Ro and Jo both jumped off the last step of the school bus and hurried inside to start their day with their classmates. In the coat area, Jo sat his lunch box down on the shelf, took off his jacket and hung it up. Suddenly the box began to wiggle, and then jump up and down, all by itself!He grabbed the lunch box, glancing around to make sure none of his friends had seen it, breathed a little sigh of relief to see that they were all busy shedding jackets and sweaters, and taking books and stuff out of their backpacks.
He took his lunch box and headed for the boys' bathroom, thinking RO very hard, hoping that his sister would pick up on his thoughts as usual. Well, actually she could pick up on his thoughts any old time; he didn't need to shout them at her, but this was an urgent matter. What was he going to do about a lunch box that could move by itself? Yikes!
Ro's thought came into his head louder than all his panic. 'Sup, little bro?
He thought back, lunch box moving by itself.
Ro thought, uh oh. Did anybody see?
Jo thought back, No. What should I do?Ro thought, the bell hasn't rung yet. Go outside and around the side of the building. I'll meet you there.
Jo thought, okay.
Holding his lunchbox in his arm, so that it couldn't wiggle, he hurried toward the front door, trying not to look suspicious. Suddenly a hand held his shoulder. "Where are you headed, Jo? It's almost time for the bell to ring." It was Ms. Skully, the assistant principal."I think I dropped my hoodie outside. I'm just going to check real quick."
"Oh. Well, okay. Hurry up, please. You don't want to be late for class."
"I sure don't," Jo said, and rushed through the door.
Outside, he glanced back to make sure Ms. Skully had moved on down the hall, and when he was certain she wasn't watching him, he raced around the corner of the building. Ro was already there. He sat the lunch box on the grass between them, and sure enough, it began to jump all about by itself.
"Wow!" Ro said, her eyes wide with surprise. Then she gave it a moment's thought. "I don't think the lunch box is moving by itself. I think there is something inside it, jumping around."
Jo nodded, his sister's conclusion making sense. "What could it be? We don't have any pets small enough to stow away in my lunch box."
"Are you sure? Maybe not a pet…" Ro said, tilting her head toward the lunch box, raising her eyebrows, giving Jo a subtle clue.
He thought about it.
"Someone small, or maybe able to make himself small."
Jo pressed his eyes closed, getting it, and squatted to unzip his lunch box.
"Really? Seriously?" he said, a little miffed. "You are going to get me in all kinds of trouble! I'm outside because I lied, and Ro is out here without permission! I'm going to be late for class because the bell is about to ring!"
Sir WHIP smiled up at Jo, and leapt out of the lunch box, flapped his wings and sort of glided into his arm. "Say you dropped me, you couldn't find your hoodie, and I'm your Show and Tell thing today."
"You'll have to do a really good job pretending to be a toy!" Jo said, as he and his sister hurried back into the school.
The bell had just rung when Jo and Ro each quietly entered their classrooms and took their seats, trying not to disturb the teacher who was beginning to take roll call. Ho plopped down in his chair just as the teacher called his name, and answered "here!"
"Did you find your hoodie, Jo?" Ms. Knickerbocker asked. "Ms. Skully came by a moment ago and said you might be a little late for class, that you were looking for your hoodie outside."
"No, I didn't find my hoodie, but I did find my Show & Tell thing for today," Jo said, taking Sir WHIP's advice.
"Oh! Very well. Check Lost and Found later and see if anyone turned in your hoodie, though."
"I will," Jo said.
At Show and Tell Jo took a very small, action-figure-size Sir WHIP out of his desk, headed to the front of the class, and introduced him to his friends. "He flies, he can make himself very small or very large, and he can blow fire out of his nose. Oh! And he can talk," Jo said, telling the absolute truth, though his friends all thought he was making it all up, that Sir WHIP was just a toy.
Once Jo returned to his seat from Show and Tell, he stood Sir WHIP on the corner of his desk, since he was no longer a secret from the class. A few minutes later, he thought that over, and bent the toy's (so everyone thought) legs forward so that the poor dragon could sit instead of stand all the rest of the day.
Jo's friends came up and took closer looks at Sir WHIP. A couple of them petted him, and one of the boys touched his nose. "It doesn't feel warm. He can't breathe fire!" Jimmy Billingsly said.
"He can only do that in emergencies," Jo said, again, honestly.
"Yeah, right." Jimmy said, sarcastically.
Jo shrugged. "Believe what you want.
After school, Jo boarded the bus, Sir WHIP firmly tucked in his arm, and sat next to Ro.
"How'd it go with Sir WHIP today?" she asked.
"Fine. He fooled everyone with the toy act. Jimmy Billingsly didn't believe anything about Sir WHIP's skills."
"Well, that was what was supposed to happen, right? Sir WHIP fooled everybody."
"Yeah, but Jimmy Billingsly is kindof a jerk. It was like he was making fun of me."
"There's nothing wrong with pretending about your toys," Ro said. "That's what they're for. We know the truth, and we have a lot of friends and family who know it as well. Jimmy isn't important, right?"
When they got home, Ro and Jo went directly to the fort and Sir WHIP sat on the table in front of them.
"Why did you do that, Sir WHIP? You almost were seen moving my lunch box, and you almost made me late for class and got me in trouble," Jo said to his sparkly orange friend.
"I didn't mean for all that to happen. I just wanted to go to school with you and see what your day was like," Sir WHIP answered, shrugging.
"Well next time, just ask, okay?" Jo said, and Ro smiled.
"Okay." Sir WHIP agreed, then continued. "You have a lot of fun in school! Good job on your spelling test, by the way! Our practicing paid off bigtime!"
"Thanks!" Jo said, and then he and Ro got started on their homework.
Sir WHIP took a nap after his big day at school.
TD – 8/13/2016