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Brigid sat, staring resolutely at her knees as her mother came in. The teacher, Miss Lebsdale (or "Miss Lobster" as the student were generally more inclined to think of her), looked up from her paperwork at Isadora's entrance. "Mrs. Franks," she said. "Do come in."

Isadora gave Brigid a less-than-pleased look, put down her coat and purse and, with a pause that clearly indicated that she noticed the guest chair was not in front of the teacher's desk, pulled it over and sat down. "Thank you," she finally said. "I gather Brigid is having some problem?"

"Your daughter," said Miss Lebsdale, in a tone that was normally reserved for terms such as 'raw sewage' or 'fleas and ticks,' "has a foul mouth, and can't seem to keep it shut in class."

"Indeed," said Isadora.

"Not content to give the world her opinion on the brain capacity of Curious George, to say that Dr. Seuss is 'really screwed up,' and to refer to Singing Time as 'Stinking Time,' today she said something absolutely vile about the snacks which I won't repeat."

Isadora's eyebrows gently floated up an eighth of an inch. "That bad, was it?"

"Yes," said Miss Lebsdale.

Isadora turned to Brigid, whose laser-like stare would be burning a hole in her knees if it were possible. "Did you say something absolutely vile about the snacks, Brigid?"

"No," said Brigid. "Or at least, nothing that wasn't as vile as the snacks were."

"There!" said Miss Lebsdale. "You see what I mean?"

"What did you say?" asked Isadora. Brigid turned her eyes up to Miss Lebsdale, then over to Isadora, but didn't speak. "Brigid Elaine," said Isadora crisply. "What did you say?"

"I said the snacks were unicorn poop," said Brigid quietly.

"There!" said Miss Lebsdale again.

Isadora continued to regard Brigid for a moment, then turned her gaze back to the teacher. "Unicorn poop," she repeated.

"You see?" said Miss Lebsdale. "You see why we can't have this kind of thing in the classroom? Your daughter is a discipline problem, Mrs. Franks!"

"May I see some of these snacks?" said Isadora.

Miss Lebsdale blinked. "What?"

"Just humor me, if you would. I'd like to see what prompted this outrage."

"All right, I think I've got some left, just a moment — ah yes! Here you go." Miss Lebsdale handed Isadora a packet of small, squishy, brightly-colored gelatin candies in a variety of fruit shapes. Isadora opened the package, took out a green specimen, squidged it in her fingers, then popped it into her mouth, chewed it thoughtfully, and swallowed.

"Miss Lebsdale," said Isadora, "my daughter is quite clearly in the right here."


Isadora stood up. "If you're going to insist on feeding my child what is clearly unicorn poop, then you should be prepared for her to comment on it. Brigid is a clear-minded, intelligent child, in whom I've been endeavoring for the past eight years to instill a passionate love for the truth. 'A discipline problem?' Would you call Gandhi 'a discipline problem?' Would you call the Kent State victims 'a discipline problem'? My child is a conscientious objector!"

Miss Lebsdale didn't say anything, as she was too busy opening and closing her mouth in confusion.

"As for Curious George, Dr. Seuss, and Singing Time, I'm not prepared to comment, but I have no doubt that my daughter's criticisms are well-founded on those matters as well." She turned and collected her coat and purse. "Brigid! We're going."

Brigid didn't say anything, but hopped out of her chair and quickly headed for the door.

"By the way," said Isadora, "are there any books you've read in this class that you did like?"

"Well, I kinda liked Madeline," said Brigid.

Isadora smiled and opened the door for her daughter. "Good girl!" she said.

-The Gneech

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( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 19th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
We're going to Candy Mountain, Brigid! Candy Mountain!

Good show, Isadora.

This fictionlet reminds me that I need to have my sister retell her story about a sub nicknamed "Feared the Worst".
May. 19th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
It's NOT just me getting that stuck in her head!

May. 19th, 2008 03:00 pm (UTC)
She's too old for Dr. Seuss!
May. 22nd, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
You're never too old for Dr. Seuss!

He is pretty screwed up, though. It's part of his charm. =)
May. 19th, 2008 04:08 pm (UTC)
And now all that is left...
...is to fling a quarter....
May. 19th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC)
Re: And now all that is left...
*watches a reference go flying way over his head*

Sorry, what?

May. 19th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
Re: And now all that is left...
...is an obscure reference to "Uncle Buck", starring John Candy.
May. 19th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
Why does this fictionlet remind be of an interesting but true event?

May. 19th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
It's happened so many times in so many different ways...

May. 20th, 2008 01:39 pm (UTC)
Like your "It's a Lion. Get in the car!" avatar. Was wondering where did you snag the pic from and if you could link me with a high res version of it?
May. 21st, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
I seem to recall I found it in splodefromcute some time ago, but I haven't been able to find it again. I'll poke around my hard drive at home to see if I have the full sized version.

May. 19th, 2008 05:24 pm (UTC)
This one brought a smile to my face and bumped up my respect for both Brigid and Isadora up a notch. Well done. :)

May. 19th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
Ok, now I have to find out why I was never introduced to the Madeline books as a child. However, I did startle the heck out of my second grade teacher by reading _Uncle Remus' Tales_. In fact, she didn't believe it. She had me read some for the class, then asked questions. A short time later, I was stuck in the gifted program.

Unicorn poop, indeed.
May. 19th, 2008 05:37 pm (UTC)
I didn't encounter Madeline myself until I was in college and saw the animated short.

"To the tiger, she just said, 'Pooh, pooh!'"

-The Gneech
May. 19th, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this one. Isadora seems much more likeable in this instance. If all moms could intsill these ideals, the world would be much more interesting. Or at least, elementary school would be.
May. 19th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC)
Isadora is a pretty complex character, but moms are like that. ;)

May. 20th, 2008 09:54 am (UTC)
This was a test, wasn't it...? LOL!
May. 22nd, 2008 11:06 am (UTC)
Is Brigid still this young? I had always pictured her around 20/25...

Or is this one of those stories of the past kinda things?
May. 22nd, 2008 01:24 pm (UTC)
'tis a flashback, yes. :)

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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