Teaching Mr. Bristle: Part Four
The next day, as Cody and the gang walked sleepily into
the classroom door, they noticed something oddly different. Garfy stared at Mr.
Bristle's desk for a moment, then stared in shock at the teacher sitting proudly
at his neat and organized desk.
"Is this all Malara's doing?" Cody asked, figuring
out what was going on.
Malara got up from her desk and walked right
next to Mr. Bristle, who was blushing once again because someone else knew about
the "classes." "Yup!" the Elephante exclaimed. "Yesterday I taught him exactly
how to organize a desk. This morning I came in early and helped him sort it
all out." She grinned proudly.
The three other pets looked at each other and
laughed. "Well, Mr. Bristle," Cody said slyly, "you may have an organized desk.
But do you have what it takes to teach us?"
"I, um," Mr. Bristle stuttered.
Malara once again spoke for her teacher. "He
has exactly what it takes. Just wait and see."
Garfy raised an eyebrow at her, wondering if
she was really serious. The four of them left together and sat down in their
But that class did not turn out much differently
from the others. The teacher failed to grab anyone's attention except Malara's,
and once again did not teach them anything. Just because he now had an organized
desk did not mean he knew how to teach, and this was quite apparent to the students.
Malara was taking mental notes the entire time, figuring out what else Mr. Bristle
needed help with.
The bell rang loudly
and all of the pets stormed out of the room. Mr. Shay had been standing by the
door, waiting to make a dramatic entrance. "Mr. New Guy!" he shouted, stepping
into the room. "This class sure is a wreck," he said bluntly.
"I appreciated your input," Mr. Bristle snarled.
"It's harder to teach them than you think."
"Yes, well... I'm still not convinced you have
what it takes. I'm going to observe your classroom tomorrow, and if you don't
show any improvement by then, I think I'll have to put you on the list of teachers
that don't last longer than two weeks."
After their classes, Malara, Cody, Brick, and
Garfy sat down at their usual lunch table. Malara had been wise and brought
her lunch that day.
"So, that homeroom teacher sure knows what he's
doing," Cody joked.
"I bet you he'll be a whole new person two weeks
from now," Malara told him confidently.
"Whatever you say," Garfy said. "I'm just curious
as to how exactly you'll do it."
"I have my ways," she responded, grinning. Once
again, they all decided to drop the subject and discuss things such as the local
sports team instead.
After school was out, Malara decided she had
the time to stay a bit and play basketball with her friends. The time flew by
quickly though, and before she knew it she was rushing home to be on time for
Mr. Bristle's lesson. Consequently, in all of her rush, she had left her backpack
on the side of the court and simply ran home not carrying anything.
Garfy picked the bag up. "Should we take it over
to her house? She doesn't live very far from here."
Cody shrugged. "We might as well," he decided,
turning towards Brick. "Brick?"
The Techo was standing in an upright position
with his eyes closed, and snoring peacefully. Garfy laughed, and said, "Let's
just leave him here."
Cody nodded, and the two of them set off for
Malara's house to return her backpack. Brick awoke later in a fit of confusion,
noticing that everyone had left. He sighed, and returned to his house that was
conveniently across the street from the basketball court.
Once again, Mr. Bristle was sitting on the couch
in Malara's living room. "What are we going to work on today?" the teacher asked
his student, who was in fact, his teacher.
Malara pulled up a chair and sat directly in
front of the Gelert. "We don't need our blackboard for today, Mr. Bristle,"
she declared. "Today I'm going to try developing your social skills."
"It's easy," she began, "we're just going to
do a few simulations." Mr. Bristle raised one eyebrow curiously.
Malara stood up. "Okay...pretend I'm Cody," she
told him. "Now...what would you say if I said, 'What's up, moron?'"
"Um... I'm not quite sure," he admitted.
"So that's what your problem is! Responding-"
Malara started, but at that moment when a knock at her front door interrupted
"Who could that be?" Jared asked from the kitchen.
"No idea, Dad," Malara responded, confused.
Jared left the kitchen and opened the door. A
brown Grarrl and a purple Wocky carrying a backpack stood there. "Uh...hi!"
Garfy exclaimed. "We're friends of Malara's and she left her backpack at the
basketball court where we were playing. Just thought we'd bring it back."
Jared smiled. "That's nice of you guys, come
The two pets entered the house, only to be horrified
by the sight of Malara and Mr. Bristle talking to each other in the living room.
"Who is-" Malara began, then stopped as she saw
who was there. "Cody! Garfy! What are you guys doing here?" she asked in shock,
turning away from her student.
Cody pointed towards the backpack. "You forgot
something earlier," he explained.
"Oh...thanks a lot!" She got up and retrieved
her bag, running upstairs to put it away. So, in the living room, Jared, Cody,
and Garfy stood in awkward silence while Mr. Bristle sat on the couch. The two
younger pets glanced nervously at each other.
"Hello Garfy. Hello Cody," Mr. Bristle said darkly.
Garfy raised his hand in a mechanical wave. "Hi
Mr. Bristle... Bye Mr. Bristle." The two of them nodded to Jared and were making
a run for the door, when Malara suddenly descended the steps and grabbed them
"Guys!" she exclaimed. "You two would be perfect
for my simulation! I'm teaching Mr. Bristle how to respond to insults, and such."
Her friends snorted with laughter, but a solemn
expression quickly made its way across both of their faces. "Stay...here?" Cody
"Of course, and only for a little while," Malara
replied enthusiastically. "Please?"
"Um, well... Okay," Garfy muttered.
Jared sighed, and left the room. I'll leave
all of this to Malara, he decided, marching up the stairs to his room.
The three of them turned to Mr. Bristle, who
was paralyzed on the couch, his face redder than ever.
"What do you say, Mr. Bristle?" Malara asked.
"It sounds like an absolutely wonderful idea,"
he drawled unenthusiastically.
Malara pulled up seats for her two friends, and
they sat in a circle in her living room. "Okay, here's what I want you guys
to do! Cody, Garfy, act like you normally would in our homeroom class."
The two of them looked confused for a moment,
not quite sure what to do. After a moment though, they were both lounging around
in their chairs, crumpling up random pieces of paper and various other productive
Malara turned to Mr. Bristle, and said, "Okay,
now let me see what you can do so far. Try to grab their attention and make
The Gelert nodded and cleared his throat. "Ahem,"
he said in the most weak, pitiful voice Malara had ever heard in her life. Cody
laughed out loud.
Mr. Bristle raised an eyebrow at Malara tiredly;
at the same time she shot him an exasperated look. "Come on," she assured him,
"you can do much better than that. Raise your voice, and say 'Excuse me!' Try
"Excuse me!" the teacher shouted with surprising
force. Garfy twitched and jerked his head up, as did Cody.
Malara jumped up out of her seat and smiled.
"That was great!"
"Wow, I never knew you had it in you," Cody wisecracked.
Mr. Bristle simply gaped at the three of them.
"How did I do that?" he asked slowly.
"You raised your voice...?" Garfy offered jokingly.
Everyone laughed, but it slowly dimmed to another awkward silence. It was unlikely
to say the least, that these three students would be hanging out with Mr. Bristle
on a school night. But as a faint grin spread across Malara's face, the four
of them ceased to stare at each other quizzically and soon enough they were
all bursting with laughter once again.
After they had calmed down a bit, Mr. Bristle
turned to Cody and Garfy. "So guys, um, what do you think? Do you think you
could give me a break tomorrow and like, not goof off, or something like
"We'll think about it," Cody replied.
"No, don't think about it, do it. That mean old
Bori is coming to 'observe' our class tomorrow, and if you guys act like five
year olds again then I'll be a goner."
"You sure have a better way with words when you're
not speaking in public," Garfy remarked slyly.
"Yeah, well, it'll take me some time to fix up
those issues. What I want right now is to not get fired." He smirked.
"I'll do everything I can to help you out," Malara
reminded him cheerfully. "Things can't go wrong when you have Malara on your
The Grarrl and Wocky raised themselves from their
seats and picked up their backpacks. "We're going home, have fun, you two,"
"Hey!" Malara shouted. Everyone chuckled except
her, and ten minutes later they all had left.
When Malara when to sleep that night, one particular
thought raced through her mind: Will Mr. Bristle do a good job tomorrow?
To be continued...