Ellray Jakes the Dragon Slayer (4 page)

BOOK: Ellray Jakes the Dragon Slayer
3.46Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“Stop buzzing, all you busy bees,” Ms. Sanchez calls out to get our attention. It is now the next day, a cold Thursday morning, and pretty soon we will go outside for nutrition break. My nutrition will be raisins and little square cheese crackers, but mostly I just want to run around with my two best friends at Oak Glen Primary School, Corey Robinson and Kevin McKinley. My legs are already itching, and I just sat down!

,” Kry Rodriguez says with a big smile on her face as she settles back into her seat.

Nobody ever gets mad at Kry, not even Ms. Sanchez, who is the prettiest teacher at Oak Glen. I can prove that, because the kids in my class voted once. Kry is the nicest person in our class. She came in late, way after September. Maybe that’s why she has never been in the middle of any of our battles.
Kry’s shiny black bangs go almost all the way down to her big brown eyes.

“No last-minute buzzing,” Ms. Sanchez says, still sounding playful, but about at the
of playful, if you know what I mean. “We have work to do. Language Arts, to be precise.”

Ms. Sanchez is always precise. That means exact, with no messing around.

“Settle,” she says in a different voice, and we do, because you can’t push it with Ms. Sanchez. If you really goof up, which Jared Matthews did just once, the whole class has to copy out an article from
Fascinating Facts for Young People
. Word for word. And those facts aren’t all that fascinating, believe me.

So even Jared settles down, because he doesn’t want everyone to be mad at him again.

Next to me, Annie Pat Masterson lines up two sharp pencils, in case pencil number one breaks, I guess. But she’s okay. She likes fish—
ones—and has bouncy red hair. Her best friend is Emma McGraw, the second-littlest kid in Ms. Sanchez’s class.

Guess who is number one? Me. EllRay Jakes. But I’m gonna start growing pretty soon, and then watch out! I might even be a Laker some day. The tallest one.

“We will be writing a personal narrative today,” Ms. Sanchez says. “That means you will tell a story in writing, but in an organized way.”

She says “in an organized way” as if she doesn’t really think it will come true, but she has her hopes—like when Mom tells Alfie, “You’ll finish those peas and you’ll like them, young lady.”

“We’ll start with a helpful worksheet so you can stay on track,” Ms. Sanchez says, looking for someone to help her pass stuff around. Two hands shoot up into the air: Cynthia Harbison and her friend Heather Patton, who says she’s allergic to coconut.

Cynthia is the bossiest—and cleanest—girl in our class.

“Okay, Cynthia,” Ms. Sanchez says with a very small sigh, and she hands Cynthia the papers. Cynthia passes them around like she’s handing out parking tickets.

I look at the paper. It has five questions on it.

  1. What happened?
  2. When did it happen?
  3. Where did it happen?
  4. Can you give us some details about it?
  5. How did it end?

She left out “
Why did it happen?
” which I think can be the most interesting part of anything, even if sometimes you don’t
why something happened. For instance, I don’t know why that mean dragon Suzette Monahan is picking on Alfie. But it’s happening anyway.

“Are you listening, EllRay?” Ms. Sanchez is asking, which means—I guess—that she’s been saying something.

!” Stanley says under his breath, and Jared smirks.

“Uh, sorry. No,” I say, because I have learned the hard way that it’s better to tell the truth when this happens, or else your teacher might ask you to explain things again to the whole class, since you’ve been listening so well. And then what?

“I was telling the class that I want you to
think of something that happened in your life recently,” Ms. Sanchez says. “Not a huge event, just a small one. And then use this worksheet to write about it. And use your friend the comma correctly, please.”

Heather’s hand shoots up into the air once more. I think she was born that way. “Can I put unicorns in mine?” she asks. “Real ones, not stuffed animals?”

Okay, now that’s just goofy, because—
real unicorns

,” Jared Matthews cough-says into his big freckled hand. Jared is the boy version of Cynthia in my class, meaning he’s bossy. Not that he’s like a girl.

Ms. Sanchez taps her foot. She always wears fancy shoes. My mom says she doesn’t know how Ms. Sanchez can stand in them all day, especially the ones with pointy toes, but the girls in my class love them. I’ve actually heard them talk about it. Which is also goofy.

Ms. Sanchez clears her throat. “If you’ve had a recent, real-life experience involving a living, breathing unicorn, Heather, and you can use your
commas correctly, I’m sure we’d all like to hear about it. So pick up your pencils, ladies and gentlemen,” she says to us all, “and please begin.”

And even though our stomachs are growling with starvation, we do.


Writing this wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, and I was the last one finished, but there was only one real-life thing I could think to write about for my personal narrative. My spelling, punctuation, and even my words were a little worse than what you are about to read, but here goes. My personal narrative is called “Alfie’s Problem.”


My mom said my sister Alfie was sad.

Five minutes later, Alfie told me her best friend at day care was mean to her. So that is Alfie’s problem.


My mom told me Alfie was sad when we were washing the dishes.

Alfie told me about her problem five minutes after
that. This happened last night. If you wanted to know when was the girl mean, it was yesterday. But I also know she was mean to Alfie longer ago than that.


My mom told me about Alfie being sad in the kitchen. That is where we wash the dishes in my house.

Alfie told me about her problem in her bedroom, when we were sitting on the rug.

If you are asking where was the girl mean, it was at day care, like I said before. It is called Kreative Learning and Playtime Day Care. (Please do not mark me down for spelling “creative” wrong. That is how they spell it over there. My dad already complained.)


Yes! Our kitchen is mostly white. My mom washes the dishes before she even puts them in the dishwasher. That is just like her, my dad says.

Alfie’s bedroom is purple and pink and has lots of dolls in it. Alfie was playing with one of them the whole time. The rug is pink.

If you want details about why was Alfie sad, the girl who was mean is named Suzette Monahan. She messed up my room once. Alfie likes her and thinks she is a friend, but she is not. One time she threw paper in Alfie’s hair, and Alfie didn’t know it, and some kids made fun of her. Yesterday, Suzette told the other girls in day care to act like Alfie was invisible, and they did. That made Alfie very sad.


It ended when I left Alfie’s room and went into my own room to play
Die, Creature, Die
. It is my favorite game! I am already at Level Six!!

If you mean how did the problem end, it didn’t. It is still going on. I told Alfie that she should tell Suzette to quit it, because how would Suzette like it if someone did that to her? Alfie said maybe she would tell her on Friday. That means tomorrow, but I do not
know if she will do it or not. Alfie is only four years old. She is not very organized yet, or very brave.

The End.

“Very nice, EllRay!” Ms. Sanchez wrote at the bottom when she handed the worksheet back just before lunch. “I’m sorry Alfie is having this problem. When you correct your narrative, however, please make it more
story, and tell us what it’s like being Alfie’s big brother. Okay?”

And of course I’m not about to say, “No, it’s
okay!” am I?

Because Ms. Sanchez is the teacher, and I’m just a kid.

And—we’re working on it
? We already did it once!

I wish I’d kept my big mouth shut—even though I didn’t say a word.

But you know what I mean.


“Dude,” my friend Kevin says when finally, after about a hundred hours, Ms. Sanchez lets us loose for lunch. “What took you so long this morning? You missed part of nutrition break.” It is still cold outside, and the wind is blowing. But at least it isn’t raining yet.

Some kids have chosen to stay in the cafeteria for lunch, but not us, and not a few of the girls. You’re not allowed to run around inside, and my legs want to run.

“Yeah,” Corey chimes in as I reach into my bag for a sandwich. “You wrote a
, EllRay.”

“I was telling about my little sister,” I say. “Why? What did you write about?”

“I wrote about spraining my ankle yesterday,” Fiona McNulty calls out from the other lunch table, even though I wasn’t asking her.

See, there is a boys’ table in our lunch area at Oak Glen, and a girls’ table. But they are pretty close together, and sometimes we can hear what the girls are saying.

BOOK: Ellray Jakes the Dragon Slayer
3.46Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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