Breakfast duty at school… I see raised hands.
I go over.
I am expecting one of the following:
I can’t open my milk.
I can’t open this [bag of apple slices].
Can I have a paper towel? I spilled my ____.
Can I have a cup of water/a spoon/a fork/ another biscuit?
I have my responses ready:
Have you tried?
Have you tried?
How did this happen?
Put on your mask and go get it (x3)… and sorry, you only get one.
This is what happens, however, when I get to the little girl sitting with her sister and cousin:
Child: Look, my apple has a z on it.
Me: A z?
[Child holds up apple slice. Peel has been nibbled so that, yes, a sort of letter z remains]
Me: Wow, that IS a z. I guess you could say z is for apple. No—zapple!
Child: Yeah, I can eat it and have magic powers. [waggles fingers in air like a magician. Of sorts]
Older Sister [in spite of herself]: Yeah, you can go ZAP! [performs a ZAP with an air wand]
Even Older Cousin [even more in spite of herself]: Or, you could ZOOM.
Me: Ooo, yes! After eating the zapple, you could zap and zoom down the hall to discover a zebra peeking out of a room…
[offstage light shines on the faces of all three children]
Me [seizing the moment]: That would make a great story, wouldn’t it?
Even Older Cousin [with a determined nod]: I’m gonna start typing it on my Chromebook as soon as I get to class…
I leave them talking excitedly about What Happens Next.
Zapples clearly are magical.
with thanks to Two Writing Teachers for the Slice of Zapple… er, Slice of LIFE Story Challenge every day in the month of March. This is my sixth year participating.