Pre-school has always been a lovely memory for youngsters, the place they learned the first simple things, especially the alphabet. It may be a fun flashback for many to retrace, except for one boy, who thinks it as a nightmarish time.
If Harrison Morrow was told to describe a nightmare he had, it would be the day he learned the alphabet at Pre-school. He was only four when his worst days at Pre-school began. The other little toddlers were writing their alphabets. The teacher, Miss Juvee, had assigned the students to study the first four letters of the alphabet a week ago. Now these toddlers knew the letters, and were doing as Miss Juvee told them; writing out the first four letters, each copied ten times. Everyone was having fun, except one, Harrison. He swayed on his chair to and fro, wanting the bathroom very badly. He was going to burst if he stayed one minute more. So he got up, and waddled over to Miss Juvee.
“Well done, Johnny! Now read the next four letters of the alphabet in your textbook, and do those questions by yourself. If you need any help, feel free to- Urgh, what is it, Harrison?”
Harrison was tugging Miss Juvee’s long skirt. He looked up at the sweet face of his teacher, and said, stuttering a little:
“Pretty, pretty, pretty please, let me go to the bathroom!”
Miss Juvee giggled, “oh Harrison. I won’t keep you waiting, but first, tell me the first four letters of the alphabet, sweetie.”
Harrison shook his head quickly, “I can’t remember miss.”
Miss Juvee looked at him sympathetically, and said, “It’s all right Harrison. But tomorrow I want you to come with the first four letters of the alphabet.”
Harrison nodded, gave a sweet smile and skedaddled off to the bathroom.
That evening, after school, Harrison thought about what the teacher had said, and decided to ask his mother for the first four letters of the alphabet. But little did he know that his mother, Mrs. Morrow, had a stressful day doing chores all by herself. And now she was doing the laundry. So off went Harrison to the laundry room. He found his mother piling all the clothes into the washing machine. Harrison looked at his mother and said:
“Mommy, what are the first four letters of the alphabet?”
Mrs. Morrow was really annoyed. She hated being disturbed even after a stressful day. She got furious.
“GO AWAY!” she shouted at Harrison.
Poor Harrison; he thought that what his mother had said was the very first letter! He smiled at his mother, and left for his father. Mr. Morrow was in the living room, watching his favourite football match.
“Daddy, what are the next three letters of the alphabet except the first one?”.
But his father didn’t hear him as he was too busy watching his favourite team score a goal. He jumped up from the couch and cheered.
That was the second letter, at least immature Harrison thought so. He skipped off to his sister, Jessica’s room next to ask for the last two.
He opened the door of the room, only to hear heavy pop music. She was singing along to the music, while Harrison called out his question.
“Jessica, what is the third and fourth letter of the alphabet?”
But his sister heard nothing; all she could hear was the loud voice of the now-going Micheal Jackson’s songs.
“Micheal Jackson!” Jessica sang.
Harrison heard this, and the dumb witted boy thought that this was the third letter. So now he needed the fourth, off to Kevin, his brother’s room!
Kevin was in a large toy car, watching his favourite TV show: The Little Naughty Car. You might think Harrison was too stupid to think that his little brother would know the letters of the alphabet. Well, yes, he was too stupid.
“Kev, what’s the fourth letter of the alphabet?”
His brother, looked at Harrison, and sang the first two lines of the theme song of the TV show:
‘In my little, naughty car,
Harrison yelped happily, Miss Juvee would be happy!’
Every letter hethought were so were stuck in his mind. Yes, surely Miss Juvee would be pleased, he thought. Well, he was so wrong.
The next day, at Pre-school, Harrison went to Miss Juvee.
“So, Harrison. Have you studied the letters? Go on.” she said, smiling broadly.
Harrison took a deep breath, and said, “GO AWAY!”
Miss Juvee looked shocked, “what’s the meaning of this? Do you want to get in detention for saying that to your teacher?”
‘Yes!’ he said.
“Who do you think you are? A maniac?” she shouted at Harrison.
Every face in the class was looking at Harrison and the tomato-faced Miss Juvee.
“Micheal Jackson, Micheal Jackson!” he started saying the third letter, in a sing-song voice.
Tension broke through the class, “How are you going to get away with this?” Miss Juvee screamed at the little idiotic boy.
He ignored everything once more, “in my little naughty car, room, room!”
Miss Juvee burst, “that’s it! DETENTION!”
For the rest of his time at Pre-school, he would be in an hour’s worth of detention after school, every day (except Saturdays and Sundays).
By Dinushka Wickramasinghe