OUR AUTHORS WRITE FOR YOU... short stories and excerpts from our contributors
IMPORTANT ADVICE FOR SCHOOL PUPILS from TEACHING TANIA by James Gault
Next, I come to the delicate question of homework, which of course you must always do. But there will be, inevitably, some occasions on which, through no fault of your own, you will inadvertently not have done your homework. You may, for example, have inexplicably forgotten about it. Such a thing, of course, must never happen with the homework I give you. But, for other teachers, it is a possibility, and indeed, over a long school career, practically unavoidable. So what should you do in such a case?
First of all, on your journey to school, you must dedicate your mind to finding the most convoluted and improbable explanation for not having the homework. “As I came out of the house with my homework in my hand, a passing bird descended, grabbed it in his beak, and flew off with it. I took a taxi, at great personal expense, and we followed it to Wenceslas Square. There the bird let go of my homework and it started to float slowly down to the ground. Unfortunately, there was a delay while I paid the taxi driver a not inconsiderable sum of money, and from my own pocket too. I then started to cross the square, watching my homework descending towards a young man sitting on a bench. Suddenly this young man took a packet of cigarettes from his pocket, put one in his mouth, and then proceeded to illuminate a small cigarette lighter with his free hand. I was shocked, and not only because, as you know, I abhor smoking. My precious paper was descending towards the naked flame, and, you’ve guessed it, I arrived in front of the bench just in time to see my homework going up in smoke. But, of course, I’ll do it over again and give it to you tomorrow.”
This story will produce one of two responses. Your teacher may say, probably in a rather disgruntled sort of way, “OK then. But don’t you dare forget it tomorrow!” This is a perfectly satisfactory outcome for you. But some teachers are of a more suspicious or tenacious nature, and may respond by saying, “You really don’t expect me to believe such a load of nonsense, do you?” With such a pedagogical giant there is only one way to proceed. You must be firm, resolute and even arrogant, and say, without allowing your voice to waver, “Do you honestly believe, sir (or miss) that I could have made up such a story if it wasn’t true?” (You will note that you have not actually lied in this statement). Faced with such a demonstration of conviction, the teacher will wilt, and will reply weakly, “Oh well then, do it again for tomorrow”.
It's a Miracle by Keith Guernsey
If you visit my author page on Amazon, you will see that I have referred to our four-footed son Harley as the "King of this castle. It is as true today as it was when I wrote it five years ago.
For the first half century of my life I always thought the phrase a man's best friend was just a marketing slogan on the side of a can of dog food. But I have learned over the last decade that it is actually very true. To say he stole our hearts would rank as a colossal understatement. He came to us a rescue on a one week trial bass and has been by our side every day since. I distinctly remember calling his adoption advocate that very first night and telling her that there was no need for a trial. He was ours and we were his!
At 15 years young we faced the reality that he wouldn't be with us forever, but that didn't make almost losing him any easier. He was getting sick to his stomach, not eating and showing signs of extreme lethargy so we knew an unwanted trip to the vet was in order. We took him in early March and were informed that he was in kidney failure. He was in such bad shape that we prepared for the end. Susan even picked out a place in her garden where she would scatter his ashes. A lot of tears were shed as we hoped for a miracle and sure enough one occurred!
Other than a change in diet (thank you freshpet.com!), we really didn't do anything different but all of a sudden he seemed to find the fountain of doggie youth! He started eating again like there was no tomorrow. We even had a reign him in as he still only weighed 10 pounds. He began to run wild like he was five instead of 15 and an amazing transformation had truly taken place. Susan and I were so thrilled to have our little best friend back. There didn't seem to be any logical veterinary, medical explanation but it didn't matter to us one iota!