Back to School: Mr. Putter and Tabby Ring The Bell by Cynthia Rylant
"I MISS SCHOOL," SAID MR. PUTTER."
"I MISS PENCILS AND BOOKS.
I MISS GLOBES AND ERASERS.
I WOULD LIKE TO G0 BACK TO SCHOOL," SAID MR. PUTTER,
"FOR JUST ONE DAY."
Autumn is coming, and with crisp days and falling leaves Mr. Putter, becomes nostalgic for those "back to school" days of bright yellow pencils with new pink erasers. His neighbor Mrs. Teaberry has a suggestion. Perhaps the first grade would let them come to school as their show-and-tell guests, with Mr. Putter's fine cat Tabby and Mrs. Teaberry's good dog Zeke as their show-and-tell pets.
"WHAT A GOOD IDEA!" SAID THE FIRST GRADE TEACHER.
"THE CHILDREN LOVE CATS AND DOGS. DO YOURS DO TRICKS?"
Zeke can wear banana cake and water bowls on his head. Tabby only naps a lot and purrs really well.
It's probably too late to teach an old cat new tricks, but Mrs. Teaberry is raring to show off her talented bulldog, so the two show up at the local school as promised, Zeke wearing his red sweater and his snazziest dog-bone tie and Tabby, well, poised to purr. The teacher introduces the visitors and informs them that Tabby and Zeke are there to show off their tricks.
TABBY PURRED. ZEKE SCRATCHED AT HIS TIE.
NO ONE DID A TRICK.
"UH OH," SAID MR. PUTTER.
It's beginning to look as if the "show-and-tell" session is going to be a show-and-fail. Then suddenly the school bell sounds!
Tabby suddenly shows how high an old cat can jump straight up, landing on the lap of a little girl who shows her class how loud a little girl can shriek. Zeke shows how even a bowlegged bulldog can outleap a cat and lands in the refreshments, a box of cupcakes, where he shows the kids how fast one small bulldog can gobble up a whole class's cupcakes!
Just as the teacher is about to tell the visitors what she thinks of their tricks, it's saved by the bell. The second DONG prompts Zeke and Tabby to perform their last trick.
IT WAS A DISAPPEARING TRICK.
AND THAT WAS THE END OF SHOW-AND-TELL.
At home over cups of tea, Mr. Putter and Mrs. Teaberry have to laugh over the worst show-and-tell ever, but at least Mr. Putter is glad he got his chance to go back to school--if just for one day.
Cynthia Rylant's twentieth in her best-selling series, Mr. Putter & Tabby Ring the Bell (Harcourt, 2011) is forthcoming in September, featuring, as always, the comic colored-pencil illustrations of the talented Arthur Howard.
DEAR FIRST GRADERS,
SORRY ABOUT SHOW-AND-TELL.
PLEASE ACCEPT OUR CUPCAKES AND APOLOGIES.
MRS. TEABERRY and MR. PUTTER