Friday, January 11, 2013

Zack the Zebra Saves the Day

“Didi! Look-”
“Didi, Arsh took my cray-”
“Tanya’s cutting my ha-”
"How was your day sweetheart?"
"Oh you won't believe it... I flipped my top today."
"Darling, I've never known a man or woman alive as patient as you. I really can't believe that."
"Av, we're married now. Flattery isn't going to get you much further sweetheart."
"I know, I know. Never mind me though, I want to hear all about what happened."
"Only if you promise not to be too disgusted with me?"
"I could never be disgusted with you. Besides, you kindergarten teachers have the most demanding jobs on earth, the least I can do is not judge you for needing to bitch about it sometimes."
"Yes, it's just that though. I feel like it's a terrible thing to do, bitch about innocent five year olds, you know?"
"Darling, I was a five year old and I can promise you that none of my teachers would ever have called me innocent. And if they ever did it would definitely not be with an affectionate smile on their face."
"Well, there's something wrong. They were angels the first couple of months, but now it's like they know me too well. They don't think twice before yelling, screeching, throwing their slippers around class, leaving their work and running outside, fighting with each other whenever they like, and the list is really endless. I don't know what to do."
"Sounds familiar enough."
"Oh stop chuckling at your fake memories of being a five year old. You can't possibly remember that far back."
"Who said anything about being five? Darling you forget that I went to a boy's school. That sounds like us all the way until we graduated. Or well, variations of the same thing, anyway."
"Oh. So what did your teachers do?"
"Nothing you'd ever agree to honey. One of my teachers had a table at the back of class with several different rulers neatly lined up. There was a wooden one, a metal one, a plastic one, a long thin conversion ruler, a flexible geometry ruler and another one which was triangular. We never figured that one out but it hurt pretty bad."
"OH MY GOD. You have to be kidding me."
"Now if you're finished with dinner, all these thoughts about rulers are really getting me-"
"You're the most disgusting person I've ever met. I cannot believe you went from talking about kids to-"
"Hey, you married me with your eyes open, honey. Now as I was saying, I have some plans about opening them a little wider tonight..."
"Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. You disgusting pig... who is fortunately also a brilliant kisser..."
"You bet I am. Now what do you think about moving this to the bedroom before we break something my darling?"
Zack the Zebra didn’t take long to make. I cut two pieces of white canvas for his body and head. Carefully cut black and white felt made his ears and stripes, while some wool made him a mane and tail. Ten minutes on a sewing machine, polyester batting, a pair of embroidered eyes, nostrils and a mouth later, Zack fit my hands snugly. He was all set to greet people with my voice.
"Hi everyone"
"Good morning didi! Good morning didi! Good morning didi! Good morning didi! Good morning did-"
"Okay, that's great, Good morning all of you. There's someone who wants to meet you today, are you all excited to meet him?"
"YES! Yes, yes!"
"That's great! But there's one small thing that you're just going to have to remember if you want to meet him-"
"Well he has very sensitive ears and he gets really scared when everyone's running around, throwing things and making lots of noise. So if you want to meet him you're going to have to be really calm and make a half-circle  here in front of me and stay in it. Very, very, very, very, very, very quietly. Can you do that?"
"Wow. That was really well done, I'm impressed at how quickly and quietly you guys managed that! Good job. I'm going to give Silver Eggs five minutes of special time after we meet our new friend, if you all keep up the good work. If you're happy about it, please smile with your teeth very widely, but remember, no shouting yey, or our new friend will be too afraid to meet us."
"Great Job. Oh look, my phone's ringing, that must be him!"
"He told me to ask all of you to close your eyes for him. Sujan, you're a Silver Egg too, right? Close your eyes."
"You can open your eyes now, and say hello to your new friend together, but very softly."
"Great job being soft! Now I want all of you to ask him one question each. You can even ask him a question someone else has already asked him okay? I'm going to go first, and then we'll take turns starting from Sara. Hi, I'm Alekhya didi. What's your name?"
"Hi Alekhya didi, I'm Zack. I'm a Zebra. I really like your class, they're lovely!"
"Why thank you Zack, I think they're lovely too. Now Sara, it's your turn to ask him a question."


"How was school today, sweetheart?"
"Not bad, really. They loved Zack."
"Your little puppet project? That's great darling, I knew they would. Although, if you ask me, he looks sort of little evil."
"Okay, fine, he doesn't. I'm just jealous that he gets to be with you all day and I don't."
"Uh huh, sure."
"No, really. Now tell me, does this prove to you just how badly I've been wanting to see you all day?”
“Mmmm. Yes, but a little more pressure to the tension in my trapezius muscle would really drive the point in...” 
"You're always taking advantage of my kindnesses, Ale. People should remember that teachers are people too. I know exactly what you were getting at when you chose the wording 'drive the point in,' you know?"
"Do you now, Av? I don't believe you."
"Well, I'll just have to prove it to you, then."

"Okay everyone, it's time for music today. Now I know a lot of you have been asking to see Zack again, so I called him over to teach us a song-"
"Oh no, remember I told you that Zack the Zebra hates loud noises! He might not agree to come teach us the song now. But maybe he'll change his mind if I tell him that we promise to be really calm and quiet around him. Do you promise? Remember to answer in WHISPERS."
"Excellent job! I'm going to call him now."
"Ok Silver Eggs, Zack agreed to come! Now listen to his song really, really quietly."
"I am a Zebra, Mom is a Zebra, Dad is a Zebra tooooooooo.
Brother's a Zebra, Sister's a Zebra and so is Baby Suuuuuee.
We all have stripes of black and white, 
And big, round eyes of bluuuuuue;
We laugh and play and dance all day,
Cause that's what Zebras doooooo oo!"
"Okay everyone! Hello again! I love all of you Silver Eggs, you are so sweet and so much fun. I hope you liked my song! Did you like it?"
"Thank you for whispering so my ears don't get hurt! I really don't like loud noises and all of you are doing a great job being nice and soft. Do you want to sing the song with me? You can be a little louder while singing, because songs don't hurt my ears like shouting does."
"We want to sing! Yes! Song! Sing-"
"Alright Silver eggs, I'll sing a line and then you sing it with me, okay? Let's go! 1, 2, 3--"
"I am a Zebra... I am a Zebra"