I stood by my door this morning after first bell, during that passing period students have to dash to class and relinquish their social ties for 50 minutes. On an ordinary day, the speckled industrial tile of the hallway virtually sparkles from being polished within an inch of its life. But this morning, there was a blemish. A brown mark upon the beauty that is a public school in that golden hour before students invade and pillage like Vikings in a Capitol One commercial.
A colleague, schooled in the mysteries of science, as is Val herself, strode down that besmirched path. She stepped over the offending mud clump. Stopped. Released a bellow of outrage. I joined in. "I know! It's only first hour, and they've already trashed the place!"
CollyG bend down and picked it up. I never knew cleanliness was next to chemistry-teacherness. No way would I have picked up a chunk of hall-mud. No way would I have bent over. CollyG held her treasure aloft. Like a hard-luck Sad Sack brandishing a four-leaf clover.
"IT'S A FROG!"
Indeed. It was a tiny frog. Quite dead. Dessicated. A regular amphibian mummy. It could not even have passed for jerky, so dry was the tissue. I recognized it forthwith. Had I not walked past it just outside the back door to the parking lot for two days in a row? CollyG grasped that well-preserved specimen like I was going to leg-wrestle her for the rights. Just because it was discovered along my classroom frontage did not mean that I wanted to lay claim.
Silly me. I thought CollyG would throw the expired overgrown tadpole in the trash. But no. She set off merrily down the hall, to a cluster of our cronies. They gathered 'round, thinking, perhaps, that CollyG had brought them a tasty morsel from the breakfast line. Can you believe they screamed when they realized
I am certainly glad she was not around when Hick found that mummified cat in the attic over my grandma's garage.