Dear Alec this is just for you. I changed the title a little. I hope you enjoy
it as you and J.T. gave me the idea for writing it. Greet your mother for me.
I hope all is well with her. Mrs. O
In the suburbs of New Orleans on the Northshore sat a newly constructed two-story middle school. In its newness, it out shone the schools around it. It was one of the first two story schools constructed in the area and had a modern look at the time of a glass front entrance and to the left side of the entrance glass sections that protruded outwards in a convex fashion running up the height of the building. One could stand in the library on the second floor and survey the parking lot. Although no one usually did, unless, of course, they were waiting on their parents to check them out and they just so happened to be in the library.
There was one particular teacher that was the talk of the kids. She dressed
differently, she disappeared in the summers, she had pets in her class, and she
sang and danced through her teaching. She was a regular dynamo whose engine
never seemed to shut down. Sometimes it was down right exhausting to watch her.
Where in the world do teacher’s like that come from anyway, her students
Two boys one year were determined that they were going to find out the
teacher’s secret as they felt sure that she had one.
One of the boys said, “Let’s see where she got that Lovebird, she carries
on her shoulder most of the time. It is as colorful as she is. The boys in the
classroom went immediately to the computer and pulled up “Lovebirds.” They
found that the one that their teacher owned was from the species Agapornis
roseicolis. The teacher called the bird Rahab. The bird loved to play for
hours at a time and would hang from the toys in her cage like a bat at times.
Several times a day the teacher would place Rahab on her shoulder and dance
around. We were all warned on the first day of school that Rahab loved buttons,
especially red ones. To prove her point, the teacher produced a five gallon
bucket of an assortment of buttons with thread and cloth still hanging from a
few. The teacher told us that was from last year’s class, although we felt
sure that she was greatly exaggerating. She would then ask us to estimate how
many button where in the bucket? We didn’t believe her until a few of our
buttons ended up in the bird’s cage. We taped our buttons down with scotch
tape from then on. That year notes went home constantly asking for parents to
please, please send in scotch tape.
We fed Rahab pellets, veggies, and fruits. Once a week some one would give
Rahab a grape. She’d suck the insides out and toss the skin at the children.
Usually this happened on Friday. We didn’t mind too much as Fridays were the
end of our projects for the week and any laugh would do at this point, unless of
course, you were putting the final touches on a project.
The boys found out that there wasn’t much unusual about the bird other than
hanging like a bat, stealing buttons, and throwing grape skins at students. She
certainly kept everyone on her toes. In fact you can buy the clownish little,
love bird at any bird store. We were desperate in our search to find the key to
unlock the secret they felt sure their teacher was hiding.
Next, we decided to do a web search on her mini lop, Hezekiah. However, the
mini lops proved to be so interesting that each of the boys ended up begging
their parents for one. They almost forgot why they were researching at all.
They had found that the mini lop came about through the cross breeding of a
large German Lop and a Chinchilla Rabbit in Germany in 1972. At a convention
held in Ventura, California in 1974, a man named Bob Herschbach introduced this
new crossbred. They were so cute and tiny that convention goers gave them the
name Mini Lop. In late 1980 the Mini Lop Rabbit Club of America was chartered.
Hezekiah was almost all tan with a patch of darker brown around his nose, which
extended around his eyes and cheeks. He also had brown ears and patches of
brown on his backside. Our teacher kept him in a 24 x 24 inch cage. We took
turns bringing in carrots and/or apples. We were only allowed to feed him tiny
amounts on Wednesdays.
He was allowed to spend his day hopping around the classroom. He would hide in
students’ book bags all year long, and coats and hats in the winter.
Occasionally the teacher would look around for him at the end of the day and
find some student had tucked him in his or her shirt, or he was found napping in
The boys found out that there wasn’t much unusual about the mini lop. He was
just too adorable for words and no one could resist scooping him up for a
playful pat on the head and a flip of his ears. In fact you can buy a mini lop
at most pet stores. We were desperate in our search to find the key to unlock
the secret they felt sure their teacher was hiding.
The boys decided to investigate their teacher’s clothing as they seemed to be
so colorful and find though that she went to ordinary clothing stores as they
had their mom’s spy on her. The only difference in her and their Moms was
that she put all kinds of colorful things together to make them look flashy.
They were sorely disappointed in their findings as they had not uncovered
anything of significance to prove their theory that their teacher was unusual.
They spied on her at home and found that she loved tropical plants like
A good friend of the teacher informed them that she had gone to Kuwaii, Hawaii
and had brought them back to Louisiana and the plants had flourished with the
usual subtropical weather.
Again the boys were deeply disappointed in their findings. They still had no
clue as to their teacher’s true identity. They were desperate in their
search to find the key to unlock the secret they felt sure their teacher was
hiding. Where was the key? Where they searching for a clue that just wasn’t
One day one of the boys from the class came across a piece on the internet
about a queen who loved to vacation in the states for nine months out of the
year. Where was the picture? Could this be the key they had been hoping for!
School was nine months a year. Would anyone take a vacation and come to
Louisiana and teach kids. Naw!!!!!!!!! That couldn’t be it.
Oh well, that was the only clue they had worthy of investigating so why not
investigate it. They pulled up the website and hit images to see if they could
see a picture of the queen. When they pulled it up, the queen was too far away
to be seen and she had a huge hat on. She looked about the right size. How
could they get a head shot of the queen? They decided to pose a question on an
e-mail address the site suggested for further information. They waited and
waited. Why didn’t they get an immediate feedback? Why? Other websites would
have given you the information right away.
Finally they heard that the queen was unavailable and that they would get back
to them as soon as the queen came back into the country. They were told to wait
until the 1st of June.
Meanwhile the classroom buzzed with all sorts of activities. They formed a
mini United Nations and the teacher said she was the Secretary General. The
students had in the back of their minds that their teacher might be the queen
because she liked to take roles of authority. They loved the activities she
piled on them and debating worldwide issues involving child labor and feeding
Finally the school year came to a close. The teacher decided to hold a
special dinner for all her students. She decided to hold the dinner at the
Court of Two Sisters. Everyone was to dress up. Everyone was on time and the
students were thrilled with the garden like setting, but where was their
teacher? They looked around and asked the waiter. The waiters said that she
had been delayed and would be coming shortly.
The students got concerned when the desserts came and still their teacher had
not shown up. Suddenly in a remote corner of the room they saw movement. What
was it? Was there a special party in the corner, the men looked like secret
service but from a different country? What were they doing here? They were
surrounding someone but whom were they protecting.
As suddenly as this thought came to mind the circle of guards opened and to
the children’s surprise there stood their teacher. The shock of this was read
on each and every child’s face. What!!!!!!!! Why were they around her?
The teacher replied, “Children I hope you have had a great dinner. Many of
you have tried to find out about me this year and that never has happened
before. I am a queen and I love children so much that I leave my reign as queen
and let my husband, King Hezekiah take on my duties so I can teach. I love it.
Now children that you know my secret, I must ask a favor of you. Please do not
tell any one in the class coming up my secret so I can teach without guards and
fanfare. Remember I love children, and I have enjoyed teaching you this year.
You are the love of my life. Now I must leave you to return to my country and
reign as queen before I return next year. When you pass me in the hall next
year, remember our little secret, which you have unlocked this year with a
shared wink. In the wink I will know you are keeping that valuable secret for
me. Thank you and have a great summer.
By Rena K. Oynes – Copyright September, 2005
Dedicated to J.T. Cooper and Alec Richmond