“You’re late,” the teacher announced standing at the classroom door, her beady eyes made, even more, intimidating by the horn-rimmed glasses she had perched on the end of her nose.
“Well Miss, “ I began, “I was just about to leave home when I noticed one of my chickens was out of its pen and if I didn’t get it back into its pen the dingoes would most likely come by and kill it.”
“Dingoes? We don’t have dingoes around here, what a load of nonsense you are spouting, Master Cook, you always have the most ludicrous excuses for being late to class. Now get to your seat and have your Maths book ready for me to check your homework.”
“But its true Miss, Ernie and Ralph Dingo are always coming round our place and pinching stuff.”
“Bert Cook! I won’t tell you again to get to your seat. Now show me your maths homework.”
“Sorry Miss but I haven’t done it.”
“Well, that’s detention for you. You’ll stay in at lunch and get it done.”
“But Miss it wasn’t my fault. My dad came home from work and needed a hand to get his motorbike fixed. We were up on the roof half the night fixing it.”
“Up on the roof? What were you doing up on the roof?”
“I told you, Miss, fixing dad’s motor bike.”
“Do you expect me to believe you and your father were fixing his motor bike up on the roof?”
“Yes Miss he does all his fixing up there ‘cause that’s where he keeps his tools.”
“Up on the roof?”
“Bert, you are an imbecile if you expect me to accept that as an excuse for not doing your maths homework.”
“Its true Miss, he even wrote you a note to explain.”
“Let me see that note. ‘Dear Miss please excuse Bert from his homework last night as he was helping me fix my motor bike which I need to get to work in order to earn enough to clothe and feed my children, with Bert being one of the eight I have to provide for. Yours faithfully, Dick Cook, (Father).’ Well, I see.
The teacher looked suspiciously at her pupil and then moved to her seat in the front of the room before announcing they were moving onto a geography lesson.
“Today we are going to look at the cities of Australia. Now, who can tell me where I might find the Sydney Harbour Bridge?”
“Sydney Harbour?” called a dim-witted boy in the front seat.
“Melbourne?” another hopeful suggested.
“I know I know, “ called Bert, “He lives in Cap Street, you know him, Miss, Mr Bridge does all the sewer repairs. My dad once said Mr Bridge could tell where anything he found in the sewers came from. I bet Miss he tell your poo from anyone else’s.”
“Stop that Bert Cook, I’ve had about enough of your stories for one day. One more peep out of you and its detention for a month. Now…oh thank goodness that’s the recess bell. Class dismissed.”