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Authors: Patricia Reilly Giff

Snaggle Doodles

BOOK: Snaggle Doodles
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To Michelle Poploff

“Who knows where the storeroom is?” Ms. Rooney asked.

Emily Arrow dashed out of the coatroom. “Me.”

“Good,” said Ms. Rooney. “I need a box. Pick two helpers.”

Emily looked around the room.

She loved picking helpers.

Everyone was raising hands.

Everyone was saying, “Pick me, Emily. Pick me.”

Everyone but her friend Richard Beast Best. And Matthew Jackson.

They were rolling pencils across their desks.

“I pick Jill,” Emily said.

Jill Simon came up to the front of the room.

She had four braids. Two in front. Two in back.

She was fat and a little wobbly. Like peach Jell-O.

“And …” said Emily, “Linda Lorca.”

Linda came up to the front.

She didn't have braids like Jill.

She had a lot of thick brown hair.

She was always twirling it around her fingers.

“Now,” said Ms. Rooney. “Listen carefully. The box is in the corner/It's big and brown. It has INV written on it.”

Ms. Vincent, the student teacher, came to the front of the room.

“Do you want me to go too?” she asked Ms. Rooney.

Emily looked at Ms. Vincent.

She was beautiful.

Today she was wearing a pink skirt and a purple sweater.

Ms. Rooney shook her head. “I think the girls can do it alone,” she told Ms. Vincent.

Emily raced out of the classroom.

Jill and Linda were right behind her.

They climbed the stairs to the third floor.

They banged open the storeroom door.

It was pitch black inside.

Emily felt for the switch.

She flipped on the lights.

The storeroom was full. She could hardly walk.

“Some mess,” Jill said.

Emily stepped over some boxes. She looked around.

A cardboard cannon stood in one corner. The sixth graders had used it in a play last year.

In the middle of the floor were stacks of old readers.

Baby readers.

Emily picked one up.

COME AND GO, it said on the cover.

It was full of dust.

Suddenly the lights went out.

The door banged shut.

Emily blinked. It was too dark to see anything.

In the back of her there was a sound.

A strange sound.

It sounded like a ghost. Or a monster.

Emily's heart began to pound.

Jill screamed.

The lights went on again.

“April Fool!” shouted Linda.

“Snaggle doodles,” Emily said. She waited for her heart to stop pounding.

“I thought it was a vampire” Jill said. “A spooky—”

“I knew it all the time,” Emily said. She crossed her fingers.

“It's April first,” Linda said. “Everyone tries to fool everyone else

Emily didn't say anything.

She wanted to pull Linda Lorca's fat brown hair.

“That wasn't nice,” Jill said.

“Don't be silly,” Linda said. “Emily knew all the time.”

Emily pulled an old flowerpot out of her way.

“Let's look for the box,” said Linda.

“I'm looking,” Emily said. “It's right here. In the corner.”

Emily leaned over. On the top of the box was a big INV. “I told you,” she said.

They pushed some other boxes aside.

Then they dragged the INV box across the floor.

“What's INV?” Jill asked.

Emily tried to think.

“Invitations, I bet,” Linda Lorca said. “Wedding invitations.”

“To Ms. Vincent's wedding?” Jill asked. “It's a pretty big box.”

“That's because Ms. Vincent's going to ask a lot of people,” said Linda. ‘Teachers. Not kids.”

“Really?” Jill asked.

“Really,” said Linda. “I know something else, too. Ms. Vincent's new name. It's Mrs. Stewart.”

“Nice,” said Jill.

Emily wanted to ask Linda how she knew so much.

But she kept her mouth closed.

She didn't want everyone to think she didn't know all about Ms. Vincent's wedding.

Emily began to lift the box.

“Let me,” Linda said.

“I think we should all take a corner,” Jill said.

“I was the first one picked,” Emily said.

She lifted the box a little higher.

She could just get her arms underneath it.

She rested her chin on top.

She started down the hall.

She took tiny little steps.

Jim the custodian came along. ‘Til carry that,” he said.

“Good idea,” Linda said.

“I can do it,” Emily said.

“It's pretty big,” he said.

“It's not heavy,” Emily said.

“If you're sure …” he said. He turned the corner.

Emily stopped at the top of the stairs.

She had to catch her breath.

“I think we should help,” Jill said.

“I think you're going to drop it,” Linda said.

Emily shook her head.

The box slid out óf her hands.

“Snaggle doodles!” Emily yelled.

The box banged down the stairs.

The top opened.

A bunch of things fell out.

Not wedding invitations at all.

Red and green paper. An old wheel. Pink balloons. A yellow plastic horn.

They dashed down the stairs.

‘You should have let us help,” Linda said.

“If we broke something …” Jill began. She looked as if she were going to cry.

Emily began to pick things up. A box of rubber bands. A bunch of old glass doorknobs.

She tossed them into the box.

“Nothing's broken,” Emily said.

She scrambled to pick up the box again.

She didn't want Linda or Jill to grab it first.

Ms. Rooney would think it was great that she could carry it all by herself.

Next to her Linda sniffed. “Ms. Rooney told all of us to do it.”

“You have dirt on your face,” Emily said.

“I do?” Linda asked.

She rubbed her nose. “April Fool!” Emily yelled. She opened the classroom door and marched inside.

“Spring is a time for new things,” said Ms. Róoney. “Leaves on the trees. Spring jackets.”

Emily reached into her desk. She pulled out Uni, her little rubber unicorn. She galloped him across her desk.

Then she looked out the open window.

“New fresh air,” she said. She took a deep breath.

“Right,” said Ms. Rooney. “And new inventions. Did you know that the safety pin was invented in the springtime?”

“And Coca-Cola,” said Ms. Vincent, the student teacher.

“And erasers on pencils,” Ms. Rooney said.

“And baseball bats,” said Beast.

“Really?” asked Ms. Rooney.

Beast raised one shoulder in the air. “I took a guess,” he said. “It's baseball time.”

“We'll have to look that up,” said Ms. Rooney. “Good thinking anyway.”

BOOK: Snaggle Doodles
9.05Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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