Chapter 2
Just as I hoped, my lack of a treat made all of my classmates over look the fact that it was my birthday. That, and on this particular Friday, Miss Fisher finally threw a wrench in the tedious normalcy of our day to day. “Butts in seats and eyes on me!” Miss Fisher’s voice filled the room without shouting. Even I knew enough to at least attempt to do what was asked when a teacher, especially Miss Fisher, talked like that. It must be something important. I sat on my hands to try and keep still. Once everyone was seated Miss Fisher strode to the front of the classroom eyes shining. “Listen up! I have an announcement to make.” I knew it. Anticipation made my heart beat faster and I was on the edge of my seat right a long with everyone else. Miss Fisher smiled wider, probably enjoying our excitement. “The school has been in contact with the cooperative extension and several local farmers. This year we will be, as a classroom, hatching chicks.” Several of the girls squealed, which of course made the rest of them join in, like little piglets trying to out do each other in their awe of cuteness. A couple of boys curled their lips in disdain. Fluffy, yellow chicks that made girls squeal were far beneath their 11- year- old level of cool after all. Me? Well, I’ll admit I thought raising chicks might break up the monotony a bit. Miss Fisher informed us that the eggs would be arriving on Monday. So soon! The nearness made the After the Great Chicken Announcement, Miss Fisher had her hands full trying to keep the class under control. For once I got to sit back an enjoy the show, entertained by the others instead of being the entertainer. At least I wasn’t bored. When specials came around that afternoon, Miss Fisher seemed almost as excited as me to see the library and Mrs. Koveny. She ushered us into the room, gave Mrs. Koveny a quick smile and was gone before the door latch clicked. Library was as great as it always was. Even the most excited chicken fans settled down as soon as Mrs. Koveny started to read and for a moment I didn’t have to be Nash Eastman, the only 12 –year- old in fifth grade. The trouble maker who never knew the answers and couldn’t keep still. Instead, I got be a one of King Arthur’s great knights, battling fierce enemies and exploring far away lands. A knight who always did the right thing, who was always good because that’s what knight’s do. I really wished we weren’t so far beyond the age of knights. I wasn’t a great student, but maybe I could’ve been a good knight. The forty-five minutes flew by and before I knew it we were lining up at the door for the walk back to our classroom. In fifth grade we no longer needed to be escorted to our classrooms like a flock of sheep, and as soon as the clock struck two, Mrs. Koveny would send us on our way. Standing in line, so close to two, it dawned on me that the end of the day was fast approaching and I just might make it through before anyone noticed I was now the oldest person in the grade. I breathed out a sigh of relief. The minute hand moved. “Alright everyone, off you go.” Said Mrs. Koveny, waving us a way with a smile. I was about to take off after the pack when Mrs. Koveny put a hand on my shoulder. “Wait a minute Nash.” My heart skipped a beat and my stomach tightened. What did I do? Did Mrs. Koveny finally see through me like all the other teachers had? I looked up at her my hands suddenly clammy, only to be met with her winning smile. “Why so nervous Nash? I have something for you.” I followed her over to her desk, where she reached into a messy drawer and pulled out a shoe box. “Here. Sorry it’s not wrapped. I was cleaning up and thought you might like these.” I was a tad apprehensive as I took the box from her. It was surprisingly heavy. “What is it?” “Open it.” I took off the top and peered inside. It was full of books. “Mrs. Koveny... But, I can’t read these.” Many of the books were thick and from what I could tell they weren’t the type to be full of pictures. Reluctantly I put the cover back on and held the box back to her. “I’m sorry.” I hated to disappoint her but as I’ve said, I never really got into reading. Mrs. Koveny shook her head making her silver braid flop over her shoulder. She put her hands over mine and pushed the box into my chest. She looked me right in the eye. “I believe you can. Keep them.” She straightened up and held open the library door for me. “Have a good weekend Nash.” I walked past her, still not over the box in my hands. “Oh and Nash?” I looked back over my shoulder. “Happy Birthday.” With a smile and wink she disappeared back into the library.