A 4th Grade Holiday

Story-A-Day’s prompt for day 2 continues the theme of short, sweet and simple – write a story containing all of these words from a fourth grade spelling list: Blame, State, Frame, Holiday, Relay, Waist, Pail, Gain, Raise, Mayor, Airplane, Remain

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One day, long ago (or so Gramma tells me), Mayor Abercrombie declared a general township holiday, free from work, free from school and free from every worry, responsibility, or care.

“As part of the health of this state . . . ” and the Mayor paused, wheezing for breath, his bowl-full-of-jelly waist jiggling. He raised one meaty arm in the air and continued: “As part of the health of this state, I declare a general township holiday. There shall be no work and no school for the next twenty-four hours. I expect all citizens to remain free from care.”

My Gramma Jackie herself heard the Mayor’s little speech delivered in his booming voice from the covered front porch of his spacious four-bedroom, whitewashed home. She slipped away to school, taking it upon herself to relay the unexpected news to those students who lived outside of town.

Students who lived far afield were flown in to school by Mr. Thomas, the owner of a crop-dusting airplane. Mr. Thomas took-off and landed on a grassy runway separated from the school play yard by a thin line of scrawny bushes and a small irrigation ditch, most often filled only with weeds and an oozing sort of sludge. The out-of-town students would have missed the unexpected announcement.

Being a quick thinker, my Gramma Jackie scribbled a quick note before she hung up her cloak and set her lunch pail neatly on the shelf above. She handed the note to Sue Ellen, her best friend, and told her to pass it along.

“But, we’re not allowed to pass notes!” Sue Ellen protested. “I’ll get caught. Why are you trying to frame me?”

“Why, Sue Ellen! What a perfectly horrid thing to say,” Gramma Jackie said in surprise. “There’s no gain to me in you taking the blame for making sure all the students know about Mayor Abercrombie’s announcement!”

Gramma Jackie paused and Sue Ellen began to blush.

“After all,” Gramma Jackie continued slyly, “I’m doing YOU a favor. Just think how popular you’ll be with the students who didn’t know. Sue Ellen, a regular Paul Revere!”

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