Children Fiction posted April 17, 2009 Chapters:  ...8 9 -10- 11... 


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Big Mama is cooking but Tanisha &Walt cook up plan

A chapter in the book Ms. N.O.R.T.

Chops and Greens

by Deejharrington

Chapter Ten: "Chops and Greens"



By 3:45 that afternoon, Walter and I were back at the kitchen table. But there was no food on the table, yet. There were text books, paper, and pencils. We were doing our homework and Big Mama was cooking pork chops and scalloped potatoes. The smells fillin' that kitchen? Umm, um. My mouth was watering so bad it was making it hard to concentrate on present or past participles. After all the work Big Mama had me doin' today, I was starving. I noticed Walter checking out the stove a few times, too.

Big Mama put the casserole in the oven and the greens cookin' on top. She wiped her hands and turned to ask me, "Tanisha, have you written that note to your teacher?"

Dang, I'd forgotten all about it. Well, not really, I just kept pushing it back when I did think of it. It wasn't I didn't think I owed Ms. Nortamura an apology. I just didn't know what to write. It's embarrassing to know I was so wrong. I had acted like some street thug or spoiled brat. Neither of which I am, thank you very much. 


I could almost picture Mrs, Seal standing behind me. She'd have her arms folded and lookin' over the top of her glasses at me. She'd be saying something like, You know what you have to do, Tanisha. Just start with the first word and the rest will follow. Say what's honestly in your heart. I shivered, it felt so real. I looked out the window just in time to see a monarch butterfly come right up to the glass. It stayed there a minute, like it was peeking in. Why was I always seeing monarchs? Could it be Mrs. Seal? Naw, stuff like that isn't for real. But, I had to admit it was a big coincidence.


"Ah, hum", Big Mama called my attention back to her question. "No, ma'am, I haven't yet. I'm fittin' to do it as soon as I finish my English assignment", I quickly told her.

"Well, you'd best be fittin' real fast. I want that note ready before we sit down to supper. I don't mean to serve no cold chops and greens.", Big Mama said with that I'm not playing tone.

"Yes, ma'am. I'm doin' it right now", I said while hunting up a clean sheet of lined paper.

Big Mama snatched it out of my hand. "You don't write no nice apology on that. What are you thinking?" she scolded me and marched into the living room.

She came back with a card and envelope. "Here, you use this instead." Big Mama insisted.

When I looked at what she'd given me, I must have turned bright red. Well, as red as a black girl can get.
It was a condolence card, the kind you send after somebody died. It had angels, flowers and a big cross on the front. In fancy lettering, it read "I'm sorry for your loss." "Big Mama, I can't use this,,,it's ...it's for..." I whined.

"You go on ahead and write on the inside. It says 'I'm sorry' and that's what important." Big Mama ended our discussion.


Walter and I exchanged looks. He peeked at the card and started to crack up. So of course, I started to snicker, too. Pretty soon both of us were laughing real hard and out loud. Big Mama smacked me hard on the back of my head and hardly tapped Walter. "The two of you hush now. Walter go back to doin' your homework and Tanisha, girl, you had better start writin' that note." Big Mama said with her eyebrows drawn together and her hands on her hips. She never had to raise her voice but you got her message loud and clear.


We both scurried back to our work. I started writing. 'Dear Ms. Nortamura, I am sorry I said and did that stuff.' I guess Mrs. Seal was...I mean, I was right. Once I started writing, the words just poured out of me. I sat back and felt pretty happy with the finished note. I put in in the envelope and gave it to Walter. He'd give it to Ms. Nortamura tomorrow.


We both finished our work at about the same time. The pork chops were ready to come out of the oven. Walter put our books and stuff away and I set the table. Big Mama put down the food. This was starting to feel like our own little family. My eyes got a little watery and when I looked at Walter, I could tell he was feeling it, too. We both quickly ducked our heads and went back to eating.

It didn't take long for Walter and me to finish fillin' our bellies, so Big Mama decided to "give us a night off for good behavior." So as she finished eating, we went into the living room.

I turned on the TV and saw Wheel of Fortune was still spinnin'. This would give Walter and me a few minutes to discuss Phase I and plan Phase II. First, I needed to know if Brianna and Gabby had told him anything new. From what Walter said, it seemed that the girls knew the three bullies as well as I did. There was no new info, except that he had noticed that Brianna kept rolling her eyes and sucking her teeth whenever he asked about Antoine. Hummm, now that I could use. Brianna didn't care for ol' Antoine? I added that bit to the Bully notebook.


Then I asked Walter how his visualizations was going? His expression brightened up, "It's goin' great. Every night I picture those three boys just walking out of school and never comin' back. They stop pickin' on everybody." he said with enthusiasm.

"Next Walter, you need to write down exactly what you want to happen." I explained. "But, you gotta write it like it's all ready come true. Maybe start it something like ' I am so happy that Antoine, Robert and Luis are leaving me alone.' I suggested.

Then Walter surprised me when he said, "No! I don't want them just to stop pickin' on me. They need to leave everybody alone! Everybody in the whole school!" he said in a very strong tone of voice. One I've never heard from Walter. I thought,maybe this positive thinking stuff did do some good after all. "OK, Walt, don't go off the tip. We'll write that down,just like you said it. OK?" I tore a piece of paper outa the Bully notebook and handed it to him.

He gave me a look that said, That's better. When he was finished writing, he asked, "What do I do with this?"

"That,my home boy, you put under the pillow. Every night before you fall asleep, read it to yourself a couple of times. Then, when you wake up, you gotta believe it's true."

"Tanisha, how long is this gunna' take? I mean, do you believe it's really gunna' make a difference?" Walter asked me sounding a little skeptical.

Not that I could blame him. It sounded like a load of donkey crap even to me. But,I couldn't let him know that.

"Walter, you just keep asking and believing. The rest will take care of itself," I told him.

In the back of my mind I had a plan brewing. Tomorrow I had to, somehow, talk to Brianna and get her with the program. If she was mad at Antoine for the reason I was thinking... then she'd help us bring him down. My part in the achieving was about to begin.


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Walter is starting to feel like family, Tanish is paid a visit and Big Mama is still cookin'
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