The Little Red Dragon - what is Miss Grey going to ask them?
Miss Grey hesitates so long the class gets a bit restless. Then she continues, “Before we take everything down off the walls that we put up for Parent Day, Theo would like his mother and baby brother to come tomorrow to see them. I would like to try an experiment. Tomorrow as you are coming to school I would like you to wish very, very hard, for them to come and maybe they too can ‘pop’ and just appear. Do you want to try?”
“Oh, whow!” “Yes!” “A grown-up dragon, how big will she be?” “I am going to try.” “Me too.”
“Hush, off you go now and join your families, just try your best and we’ll see what happens tomorrow. Theo, come here. I’ll help you out of your clown costume and wash your face for you.”
Theo’s Mother Visits Room Nine
On Thursday morning Matthew is on the train, concentrating. “Please come, Mrs Dragon. Jack and Amy are each walking to school, they chant as they walk. ”Come in Mother Dragon.” Marie is on the bus singing a little song, “Please come little baby dragon, bring your Mummy too.” Janice and Michael are brought to school in their parent’s cars. They are tapping their fingers in time to whispering, “come, come, Mother Dragon.” And everyone else in the class, each in their own way are calling in Theo’s mother to visit their class.
Miss Grey had kept waking in the night and worrying if she had made a mistake. Theo is a lovely friendly red dragon, she loves him very much But, maybe his mother is a mean dragon. A huge, fire-breathing dragon. Maybe Theo’s mother doesn’t like teachers or worse, scares the class?
Miss Grey arrived early to school. But so does most of the class. “Is Theo here yet?” “Has Theo brought his mother” They ask as they come in the door.
Not yet. Not yet. Nine o’clock, and still not yet. But at five past nine, and ‘pop’ and there is Theo laughing, “ho ho ho” and “ha ha ha” in his deep grumble voice. “They are right behind me,” he says, and ‘pop’ there stands his mother, a really enormous dragon, at the doorway. She can’t get in! She closes up her wings even tighter, takes a deep breath, and with a bit of a squeeze and a bit of puffing she is in the classroom.
“Good morning Miss Grey, says Theo’s mother, “It is so nice of you to ask me to visit” Then she turns towards the class and smiles, “Oh, all the children. My son talks about you all the time.”
Theo’s mother is coloured silver and soft rainbow colours like the scales of a freshly caught snapper. Her eyes are deep gold, her folded wings are like midnight blue velvet and all her long nails are bright red. But her baby under one arm, though eleven years old, is only the size of a cat and is the same dull brown as a lizard.
Miss Grey has a great big smile on her face. She is so relieved to see that Theo’s mother is here. Of course she is kind; isn’t she is Theo’s mother after all. And most wonderful of all, she is seeing a live fully grown dragon right in front of her! But she just answers: “I am so glad we could help you to come. If you look over here I shall show you Theo’s schoolwork. He works very hard at his lessons and his handwriting is the best in the class.”
“I’ll hold, (and it sounded like ‘jingloh’), for you Mum while you talk to Miss Grey.” And Theo lifted up his baby brother and took him over to meet his friends.
“He doesn’t look much like a dragon yet,” says Michael, “more like that lizard we found at the park.”
“Yes, why is he brown?” “He has one red eye and one blue eye!” “Can he talk yet?” “Can he walk?” “Does he like yoghurt too?” “Is he really seven years old?”
So many excited questions the class is asking and Theo answered them the best he could. His brother was more interested in trying to catch a girl’s hair and put it in his mouth when one came close enough.
“Class, Class,” Miss Grey interrupts.” Theo’s mother would like to talk to you. We can’t pronounce her Dragon name, but she is happy for you to call her Mrs Acidophilus.”
“Hello everyone, says Theo’s mother.
“Hello, Mrs Acidophilus,” answers the class. “Hello Mum,” answers Theo.
“I would like to thank you all very much for looking after my son. You have been very kind to him. In our country, Theo is a prince. His father, the King, has been missing for ten years. I have just learned this week that an explorer mistook him for a statue and he has been locked in a vault in the
all these years. London Museum
The eyes of Miss Grey and the class got bigger and bigger. Theo is a prince. His dad is a king locked away in the London Museum That would mean that Theo’s mother, who was standing there in front of them, is a queen dragon. What a shame they can’t tell anyone else. No one would believe them.
Marie puts up her hand. ”Please Mrs Acidophilus, why do you think most people cannot see dragons? Only our class can see Theo.”
”Do you think it is because humans are too busy to think about dragons, therefore they don’t exist? Theo’s mother answers,. “I nearly forgot to think of humans, or to believe they actually existed, until Theo told me all about you. What do you think Miss Grey?”
Miss Grey answers: “You are probably correct, it seems such a pity we don’t know more about dragons, especially after getting to know Theo.” Then she remembers Mrs Hall wanting to keep a lizard in a jar, and adds, “But maybe most humans are not quite ready yet to understand and be kind to Dragons.
Miss Grey then introduces Theo’s mother to everyone individually in the class. Theo’s mother looks at all the work they have done through the year. She looks at the paintings, the sun and planets hanging from the string that went from one corner of the ceiling to the other, all the books in the library and the two new ones about dragons. She looks at the story board with all their photographs on it. Then Miss Grey takes her to look at the original painting of the red dragon on the school hall wall.
“I am amazed,” says Theo’s mother, when she returns to the classroom. “You are very clever children and now Miss Grey says you are going to sing me some songs. I shall stand over there and listen. Theo would you pass me back your baby brother?”
And the class sang their six favourite songs, one after the other. They were concentrating so hard on remembering all the words and the second part harmonies, they did not notice when the Queen Dragon and her baby went ‘pop’ and were no longer there.
The School’s Beach-Picnic
Theo did not expect the ocean to look so big.
He walked very close to Matthew as they walked down the sand towards the waves. Jack and Amy were walking behind to scuff over Theo’s big dragon footprints.
“Will the sea be just as easy to swim in as your swimming pool?” he asks Matthew.
“Much easier,” replies Matthew. “Salt water makes you float better than fresh water. Don’t drink it though, it will make you throw-up.”
“Wait for us,” call out Michael and Janice as they run down the beach just in time to join their five friends enter the water. The seven of them dive head first into the first wave together and their heads rise again laughing.
“I could stay in the sea and swim all day – look at how well I can float.” calls Theo.
Matthew gives Theo’s tail a pull to see if he can duck him, but Theo keeps floating on top of the water like a big red balloon. Theo and his friends were having so much fun they nearly missed hearing the whistle blown for the 3rd time calling them in for lunch time.
They chose to sit under a tree a little apart from the others to eat their lunch and then, because it was such a warm day and they were tired from all their swimming, they lay back in the sand and before they realised it were asleep.
“Have you seen Mr Thoroughgood? We can’t find him anywhere” Miss Grey was standing in front of them looking anxious. They woke with a start.
“No Miss, no we haven’t” they chorus.
But then it is Theo who remembers. ”Yes I did see him. Just before we came in for lunch. He was out on the rocks over there. I think he was taking photographs.”
Miss Grey rushes away to call out to the other teachers and parents. “The rocks, the boys saw him on the rocks over there!”
They get up and follow the crowd heading for the rocks. It is not long before someone is pointing and calling, “Over there. I think I can see a head in the water way over there.”
Jack suddenly remembers the conversation he had with Mr Thoroughgood on Parent Day. “But he told me he can’t swim!” he says in an urgent voice to the others. “What if he drowns?”