The elusive “30 for 30” A+ test result was finally conquered last Friday, as all of Emily’s hard work and preparation netted her the perfection that she had been chasing for a good long while. It was a confident and committed Emily who walked into the classroom for the Friday exam and it was an exuberant and somewhat relieved little girl who bounded to the car at the end of the day. Nice work Emily girl! With only a few school weeks remaining, we are nearing the completion of our study stories and it has certainly been a pleasure. Hope the following story is helpful as Emily prepares for one of her final spelling tests of the third grade.
Horrible Haddie’s Back in Town
The sun was shining over the city that morning, the morning when Haddie came back to town. Half the town didn’t know that she was coming back today, and they only noticed her because she’d left a note and her old comb in the restroom at the diner, where she was seen often during those questionable years. Why she was back again this time was a mystery to most, but all agreed that there was no honor for the girl who encouraged other kids to not fasten there seatbelts and defiantly refused to kneel during prayer time.
Then there was the time that she stole the town’s pretty Christmas wreath.
This was the source of much controversy and it was only recently that some peace and calm was restored in the town that had sought the answer to the question about where the wreath had gone and who had taken it. It wasn’t until Handsome Harry found the wreath placed under the floorboards of his grandmother’s living room that the mystery was solved, and the old lady grew another wrinkle or two when the town’s prize wreath was discovered in her home.
All the kids around town gathered to listen to a wise old man tell them about Horrible Haddie. The old man choked on some portions of the story and to stall for time he asked Trevor to fetch him a glass of warm milk with a single egg yolk floating on the top. But there were no eggs to be found.
Haddie had stolen all the eggs.
She had to climb up to the top of the barn where the chickens were making an honest living – laying an egg a day per hen – and Haddie actually bit into her knuckle to suppress the laughter that was welling up inside of her at the sight of startled chickens.
Haddie was not a nice girl.
The daughter of the town’s plumber, Haddie did things that would inspire a crazy folktale or two and there were quite a few people around town who secretly wished for a broken limb or three for the girl. There was talk that she left town for pulling a knife in class, but there was no truth to that tall tale.
Regardless of why she had left town, Haddie was now back and the townsfolk were assuming that she had returned to do more wrong than good.
Haddie aimed to prove otherwise.
A tiny knock on the classroom door was completely unexpected since Haddie normally made a very noisy entrance whenever she arrived. Hair combed back neatly, face washed to perfection, Haddie entered the room to utter silence. It was the first hour of school and it was very early for a girl who normally arrived much later in the day when she bothered to show up at all. Normally she appeared as if she’d slept all night in a tomb, but Haddie was clear-eyed, refreshed and most of all, humbled.
Her eyes were clear and there was a glisten to her smile. She cleared her throat and as if by design Tommy Harper burped loudly from the back row. Nobody laughed for fear of Haddie’s reaction, but Tommy’s monster burp only served to hasten Haddie’s speech to her classmates.
“Friends, I’ve had to wrestle with my feelings for a good long time,” she started. “I know I have been bad, but I really meant no harm. Chicken eggs, Christmas wreaths and all that stuff, it was all meant to get some attention and I suppose I got it, but it was all the wrong type of attention. I just want people to like me for who I am. I’m Haddie Henderson and not really Horrible Haddie. I want you to wear your seatbelts and I honestly want to kneel during prayer time.
“I’m not a rebel or even a bad person. I just want to be your friend and be accepted for who I am.”
There was thunderous applause from her classmates and Tommy Harper was the first to shake Haddie’s hand.
It was the beginning of a new era in the town, one that no longer featured Horrible Haddie.
The next morning it was discovered that the water in the town’s fountain had been dyed purple. Turns out that old habits die hard and Haddie needed a little more time to rehabilitate.
And perhaps some therapy.