Thursday, 24 November 2016


If they keep trying can they rescue the King Dragon?

Not ten minutes, not five minutes, but three minutes! A very surprised King Dragon, who had been asleep in a vault for ten years finds himself on a football field in front of Miss Grey, a class of children, his wife, his sons and all the dragons of his town. “Yikes!” he said, or something like that – he had said it so loud that it sounded like a plane’s sonic boom. The birds flew out of the trees and the school’s windows rattled.

Theo’s mother rushed up and threw her arms around her husband. “You are safe, she whispered. “You are safe.”

And everyone: Miss Grey, Theo, Room Nine, the town of Dragons were so teary-eyed and turning to look at each other in delight that they stopped their wishing and ‘pop.’ Miss Grey, Theo and the class were once again alone on the football field. The class rolled around the ground in laughter. “We did it!” “Did you see how many dragons there were?” “The poor king, he had no colour from being locked away for so long.” “I thought all kings had a crown?” said Marie. “Whow your dad is huge,” Matthew says to Theo and squeezes his hand. Miss Grey is wiping tears from her eyes yet laughing too. She claps her hands, “I think an early lunch would be a good idea,” she calls out. “It is time to return to the classroom.”

Theo is not really enjoying his lunch, even though he loves jelly and icecream. “Miss, I do want to stay for this last day, but my heart also wants to go and be with my father.”

Theo, I understand and of course you want to be with your family. Class, class, stop a moment. Theo needs to go back home, but first he wants to say goodbye and I have a couple of things I want to give him before he goes. First she hands him his school report in its envelope and then a shiny silver cup. It is engraved with the words, Class Nine. The Most Improved Student. And underneath in beautiful script writing was written, Theodore Acidophilus Junior.

Theo gave Miss Grey a very cold, shiny oval red stone. And then somehow, though everyone was a bit upset, he managed to thank Miss Grey for being his teacher and the class for being his friends and the class sang ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow’ and Theo added Hip Hip Hooray at the end in his deep grumble voice and was gone.

Miss Grey, to stop the children being sad about Theo leaving, hurried the children to finish tidying away from having lunch and do their chores before packing their schoolbags for one last time of being in Room Nine.

The parents were already arriving in the school hall and soon the children would join them for the Prize Giving. Then the summer holidays would start.

It was so hard to sit still and listen to Mr Thoroughgood and his long speech. Then it was time for the Chairman of the Board of Directors to hand out certificates, cups and prizes for all the good schoolwork the pupils had done and everyone clapped and clapped. And then Mr Thoroughgood stood up again. “There is just one more thing,” he said.

The whole school did a little sigh. Would Prize Giving never end?”

I have a special certificate for everyone in Room Nine. On Parent Day, with the help of a clown, who I know was Matthew’s uncle over visiting from Greece, a Mr Theodore Acidophilus Junior, they raised $82 in total for two shade trees for the school grounds,” Mr Thoroughgood was saying.

Miss Grey and Room Nine suddenly felt very sad. They wished that Theo could be with them and be hearing the headmaster saying this.

Mr Thoroughgood continued, “And together with the Parent Committee and the School Directors we have decided on two Red Pin Oaks. They will be planted alongside the painting of the dragon on the school hall wall.

There was a lot more clapping. After a moment Mr Thoroughgood had his hand up to stop the clapping – “And one more thing. We have also decided that the painting of the red dragon that appeared on the school hall wall, so mysteriously, is to now be the School Mascot. From now on our football and basketball teams will be known as the Red Dragons. Miss Grey would you come up here please and accept Room Nine’s certificates.

There was lots of cheering and so much clapping that Room Nine’s hands hurt. Miss Grey went up onto the stage and collected all the certificates and as she was returning to her seat who did she standing in the doorway at the back and giving a little wave? It was Theo with his Dad.

For the first time that year she forgot to think quickly. “I am so glad you could be here Theodore Acidophilus Junior, “she called.

Everyone turned around, but was not sure who she was talking to, except for Room Nine who were also smiling and waving.

Mr Thoroughgood is quietly pleased that Miss Grey is leaving the school to go and teach over in Australia. There is something odd about that teacher, and Room Nine had been just as odd as her.


In the car on the way home, Matthew’s mother turns to him and asks, “what did the headmaster mean by saying that an uncle of yours was over from Greece and was staying with us?”

“Do you mean Mr Theodore Acidophilus Junior? replies Matthew. “I think it was a teacher-only joke.” And Matthew and Arion start giggling.


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