Ready For It

January 13, 2013
The luxurious yellow coated wood and fine lead did nothing to help young Mongol’s thoughts. Where could he be? Mongol’s engraved # 2 trembled. My brother could be any where. All around him, other pencils were missing their loved ones too, so the box Mongol was in was damp with tears.

The box itself was not big, just your ordinary box of 12 pencils. But to Mongol the grey walls looked more foreign than usual. Even the musky smell that had reminded him of home had little effect. Mongol turned around to ask his brother how he was feeling, and then realized with a blow to his engraved #2 that his brother had been packed in another box. He had to face it. He was lonely. The wispy beams of light that flitted through the cracks in the corner of the box flickered, and then stilled, a beam resting on Mongol. Why are we moving?

Humming a tune he had whistled into existence, a janitor rambled on his way the first day before school, tugging a cart behind him.

“Miss Curtner, 2 boxes of pencils, check. Mrs. Williams, check. Mr. Cook… yep, that’s kindergarten. Only five more grades to go… Huh. Who would have known 48 boxes of pencils could weigh this much?” The janitor moved on, now whistling. After visiting several more classrooms, he arrived at Mrs. Tess’s room, the second grade teacher. “Hmm… well, maybe I’ll even sharpen the pencils and put them on the students’ desks. She was always a sweet old lady to me. Kept her class clean. Yes, I just might.”

Whirr! THUNK! Whirr! THUNK! What’s going on? The thunks sounded suspiciously like wood thunking against wood. The sounds continued, when suddenly the box was flooded with light! Searching fingers groped around and settled on the pencil beside Mongol then dragged him out. As Mongol fearfully watched, the fingers put one end of the pencil in a hole and the whirring sound was repeated. Then the pencil was pulled out, and Mongol saw to his amazement that the end put in the hole was sharpened into a sharp cone! What happened? The fingers then dropped the pencil on a square object with four straight spokes holding it up from the floor.

So that was the thunk sound. But what hap – but before he knew it, he was grabbed! As one end of him was pointed towards the hole, Mongol was able to get a fleeting glance at the room he was in. He saw numerous #2s around the room (well, it was the only number he knew). There was a big green one on the door, one yellow one standing on a big desk, and one drawn on the flat, large, greenish-black object hanging on a wall. Then he was plunged in the hole! I wish my brother was here! Mongol thought.

Whirr! Mongol felt something he couldn’t describe emitting from the end that was in the hole. He liked it. Before Mongol knew what to make of the feeling, he was raised up high. Peeking downwards, he could tell that he was going to be deposited on the big desk, when the fingers seemed to change their mind and dropped him on a small desk with odd lines and squiggles at the top.

“Just a few more… (Whirr-thunk! Whirr-thunk! Whirr-thunk!)… done. Now, off to third grade! I wonder what Mrs. Tess’s reaction will be when she sees the surprise?”

Once the fingers and voice had gone, Mongol looked at the pencil at his right. Then he looked at the pencil to his left…

“My brother!” He exclaimed.

“Mongol!” Mongol’s brother cried.

“How did you get here? I thought I’d never see you again!”

“Same as you; by box. I miss you, too!”

Both brothers’ yellow coats shone at seeing each other again. As they talked to each other well into the night, Mongol wondered, what’s going to happen tomorrow? Whatever it is, we’ll be ready for it!

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