it is the place where the largest pile of main characters are introduced. Chapter one is full of fairies mucking about and searching for a human to help save their kind.
Canto 2 – Miss Morgan’s Class
“All right, kiddie-winkies,” said Miss Morgan, “now that we have the space for our talking circle created, we must take off our shoes and socks. Bare feet only!”
“Why must we do that, Miss M?” asked Blueberry Bates, a cute little brown-eyed girl with a very concerned scowl.
Miss Morgan loved the Six-Twos better than any of her other classes… and that was saying something because she really loved them all. Six-Two, however, had the most Norwall kids in it of all her classes, and Norwall kids were a little more imaginative and empathetic than the Belle City kids, or the Goodwell kids, or the Klemmens kids. Those other little towns were charming, but not nearly so wondrous. Besides, she had once been a Norwall kid herself. It was a very special little Iowa farm town to Miss Morgan, and it meant more to her than all the other three towns in the rural school district combined.
“Who can tell Blueberry why we have to have bare feet for this discussion?” Miss M asked the whole group.
“Well,” said Mike Murphy, a Norwall rapscallion and a Pirate, “we’re studying the Hobbit by Tolkien. Hobbits all go barefoot all the time.”
“Very good, Michael. He’s right. But why does it help for us all to be barefoot?”
“Maybe it helps us feel like the main character Bilbo,” said Billy Klatthammer, the plump son of the Klemmens, Iowa farm implement king.
“Right. But why is it important to feel like Bilbo?”
“He’s an every-man character,” said Frosty Anderson, a Norwall farm kid. “We have to identify with him as we travel through the world of Middle Earth. He’s supposed to be just like us.”
“My, my… Someone was listening when I was talking about the book yesterday. Thank you very much, Forrest.”
“And I think,” said Barbie Andersen from Belle City, “that people are more sensitive when they are barefooted. You want us to feel what Bilbo feels and think like Bilbo thinks.”
“That’s very good, Barbie. I hadn’t thought of that.”
“The real reason,” said Tim Kellogg, Norwall boy and most difficult child in the class, “is that you like the smell of stinky feet.”
Everyone burst out in a belly laugh, including Miss Morgan.
“Okay,” said Miss Morgan, “Now that I can smell all of your stinky feet, I need you to gather around in a circle. As we take on each question from the study guide, we will go around the circle and get an answer or a comment from each of you. We will talk about each question until everyone has said at least one thing and we have made an agreement on what the best answer is.”
At that moment, the first-year teacher from next door appeared in the doorway. “Miss Morgan,” said Miss Krapplemacher, “the noise from this classroom is eroding my standards of discipline again.”
“I’m sorry, Miss Abby,” said Miss Morgan, smiling and speaking through gritted teeth. She resisted the urge to call her Miss Krabby, the way all Krabby’s science students did. Miss Krabby insisted on a silent classroom and made students fill out worksheets all period. “We will try to be quieter. We are doing a discussion assignment, though.”
“Well, okay. But stifle the laughing. It’s hard to achieve serious learning with all the laughing going on next door.”
“We promise we will only talk about depressing things this period,” piped up Tim Kellogg. “No more laughter this period.”
Bless the little black-hearted teacher’s kid. Yes, Tim’s father was a teacher, one of the main reasons that Tim was difficult to handle. Miss Morgan silently appreciated the imp with his special insight into teacher-buttons as Miss Krapplemacher made vibrating fists with both hands and stormed out. Tim was Miss Krabby’s least favorite science student of all time.
I do promise you too that this book is a fairy tale as well as a story about being a school teacher in the United States. I have included a Paffooney of Donner and Silkie in this post to show you what some of the main fairy characters look like. You have to imagine them as less than three inches tall, however, because fairies are no longer big in the modern world.