Students filed through the cream brick corridors of Winding
Wood Neoschool. Bursts of giggling and exited murmuring filled the ears of neatly
dressed teachers, who smiled to themselves that their students were so happy about
their first day back at Neoschool. One of the newest students was a blue Lupe
called Skylark, who was straggling about, looking completely baffled.
"Room 1a, room 1b, room 1c…. this is no good!"
she muttered to herself, frowning as she read the wooden signs on each identical,
"Where Is my class? I've looked everywhere, I'm
sure!" she cried aloud, now close to tears. This was her first day at Neoschool,
and she was lost before she even had her first Math lesson! Her elder siblings
had disappeared amongst swarms of friends, leaving their younger sister to fend
for herself, who, unfortunately, wasn't off to a very good start.
"Make way, please! Excuse me!" a dominating,
kindly, female voice boomed, breaking through the atmosphere of hushed conversations.
Skylark glanced up, trying to pinpoint the source of the noise - but to her
bemusement all she could see was a small, important looking baby Grarrl sauntering
through the path left by the students.
She felt someone nudge her, and she turned to
see a mutant Lupe grinning good-naturedly down at her. "Yes?" she prompted politely.
"That's the principal," he replied, still grinning.
"Who?" Skylark spluttered.
"That baby Grarrl is Miss Woodcombe, the principal
of this school," he explained patiently.
"Wow!" she said, amazed. "I mean - I didn't expect..
Not meaning to be rude, but…"
"You didn't expect a baby pet to be principal?"
the mutant Lupe nodded. "Don't worry, you'll get used to it. I'm A_ndy_14 by
the way. Call me Andy."
"I'm Skylark_04, and I think I'm lost," she replied
"Is this your first year?"
"Well, just follow me," he sang out cheerfully,
striding off down the corridor. The noise of the students got louder and louder
as they delved further into the heart of the school.
"Won't you be late for class?" she yelled curiously,
trotting to keep up as he strode through a maze of bags, discarded books and
students lined up outside their classrooms. Every now and then a teacher shouting
in vain, "Quiet, please!" could be heard over the merry din.
Andy stopped in front of an open door labeled
"I'm a prefect - it's my duty to help you. Have
a nice day," he said with a wink as he gently shoved her into the classroom.
She was standing in the doorway of a spacious,
golden room littered with desks and chairs featured in a 'U' shape. At the head
of the room was a large, brown wooden desk covered with scattered pieces of
paper, and against the wall stood a black upright piano. A gold Zafara lounged
on the chair nearest to her, looking bored, while other pets sat attentively
in their seats, intently watching something in front of them. Skylark followed
their gaze to something she had not noticed before - a checkered Flotsam stood
near the desk, holding a clipboard and a pen.
Should I go in? Should I knock? What do I
"Excuse me?" she queried in a small voice, then
louder "Excuse me!"
A ripple of distracted heads turned towards her,
including the Flotsam's.
"Yes?" the checkered Flotsam asked, squinting
at her -- as if my name was written on my forehead, thought the young Lupe
"I'm Skylark_04, I've been told that this was
my classroom," she said as politely as she could.
Oh no! Not now. I'm going to sneeze. I can
"ACHOOO!" she whooshed.
Now the entire room was looking at her, save
the Flotsam who was running the tip of her flipper down her clipboard.
PleasepleaseplesasePLEASE let me be in the
right class, she thought nervously. Why is everybody looking at me!
The flotsam smiled at Skylark, just as she realised
she had been holding her breath.
"Yes, you are in my class. How wonderful! I am
Ms Ray, and I will be your year advisor for this term. Please, come in and take
a seat," she trilled.
Skylark walked quickly across the room and sat
at a wooden desk, between a Christmas Pteri and a green Aisha, trying to ignore
curious eyes. She took her bulging faerie backpack off her back and put it on
the floor next to the chair-leg, and looked hopefully at Ms.. Ray for further
"Now, as I was saying, your first lesson today
is music with Doctor Hill - yes, dear?" she said, surprised, as a Royal Aisha
raised a hand delicately into the air.
"What is he a doctor of?" the princess asked
"Why, a doctor of music of course. Now, as I
A few pets giggled.
"Dears! I must insist that you do not interrupt
me while I am talking. Now, as I was saying…"
This time a loud chuckle swept across the room.
Ms. Ray ignored them, saying, "Well, it looks
like Doctor Hill is here already. Goodbye dears, I shall see you all again after
recess," and she flopped out of the room.
At the same time a beaming plushie Pteri flapped
clumsily into the room, coming to perch on the teacher's desk.
"Greetings, class! I am Doctor Hill, your music
teacher! But you can call me Doc!" he announced grandly.
The class looked without interest at the Pteri,
who hopped down from the desk and onto the piano stool.
He isn't going to try to play with his wings,
is he? thought Skylark, amused, and she whispered this question to the green
Aisha sitting next to her, who answered with a shrug.
"Now, the first thing we will learn is how to
Most pets lost interest at this statement, turning
around to whisper to their neighbours, or started to pick their erasers to crumbs.
"Now, this won't do!" the plushie cried, but no one save a few gave him any
attention. Yes, this was a teacher to get some fun out of, they all thought
"Pay attention, or I may turn into a JELLY!"
he cried, and bashed a discordant chord on the piano.
Surprised laughter burst from corners of the
classroom, and a few cheeky pets called out things like, "Strawberry or Glowing?"
and "Good, I'm hungry!"
However, the Pteri seemed mollified at the class's
show of attention, and merely smiled mysteriously.
"Now. Everybody sit up! Uncross Legs! Unfold
arms! Quick smart!" Dr. Hill suddenly screeched. "You cannot sing when you are
sitting like piles of rotting dung!"
One by one reluctant pets sat up straighter and
uncrossed their legs, but as soon as Dr. Hill turned back to the piano, they
slouched back down like sacks of potatoes.
Skylark was surprised - Why don't they pay
attention? I like music, and I bet Dr. Hill teaches really interesting things!
So she sat up straight and folded her front paws in her lap.
The plushie Pteri played a beautiful ascending
glissando on the keyboard, and turned to smile at his students. Unfortunately,
only a few students were now paying any attention, the rest were whispering,
laughing, or simply falling asleep, drooping like wilted pot plants across their
Skylark could see the teacher growing angrier
and angrier; obviously he had a very high temper.
Dr. Hill jumped from the stool, tiny red pupils
"This is NOT a laughing matter!" he piped angrily.
"Anybody who so much as smiles from now on shall be on detention IMMEDIATELY!"
The classroom fell silent, surprised.
The plushie Pteri puffed himself up impressively,
causing Skylark to hide a small smile behind her paw.
"STAND UP!" he screeched, enraged at the blue
Skylark stood up slowly, aghast. What did
I do wrong?
"YOU ARE NOT EXISTING AT THE RIGHT LEVEL!" he
screamed at the unfortunate girl, who was now feeling both angry and upset.
What right does this teacher have to yell at me? she thought angrily.
"I'm sorry, but I don't see what I've done wrong,"
she said coolly, feeling the eyes of the class watching her in awe and interest.
"I -" the Pteri began, but his reply was drowned
out by the voice of a red loudspeaker Skylark hadn't noticed before, announcing
in the voice of the principal: "THIS CLASS IS NOW OVER. STUDENTS ARE TO PROCEED
OUTSIDE FOR RECESS. REPEAT. THE NINE 0-CLOCK CLASSES ARE NOW OVER. STUDENTS
ARE TO PROCEED OUTSIDE FOR RECESS."
Dr. Hill swiveled around haughtily and flapped
out of the classroom. Most of the students made for the door as well, so Skylark
followed them hurriedly.
I don't want to get lost again! she thought.
By the end of the day, Skylark had been to Music,
English, Maths and an art class.
She had even made a few friends - Dream_1242812,
a lab pet formerly a female ghost Aisha, currently a male green Lupe, and Sea_star144,
a female green Koi also new to the school.
"So how was school, Sky?" asked Skylark's big
sister (a starry Gelert called Kibeth) as she and her siblings walked home through
the white, cloud streets of Faerieland.
"Oh, pretty good," she replied, then smiled slowly,
"And I just can't wait until tomorrow!"