Just as surely as the elephant herds migrate through the Serengeti, the teachers began their daily trek from the cafeteria across the playground back to the classrooms after lunch. The new first grade teacher, Amy, lingered behind, feeling the effects of eating a yogurt and salad in 19 minutes flat, the full teacher lunch period.
The middle school boys enjoyed their rowdy game of football near the sidewalk. Amy jumped to the side to avoid an errant pass. "Boys, be careful!" she called. Her stomach felt queasy, and another tiny flutter at her belly gave her pause. She kept moving, though, glad that show and tell was next on the agenda after lunch instead of an involved lesson.
The fluttering at her belly gave way abruptly and she felt an odd weight at her ankles. Her horror at what lay at her feet was amplified by the large crowd of teenaged boys chasing around her. There, puddled at her shoes, was her black, lacy slip, newly bought from the lingerie department at JC Penney.
Her languid thought patterns erupted to full strength in a nanosecond. Before any of the middle school crowd saw, she kicked the slip under the bushes to her right, hardly breaking stride. She'd have to retrieve it much later, after school, when no one was around.
Amy rounded the corner to her room and heaved a sigh of relief and thankfulness that she'd dodged that bullet. What a day. Fridays always seemed veer in different directions than the other days of the week.The first graders soon flooded into the room. She checked the roster of who had something for show and tell this week.
First, there was Samantha, who told a tale about her chubby baby brother. Then there was Mikey, as unpredictable as a tornado. Still in recent memory was the time he brought one of his dad's hidden magazines for show and tell. Amy leaped higher over a desk than she thought possible that day to intercept it just before Mikey unfurled the centerfold. This time, though, he only had a shiny toy truck to display.
Teresa was next and showed how her mom had French braided her hair. Brandon was the final one. Brandon was a forgetful yet imaginative boy who often came to school with his hair pointed in wild directions, looking as if he had just rolled out of bed. He usually forgot to bring anything for show and tell, so Amy asked, "Honey, did you remember to bring something today?"
Brandon nodded excitedly, clutching his backpack tightly to his chest. "Yes, yes, I have something really special!" he exclaimed. He stepped carefully to the front of the room. All eyes were on him as he set his backpack down and slowly reached into its depths. Like a magician pulling a rabbit from a hat, he drew forth his prize with a flourish and held it over his head for all to see.
"It's a pirate ship flag! I found it by the bushes on the playground! They must have lost it!" he happily shared as he waved it over his head, to the delighted oohs and ahhs of his classmates.
It could have been.
It could very well have been a flag for a pirate ship, if pirates used lacy, black nylon fabric with an elastic waistband for their flags.