Some of you 'regular readers' will know I have a great love for the work of Norman Rockwell. His paintings are more than mere pictures; each one tells (or has the potential to inspire) a story.
So, for this week's 'Thursday@3' what better than a tale suggested by this beautiful Rockwell print .....oh, shhhhhh! Seats, everyone - Teacher's coming!
SHOW AND TELL
A reproachful glance, perfected over decades dedicated to the education and enlightenment of young minds, was enough to smother the rising ripple of hilarity. Nevertheless, pockets of mirth broke out like miniature forest fires and even the gracious and long-suffering Miss Jones could not keep a smile from tugging at the corners of her lips.
“Well, there is certainly some improvement in your handwriting!” she commented, with a sly wink towards the blackboard. The morning’s work she’d painstakingly chalked up the previous evening, long after her young charges had gone home, was now defunct. Any other day, she’d have let slip a few severe and stern words, but not today. Today was – special.
“We’re going to do something different,” said Miss Jones, hanging up her coat. The instant hubbub of speculation and twisting round in seats to confer with their neighbours was enough distraction for her to lift a handkerchief from her pocket, dabbing away the dampness from her eyes. By the time she turned to face them again she had, outwardly at least, regained her composure enough to continue.
“Today we’re going to have a special ‘show and tell’ session!” The children looked at each other quizzically, wondering whose turn it was to stand at the front of the class, embarrassed or ebullient.
Perched on the edge of her desk in an unfamiliarly relaxed way, she mysteriously reached into her skirt pocket to produce a small box. Today it was Miss Jones’ turn to ‘show and tell’ but her vision was slightly blurred as she surveyed the bright and excited eyes that focussed on her.
There was much craning of necks and at least one chair tumbled over as those in the back row stood to get a better view.
The diamond ring that sparkled in the blue baize box signalled both a beginning and an end; a new life for her, but also a parting of the ways as she took her leave of her young pupils.
A bittersweet birthday treat.