Short stories

The “Middle Wife”

by an Anonymous 2nd grade teacher

(Neste texto algumas palavras usadas estão trocadas.  Essa troca representa os erros cometidos pelas crianças ao narrarem uma estória. Por exemplo “Middle wife” deveria ser “Midwife”. “Umbrella cord”, “umbilical cord”, etc. Tente descobrir o sentido da palavra certa e da errada para entender a graça e a inocência da narração dessa criança.)

I’ve been teaching now for about 15 years. I have two Kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second-grade classroom a few years back . When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually,  show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that.  And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they’re welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

She holds up a snapshot of an infant. “This is Luke, my baby brother, and  I’m going to tell you about his birthday.”

“First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom’s stomach, and Luke grew in there.

He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.”

She’s standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

“Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, ‘Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!”

Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans.

She walked around the  house for, like an hour, ‘Oh, oh, oh!’

Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.

“My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn’t have a sign on the car like the Domino’s man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.”

Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall. “And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!”

This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!

“Then the middle wife starts saying ‘push, push,’ and ‘breathe, breathe. They started counting, but never even got past ten . Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom’s play-center, so there must be a lot of toys inside there.”

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I’m sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it’s show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another “Middle Wife” comes along.

******

I KNOW AN OLD LADY

I know an old lady who swallowed a fly, I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,

Perhaps she’ll die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a spider,

That wriggled and tickled and squiggled inside her,

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,

I don’t know why she swallowed the fly, Perhaps she’ll die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a bird, How absurd, she swallowed a bird,

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,

That wriggled and tickled and squiggled inside her,

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,

I don’t know why she swallowed the fly, Perhaps she’ll die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a cat, Fancy that, she swallowed a cat,

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,

That wriggled and tickled and squiggled inside her,

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,

I don’t know why she swallowed the fly, Perhaps she’ll die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a dog, What a hog, she swallowed a dog,

She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,

That wriggled and tickled and squiggled inside her,

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,

I don’t know why she swallowed the fly, Perhaps she’ll die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a cow, I don’t know how she swallowed a cow,

She swallowed the cow to catch the dog,

She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,

She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,

She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,

That wriggled and tickled and squiggled inside her,

She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,

I don’t know why she swallowed the fly, Perhaps she’ll die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a horse,

She died of course!!

Vocabulary

Wriggle = remexer

Tikle = fazer cócegas

Squiggle= retorcer

Swallow = engolir

Catch = pegar

******

The teacher was inviting the students to talk during the “show and tell” session at the beginning of class one morning. She was often apprehensive about what the children were to say because they tended to come out with some very funny things.

After several children had told their stories little Johnny stood up and said,

“We got a brand new car yesterday and my dad and uncle Bob spent the whole night respraying it and changing the number plates”

The teacher nearly feinted!

******

The same teacher was teaching the same class English later in the day. The children were asked to find a word that they don’t know the meaning of, look it up in the dictionary, and then write a sentence explaining the meaning of the word.

One little girl looked up the meaning of the word “pregnant” in her dictionary. It explained the meaning, “with child”.

She wrote the following sentence.

“The fireman climbed down the ladder pregnant”.

******

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