April Fools Day at Banner School

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Our feet left prints on moss like tracks in snow
the morning that we walked into the woods.
We took the small tin pails of lunch and slipped
onto the path behind the one-room school.
We giggled when we thought of Mr. Rose–
how he would fume to find we’d skipped his class!
We sat along the bank of talking brook
and watched it slither down a curving line
though forest full of pine and sycamore.
We ate our lunch of biscuit, bacon, ham,
fresh deviled egg, blackberry jam, fried pies,
a rare delight and yummy chocolate treat.
When Jessie, oldest, wisest one of us
said we must catch the bus by three o’clock,
we watched the sun and knew that we should go.
Yvonne, who wondered what our mom might do
began to walk in slow, methodic steps,
regretting fun and pranks of April Fool.
“No need to worry now, Yvonne,” I said.
“We’ll catch the bus.  Our mom will never know.”
As we came from the woods, lunch pails in hand,
classmates–all boys–ran fast to tell the Teach,
who sternly met us at the schoolhouse door.
The hickory stick in his right hand was huge.
We heard the snickers from accusing boys,
all set to watch the paddling we deserved.
But Mr. Rose put down Old Hickory Stick.
“Go to your desks,” he said, “and get your pens,
your tablets, too and take this test you missed
in class today.”  We sighed with great relief!

© Freeda Baker Nichols

14 comments on “April Fools Day at Banner School

  1. What a treat…YOU playing Hooky!… what fun… and glad how it ended… an understanding teacher for sure!


    • Can’t quite believe we sweet young girls actually did that, and that the teacher was not alarmed, didn’t send security out to look for us. LOL What security? He made sure we took the test though, and that caused the boys to hush griping because they were left behind. It was a two room school house. Only two teachers. In the poem, I mention a bus, but my sister and I didn’t ride the bus. We lived close enough to walk to school.


  2. Ginger Kemp Pruett says:

    Enjoyed this one and started my day with a chuckle and smile on my face after reading it. Now all threw the day this poem will be with me, and remind me not to let little things of the day bother me.


  3. kayladean says:

    What a beautiful picture of the way things were…thank you for allowing us to peer into the past a bit.


    • Thanks, Kayla. Just hope my grandkids don’t see this and wonder, what else did GeGe do that she tells us not to do. lol I never did that again, but it is a precious memory of a good time on a “pretty day.”


  4. Dot Hatfield says:

    What a fun poem! I enjoyed it.


    • So glad you did! I almost worry to post this on Facebook, in case, my grandsons decide if their GeGe skipped school, that maybe they can, too. Don’t think their teachers would react as Mr. Rose did.
      I have no way of knowing what grade I made on that test. 🙂 But that picnic in the woodlands, what fun!


  5. Lois Jean Coley says:

    Freeda, How you can capture your life in poetry!! I’ve also enjoyed the pics of the birds. I’m afraid I’m a receiver of your writings and forget to be the giver– such as praise. Thanks, again, for, helping us remember Banner Mountain. Not much difference in there and The Valley. Isn’t it remarkable that the jonquils can live on for so many years, For years I didn’t recognize them for their beauty, but I DO NOW!. Tell my old classmate, Gene, hello.
    Lois Jean


    • Lois Jean, how wonderful to see your comment here. On Facebook, I mention that one of the girls who skipped school with us, was Inez. Not sure of the other one, but I think it may have been Opal, Jessie’s sister. We had fun, but how we dreaded the punishment, but there wasn’t any. Mr. Rose had given the boys a test while we were gone, so that’s all we had to do, make up the test. lol Yes, Banner Mountain and the Valley are the same. Another good friend (and my cousin) from the Valley is Corine. I miss those wonderful days of growing up, don’t you? I will tell your old classmate hello. Thanks again.


  6. Sounds like a wonderful teacher!


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