Teaching Mr. Bristle: Part Three
Malara handed the slip of paper to Mr. Bristle. "That's
my home address; come by right after school and I'll start teaching you to...um,
teach the class."
"Okay." He shifted his eyes down to the paper
to read the street address. "Hey!" he exclaimed. "I only live a block away from
Malara laughed. "That's cool, Mr. Bristle. See
you this afternoon."
"It's a sure thing!" he told her.
The bell for the next class then rang, but everyone
had been standing at the door already, waiting to leave. All of the students
pushed and shoved each other trying to get out, as Malara waited behind them
for but a moment. She waved goodbye to her teacher, then quickly ran out of
the room to catch up with Cody, Brick, and Garfy.
Mr. Bristle smiled slightly, with a bit of hope
that Malara could help him improve his horrible relationship with the students.
He went back to sit at his desk, and was taking out a sandwich for lunch when
he heard a knock at the classroom's door.
He put his sandwich back down and arose from
his chair, heading towards the door. "Who is it?" he asked.
"It's Mr. Shay," a green Bori said sternly as
he opened the door himself. Mr. Shay was the new principal, and he was known
already by the school staff for his non-existent generosity.
"Oh, good morning sir! I was about to have a
snack, sorry," the Gelert apologized.
"Snacking on the job, eh?" Mr. Shay joked lamely.
"I said 'snacking' instead of 'slacking,' get
it? It was a joke," he explained.
Mr. Bristle rubbed his paws together. "Oh...that's
quite clever, sir."
"Yes, I know that," he said arrogantly. "Anyway,
I am here to tell you a very serious message."
"Is there a problem?" Mr. Bristle inquired.
"Well...yes. The problem is apparently you. Yes,
you heard me correctly. I've recently gotten a few complaints from parents and
students that you have not been a particularly good teacher for these
past two days," the principal said again in his stuck-up voice.
"I've been trying my best sir, but these students
are a handful!" he protested.
"That shouldn't matter, Mr...whatever, I forgot
your name. We teachers are strong and can handle anything. The question is,
are you tough enough to be a staff member here?"
"I think I can do it, thank you very much." Slight
traces of anger were showing in the teacher's face. How could a school principal
act so conceited?
Mr. Shay heaved an unnecessary deep sigh. "Well,
okay then, Mr. I think I've got what it takes but I DON'T, I'll give you two
weeks to clean your act up and get those students learned."
"My, you just have a way with words, don't you?"
Mr. Bristle muttered under his breath.
"What was that, Mr. Speech Impediment?" the principal
"Nothing. Thanks for the great heads-up, sir,"
the Gelert mumbled sarcastically.
"You're very welcome. I'm going to leave you
here to think about something. In general, that something would be what I like
to call 'quitting and leaving this job to someone who can actually teach.' Hint
hint." The Bori left the room slowly, as he let the words seep into Mr. Bristle's
The teacher shut the class room door, refusing
to accept what Mr. Shay had just told him. He had two weeks to improve the students?
Did the principal realize how difficult this job was?
Mr. Bristle sighed and sat back down in front
of his desk, pulling out his lunch. "I've just got to hope that Malara can help
Malara, Cody, Garfy, and Brick sat down together
at a lunch table. Brick's eyes were half open as he munched leisurely on some
stale crackers the school cafeteria provided.
"Yay, they put special things in the mashed potatoes
on Tuesdays," Garfy said absentmindedly.
Malara cringed, staring at her food. "Like what?"
The Wocky and Grarrl looked at each other, shrugging.
"We don't know, but I've narrowed the choices down to either unsweetened chocolate
or banana peels," Cody announced, pondering the subject.
Malara decided not to ask any more questions;
she didn't want to know the answers. She simply closed her eyes and took big
bites of the mashed potatoes and stopped as soon as her hunger had been remotely
satisfied. "I knew I should have brought lunch again today," she grumbled. Everyone
laughed, excluding Brick who was completely oblivious to what was going on.
Garfy seemed to read Malara's mind. "No," he
told her, "Brick does not do much at all. He is always asleep at school no matter
"Does he get good grades?" she questioned curiously.
"No," Brick replied with a laugh, raising his
head for a second.
"Wow! He lives!" Cody exclaimed, and the group
began laughing again. Malara sighed happily. Cody and Garfy were really already
becoming her best friends. Brick was just sort of there though, kind of like
a statue. He freaked her out a bit.
"So Malara," Garfy began, "Cody, Brick and I
are hitting the basketball courts today after school. Do you want to come?"
"I'm sorry, but I can't... It sounds like fun
though," the Elephante said, remembering her first session with Mr. Bristle
was that afternoon.
"Why?" Cody asked. "What are you doing instead?"
"I... Mr. Bristle is coming to my house this
afternoon," she admitted, blushing.
Cody nearly choked on the pretzel he was eating
as Garfy broke into a fit of laughter. "Did my ears deceive me?" Garfy asked,
chuckling some more.
"No, he really-" Malara started.
Cody cut her off. "Why exactly is he going to
your house? Do you have a crush on him or something?"
You could have sworn at that moment that someone
had used a red paint brush on Malara's face. "No, no! It's nothing like that,"
she explained. "I'm just going to teach him a few things so that our classes
can run more smoothly."
Brick yawned in shock. Yawning was a way he could
express himself when he was too lazy to actually say something. "You mean...you
actually want our classes to be meaningful?" he asked in a lazy voice.
"Yes!" Malara shouted. "Don't you guys want to
"Um, no, not really. We're lazy," Cody snorted.
"Well, you guys just watch. I'm going to make
Mr. Bristle's class worthwhile, no matter what I have to do," Malara calmly
stated. Her friends groaned and laughed at her, but somewhere in the back of
their minds, they were afraid she was right.
It was later in the afternoon, and Malara was
up in her room reading a book while she waited for Mr. Bristle. She suddenly
heard the expected knock at her door, and she excitedly put her book down and
rushed down the steps.
"Hello Malara!" he said happily as she opened
the door and ushered him in.
"Hi, Mr. Bristle," she answered awkwardly. "So,
this is my house."
"It's nice," he told her. There was a brief silence
that Malara interrupted.
"Well, we should get started," she suggested.
"Did you bring a pen and paper?"
"Um...no." Mr. Bristle grinned sheepishly. "Sorry,
Malara rolled her eyes. "Okay, I'll go get you
Just as she left the room, Jared walked through
the front door, carrying a briefcase and looking tired. He stood for a moment
in confusion upon seeing Malara's teacher sitting on the living room's couch.
"Oh, hello there!" Mr. Bristle said quickly,
raising himself from the couch. "I'm Mr. Bristle, Malara's homeroom school teacher."
"It's nice to meet you!" Jared shook the Gelert's
paw, and set his briefcase down on the floor. "So, what brings you to our humble
home? Is Malara really going to give you those lessons?"
Mr. Bristle nodded, gulping. He hadn't known
Malara had told her owner about this, and now he was more embarrassed than ever
that a young pet was teaching him how to teach. His cheeks turned red.
"Well, good luck with it. Do you want something
to eat?" Jared offered.
"I'm fine," Mr. Bristle replied. Jared then proceeded
upstairs as Malara returned to the room with a pad of paper and a few pens.
"Let's begin!" she exclaimed, motioning for her
student to sit back down on the couch. She pulled a small blackboard in front
of Mr. Bristle, and erased the drawings she had doodled onto it.
"What are we going to work on first, Miss Malara?"
the Gelert asked jokingly.
"Well, we might as well get to work on improving
your organization skills, since that appears to be your weakest point, no?"
Malara asked thoughtfully.
"Sounds like a plan to me," he agreed.
"Okay then!" She scribbled a drawing of a desk
onto the chalkboard. She labeled the four corners of it, A, B, C, and D. "Mr.
Bristle, this is your desk with absolutely nothing on it."
"Uh huh." He nodded slowly, as if not having
anything on his desk was something difficult to grasp.
"See points A, B, C, and D. They are key to organizing
your desk in the easiest way possible."
"How so?" he asked, confused.
"Well, everything on your desk, meaning all of
your folders, papers, and materials can be placed in certain areas. So here's
what you can do! Place all of your papers by point A, right here..." she began.
This went on for about an hour. Malara taught
an intrigued Mr. Bristle how to make a perfectly well arranged desk, where he
could have easy access to everything. He copied the diagram of the desk, and
took a page's worth of notes. Finally, Malara had finished explaining this and
Mr. Bristle got up, ready to leave.
"Do you think it helped? Are you going to reorganize
your desk tomorrow?" Malara asked excitedly.
"Yeah, I think it did me some good. Thank you,
Malara." He paused for a moment, then said, "Hopefully things will be better
two weeks from now."
Malara looked confused. "What's happening two
weeks from now?"
The Gelert sighed. "The school principal came
to see me today. He said that if I'm still struggling to teach this class two
weeks from now, well... It will be the last you'll see of me."
Malara's mouth opened wide in shock. "Only two
weeks? What a jerk!" she remarked in disgust.
"Yeah," Mr. Bristle said, rolling his eyes.
"But don't worry, Mr. Bristle," Malara assured
him, "I'm going to get you into teaching shape in no time!"
To be continued...