Children Fiction posted November 21, 2013

This work has reached the exceptional level
A Mango and Bert story

Mango's Fifth Birthday

by jmdg1954

   This is a story about Mango, a playful four-year-old Beagle, who is about to turn five. Like all other five-year-olds, she must now attend school. That did not make her happy. Why? Because it will interfere with her playtime, those sunny afternoons spent at the park playing with all her friends. That time will now be spent at school.

   But worst of all, she won't see much of Bert, the big Saint Bernard, her best friend.

   No, she was not happy about going to school.

  "Oh, Bert, I'm gonna miss you and our playtime at the park," Mango said. "No more playing on the merry-go-round or swinging on the swings." She stood there pawing at the ground.

  "Mango, you're a big girl now," Bert said. "You're five and you must go to school. Don't you want to learn about history, math and lots of other interesting stuff?"

  "How come you don't have to go to school? Ain't you five?"

  "I'm older than five and already been to school," Bert replied as he walked beside her. Bert was much bigger then Mango. Probably the biggest dog in the neighborhood.

  "It ain't fair."

  "We'll, you'll be just fine. Besides, now you can make new friends."

  "But I don't want new friends. You're my bestest friend. Ain't you?"

  "Of course I am. Tell you what ... I'll meet you after school and walk you home, every day."

  "Yippee ..."

  "Now, hop on my back and let's practice walking you home."

   Mango hopped on Bert's back and sat there like a queen on her throne.

  "And by the way," Bert said looking back at Mango. "Now that you are going to be a student, you have to learn not to use the word, ain't!"


   On Monday, off she went to the one-room schoolhouse, her book bag dangled around her neck. Much to her surprise, some of her friends from the park were also on their way to school. There was Billy Beaver, Salty Squirrel, Percival Por-q-pine and Tessi Tortoise, all trudging along, complaining.

  "Can you believe this?" Billy Beaver asked. "Why do I have to go to school? I live in the woods. I build dams. I don't need school for that."

  "Me neither," said Salty Squirrel. "Gathering acorns is easy stuff. I don't get it."

  "Bert says we'll become better animals by going to school, and we'll learn more about ourselves," Mango told her friends.

   They all stopped walking and looked at each other.

  "Maybe he's right," Tessi Tortoise said.

  "Yeah," said Percival Por-q-pine. "What the heck, let's go!"

   Eager to be the first one to the schoolhouse, they took off running. Except for Tessi. Tortoises can't run.

   Going to school was much more fun than Mango expected. She learned how to read one day and how to write the next. They all learned about the sun, moon and stars. They even took a field trip to the woods. Billy was so excited to show them the dam he had built. The teacher, Mrs. Snodwhimple, gave Billy some pointers on how to make the dam even stronger. They were amazed at how smart Mrs. Snodwhimple was.

   School was going great for Mango, except for math. Not all the math, just fractions. That gave her the most difficulty. She couldn't understand it.

   On Saturday morning Mango grabbed her pencils and math book and started to walk to school. She met Bert on the way.

  "Hi, Bert, I'm going to school to see Mrs. Snodwhimple. I need some extra help with my fractions."

  "Mango, there's no school today. It's Saturday. I'm sure she's not there."

  "But I need her to help me."

  "I guess you'll have to wait until next week. Maybe I can help you?"

  This annoyed Mango. She wanted Mrs. Snodwhimple's help, today, right then, right now.

  "I guess I'll wait," Mango said.

   The next week at school Mrs. Snodwhimple went by Mango's desk. "Hello, Mango, how are you? I hear you wanted to see me at school on Saturday. Was there something you wanted?"

  "Oh, well yes, it was about fractions. They ... I couldn't do ... never mind. My friend Bert helped me."

  "I'm sorry, Mango, I would have loved to help you."

  "Well, I was very angry."

  "If I'd been at school, you know I would have helped you, don't you?"

   Mango responded slowly, "I suppose so."

  "So can you find it in your heart to forgive me? And stop being angry?" asked Mrs. Snodwhimple.

   Mango, with her brown Beagle eyes looked at her teacher. "Yes! I'm sorry I got angry. Can you help me today?"

  "Of course. I'd be happy to."

   And so Mango was happy again. She learned two lessons that day; how to do her fractions and that she shouldn't be selfish.

   Little ones have to understand that they can't have everything they want exactly when they want it.



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