Betha Bee Crushes the Chalk

In this Mayberry type town, the little school was still had in a one-room school house. Nothing had been updated since 1950 something or other. It was old to young adults and ancient to anyone that was Betha Bee’s age. The seats were hard and dusty and the teacher still collected apples from any student eager enough to give one. 

 
Betha Bee stared at that sorry looking apple (which was actually in delicious form, but being in school made everything sorry looking), and wondered how she was to survive another year in this wooden excuse of a schoolhouse. 
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 It wasn’t that she didn’t like to learn, it was just that learning took up so much time that could be had off in adventure! Of course, you would understand. 
 
The teacher was known as Miss Lemon. That’s actually her real name, not a nickname. Despite her kind nature, some students were even convinced that her skin turned a pale yellow when she was having a particularly bad day at school. As of yet, Betha Bee never payed enough attention to actually know. 
 
Funny Sunny was effortlessly answering a math question that would have stumped Betha for an eternity, when she heard a slow, agonizing thud on the desk behind her. Just as Betha was turning to find the source, Miss Lemon called on her for the next problem. 

 

First of all, math problems are called that because that’s what they are….PROBLEMS. 
Second of all, this was a Maybery 1950 something or other school, so it had chalkboards not white-boards! When Betha Bee did happen to focus on anything, she exerted so much strength she usually broke something. Like chalk, for instance. 
 
Kind Miss Lemon always squeezed her mouth in a thin white line when Betha Bee used and broke her chalk. And usually when Betha was done, the chalk was too. Not broken chunks of chalk in variations of halves and quarters…but crushed chalk in white powder that could not be used again. 
 
So it surprised Betha Bee when Miss Lemon called on her to work a math problem with fresh chalk even though Miss Lemon knew that the chalk (nor the math problem) would survive the ordeal. Betha tripped on a loose board as she made her way to the front. She was still curious about that slow, agonizing thud. Grabbing the chalk with focused fingers, Betha grind-ed the middle of the chalk to a fine powder. 
 
Miss Lemon’s mouth began its thin, tight line. Betha Bee turned to the chalk board, using what was left of the chalk and wrote the problem figures on the board. She turned her head downward to look outward to find the source of that suspicious thud (haven’t you ever been in a class where everything but the lesson was interesting and intriguing?).
 
Betha Bee’s blue eyes opened wide and peeked behind her as soon as Miss Lemon took a bite of that sorry-looking apple. Betha whipped her head back to the chalkboard when she sensed Miss Lemon’s tight-mouthed gaze. As soon as Betha heard that sorry apple crunch again, she got in the downward, outward spying position while her hand still worked the math problem on the board behind her.
 
What was that thud? 
 
Miss Lemon swung her had back. Betha whipped around again. This continued on for awhile, such is the life of a student and teacher. One more apple crunch, and Betha Bee would find the source of that thud.
 
CRUUUUNNNCHHHHH 
 
And there it was! Betha Bee’s tilted gaze found the source in a shaggy red haired boy also known as Bobby Blue. He decided the first day back in school was so boring and arduous that he slowly, laboriously, and gloriously dropped his head on the desk for that 6 hour hibernation that gives life to 3:00!
 
There aren’t many things more interesting than when one of your very own friends falls asleep during the first day back in school in the middle of a math lesson while you stand in the front totally wrecking a problem while a teacher loudly crunches on a sorry-looking red apple in a Mayberry old schoolhouse (if this happens to be a run-on sentence, Betha Bee doesn’t care).
 
Betha Bee chuckled and Miss Lemon snapped her head back to scold Betha. I’d describe that teacher look to you, but then you know because you’ve been there before. 
 
Betha Bee finished up the problem, knowing the answer was wrong. Then, she looked at Miss Lemon and accidentally crushed the remainder of the white chalk. As soon as she found her seat, the previously suspicious thud had turned into cow-sounding snores which made Betha Bee laugh inside. 
 
But the best of all was that she may have even seen Miss Lemon turn a quick shade of yellow after noticing Betha Bee’s full destruction of the chalk…and the math problem.
 

Join us next week for another (un)story!
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