Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 99,279,380 Issue: 195 | 17th day of Relaxing, Y7
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Teaching Mr. Bristle: Part One

by springsteen0991


Picture by i_hate_backstabbers

"Malara," the white Elephante's owner, Jared, called from downstairs. "Get up, you're going to be late for your first day of school!"

     After a fit of difficulty in waking herself up, Malara forced her eyelids to open and felt rays of morning sun on her face. She slowly sat up and stepped onto the soft carpet of her small but adequate room. "I'll be right down, Dad!" she chirped in her calm voice.

     "What would you like for breakfast?" her owner asked from down the steps. Jared was a tall, black haired human that almost always had his hair gelled to perfection.

     "How about waffles?" she suggested.

     "Sounds good!" Jared replied back.

     Malara headed out of her room and raced into the bathroom, realizing she would be late for her first day of school if she kept her slow pace up. In a hurry, she brushed her teeth and polished the red jewel that was implanted on her forehead. Lumbering down the steps, she saw Jared happily placing the waffles he made onto a plate for her.

     "I really have to get to work," her owner told her as she came down. "I'll see you when you get home from school, okay?"

     "Okay, Dad, see you then!" she said happily.

     "Good luck, Malara, and have fun today! I know you will," he assured her.

     The Elephante waved him goodbye, and he trotted out the door, carrying a briefcase with a few papers sticking out of it. The two of them were certainly not the richest Neopians, but they were rather rich in heart. It had taken them years of saving up to buy her a white paint brush, and she had only recently been painted. The two of them got along impeccably well, like two Lennies in a library.

     As Jared shut the door behind himself hastily, Malara sat down at her kitchen's table, scarfed down her waffles and quickly packed a lunch of an apple and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. With the first day of school starting in ten minutes, she ran back up to her room and took a light backpack downstairs with her. She was quite excited to see how this brand new day would unfold, and was hoping to meet some new friends in her class. Stuffing her lunch box into her backpack, she rushed out the door, made it three steps, and skidded to a halt. She hurried back to lock the door, and then she was off.


     "Well, hello class and, er, welcome to your first day of school!" Malara heard a teacher saying in her future classroom as she sped through the hallway, a bit on the late side. The loud noise of her steps made her wince; she was used to school hallways being full with students and not so...empty.

      She finally arrived at the entrance, panting. "Hello, young lady," said the teacher, who was a rather scruffy looking Gelert with blue fur. "Please, please take a seat! And um, welcome to your first day of school, again, students," he stammered.

     Malara glanced around the classroom to see some mostly bored looking students. Some were giggling and pointing fingers at the disorganized teacher, while others were sleeping soundly on their desks, without a care in the world. No one looked as if they were having that much fun.

     The Gelert clapped his paws. "Oh!" he exclaimed. "I forgot to introduce myself, I'm Mr. Bristle, and I'll be your, uh, teacher for this year!"

     Groans erupted from half of the unimpressed class. Malara quietly sat down next to a green Techo who appeared to be lethargic, but she couldn't quite tell. He tossed and turned at his desk during his sleep.

     "So," the teacher began again in forced cheerfulness, "I thought we'd begin by, I mean, you all should introduce yourselves!"

     He rose from behind his desk to begin handing out index cards to the eleven other students and Malara. "What are these for?" a confused red Pteri asked.

     "These index cards are for the students, meaning you guys! Please write your name on one, and then give it back to me. Oh, and write down some information about yourself too, because...information is important!" he explained.

     Malara sighed. Just by looking around at the students and studying the teacher, she could tell that she wouldn't learn much this year. Mr. Bristle seemed to be so disorganized and unable to find the right words to fit what he wanted to say, that no one could take him seriously. The students didn't seem to care. With a pencil from her backpack, she filled out an index card with her name, birthday, and interests such as reading and meditation. To her disgust, she saw a brown Grarrl and a purple Wocky fold the cards into airplanes and send them flying off into the air, as the remaining students either slept or socialized with each other. The green Techo was still resting his head in a near paralyzed position on his desk.

     Meanwhile, Mr. Bristle sat quietly at his desk, unable to control anything. The chaos continued on until he stood up and spoke. "Class?" No reply except for Malara silently looking up to him. "Class?" he repeated.

     "Yeah, what do you want?" the brown Grarrl demanded rudely.

     "Uh, please have some respect... Cody, is it?" he asked the Grarrl, checking the attendance list.

     "Cody's my name. Now stop bugging us, we're busy here," Cody drawled.

     "I'd like for everyone to fill out the index cards!" Mr. Bristle tried shouting above all of the noise. But it was no use; the class did not want to comply. He sat hopelessly for another minute until the bell rang, and the students immediately shuffled out of the class, laughing and joking about their new, terrible teacher.

     Cody and his Wocky friend, who was nicknamed Garfy, had stayed back only a moment to poke the green Techo and awake him. "Brick, wake up!" Garfy shouted.

     "Aww," the Techo whined, snapping his eyes open. "Guys, I was having a great dream!"

     The Grarrl rolled his eyes. "Let's go check out our next class, man." The three pets, Cody, Garfy, and Brick walked out of the classroom together, snorting at the Gelert who had his face buried in his paws.

     Malara picked up her index card, and proceeded to Mr. Bristle's desk. "Um...Mr. Bristle?"

     "Yes?" he replied wearily.

     "I...I filled out the index card," she answered, handing it to him.

     Mr. Bristle sighed, and after a moment he simply said, "Thank you."

     Malara smiled sadly, a feeling of pity for the teacher striking her heart. "No problem, sir. The other kids in this class are kind of wild, huh?"

     "You can say that again," he told her in his tired voice. "I just don't know what to do with this seems like it will require a little extra work. The problem is, these students are being disrespectful."

     "Yeah, I think so too," Malara agreed, and then decided to calmly add her opinion. "But there's a reason for that, you know."

     Mr. Bristle cocked his head. "What do you mean?"

     "Well," the Elephante started, "the students are acting up because they can. Maybe you should try having more control over what's going on the class."

     "But...but how?" he asked, confused. "What am I doing wrong?"

     Malara took a deep breath. "Well, first of all, you're quite disorganized."


     "I am only being honest, Mr. Bristle," she said quietly. "I mean, look at your desk."

     The Gelert stared at his desk that had piles of papers and random writing utensils scattered everywhere. "I guess you're right."

     "And secondly," she continued, "you stammer when you speak to an audience. I've noticed that you haven't stammered or stuttered at all throughout this entire conversation, so obviously you may be having some public speaking issues."

     Somehow, Malara's calm, assertive tone got through to Mr. Bristle and he was not offended by any of this. He simply accepted the fact that he truthfully did have these two major problems.

     "Malara...that's your name, isn't it?" Malara nodded. "Could...could you maybe help me improve my teaching skills a bit?"

     The Elephante opened her eyes wide in shock. "You want me to give you teaching lessons?"

     "Yeah, that would really be great." He nodded, grinning.

     "Well, um, okay then. I'll ask my owner," she assured him half heartedly.

     The Gelert clapped his paws together, which seemed to be something annoying he did in many different situations. "Thanks! Now hurry onto your next class, I've wasted way too much of your time."

     Malara smiled, raising an eyebrow. "No problem, Mr. Bristle. I'm glad to help... See you tomorrow."

     Malara left the classroom, slightly freaked out by how weird that conversation had been. As she checked her schedule and trotted through the hallway, the entire conversation she had with Mr. Bristle replayed over and over again in her mind. She was going to teach her teacher about teaching? Something is wrong with this picture, she thought to herself dryly.

To be continued...

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