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“Gather ‘round, kids, it doesn’t bite.”
Fearfully the first graders approached their teacher and peered into the glass cage. Inside was a very odd creature indeed, with shocking purple skin and long raven black tresses. It was about a foot long, not including its yard long tail. The animal grinned impishly at the children, waving one arm in what looked like a wave, and they scampered back, alarmed.
“Ms. Cummins! That thing surely can’t be allowed in the school. My father will have your head for putting me in danger like that,” a chubby little boy by the name of Jack protested, pouting. “It’s clearly very poisonous.” Jack stared at the animal with disgust before storming out of the classroom, muttering something along the lines of “Teachers today!”
“I’m too young to die!” a girl screamed, fainting. Her friends squealed as she fell on them and helped her to a corner in the room, where they began to slap her in an attempt to revive her.
The rest of the students pressed themselves against the wall, eyeing the teacher warily. After Jack’s declaration they found themselves wondering if they should take a page out of his book and bolt.
“Now, now, darlings, I did say it didn’t bite, didn’t I? It only eats candy, dears. Just chocolate and the like. Besides, this is an infant dementorbla. It won’t hurt you.” She motioned for them to come forward. “Come on, students. This is a lesson in the wonders of nature!” She threw back her head and laughed -- cackled, actually -- loudly.
Several of the children, began trading glances with each other. "She’s insane. What do you say we all make a run for it?" they whispered. One by one they began inching to the open door. Just a few more steps...
Ms. Cummins clucked her tongue, startling them back into the classroom. Her glasses, large and round, much like some of the kids imagined Professor Trelawney’s would look like, slipped down her nose. “You wouldn’t want to be party poopers, would you? Just a bit closer, dears. It’s perfectly safe.”
At that moment an older student stuck his head into the room. He took in the surreal scene in front of him before shaking his head. His expression screamed, "I really don’t wanna know," and he averted his gaze from the animal as he handed the box he was holding to the teacher. “I have a package for miss,” he said.
“Oh, yes, the package! I’ve been on safety pins and knitting needles waiting for this. And right on time too. Would you care to pet my dementorbla?” she asked, already pulling his arm closer.
He frantically shook his head. “Um... I’d rather not, thanks, I really should be going now...” He yanked his arm away and ran for the exit. His sigh of relief was audible to even the first-graders on the far wall.
Ms. Cummins stuck her tongue out at the space where he had been. “What a party pooper. Just like you dears are being right now. Just touch it, one finger will do, but no! He runs,” she said, shaking her head in disappointment. “Well, I do have this marvelous package.” She flipped open the top and screamed with girlish delight. As she pulled the object out, the sound of twenty-three jaws dropping could be heard.
It was a shoe full of jelly.
Not just any jelly, mind you, but marmalade. The orange mass wiggled comically in the shoe, and the students found themselves laughing, some even going so far as to roll on the floor holding their sides.
“Your package was a shoe of jam? What an idiot!” a blonde girl shrieked, tears of mirth falling down her face.
The teacher turned grave. “It’s my pet’s favorite. Here you go, Bob dear, just eat this up.” She dropped the shoe into the cage, and it was gone within seconds.
Shoe and all.
“Please, darlings, I promise it won’t bite. A dementorbla will only attack if it’s tasted human blood before, but it hasn’t. Maybe you’d like a spelling test instead?”
This was enough motivation for the majority of them to creep up to the glass. Eventually the die-hard nerds lurking in the back mumbling, “But I like spelling tests!” joined their classmates, and they all stared at the animal.
“Oh! Which of you would like to feed Bob for me? A shoe of jelly is hardly enough for a growing baby like he is.” She fished a Hershey’s bar from her pocket. “Here, Janice, just place your hand in the tank and hand it to him.”
Janice, a stick thin girl with average brown hair and not-so-average violet eyes, shrugged and grabbed the chocolate. “If I die I want Kevin to have my gold bracelet,” she said, and the same Kevin reached out an arm to stop her.
“I don’t want your bracelet! I want you!” he cried, but she had already stuck her arm in the tank.
Screams filled the room.
“It’s tasted human blood!”