("You'll never be a man, George. You'll always be just a little boy.")

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Arrival Of Number Fourteen-Sixty-Four

(The writing of this story is inspired by my telephone call this morning to a local bank. Check number 1358 in the amount of $14.64 has cleared. My cancer policy is paid for this quarter.)

Photo of Paws Frogs/author/7-12-2014

Let me tell you. It was not easy getting a teaching position in a tiny mid-Western village with the name I have- Mr. Paws Frogs. Some of the habits I had added to my troubles. Five interviews and not that many recommendations were cause of trails of tears. But finally someone offered to me a contract to teach. The superintendent didn't seem to mind that I scratched my left ear and licked my finger or that the muscles on my left side jerked or that the eye on that side fluttered uncontrollably. Remarkably, I found someone just like me.

"You'll be fine for here," that superintendent said as he scratched and licked his finger and the same muscles jerked while that eye fluttered. "Let me show you the salary schedule, have you sign a one year contract, and we'll tour all five of the attendance centers. Haw!Haw!Haw!Haw!Haw!"

"Haw!Haw!Haw!Haw!Haw!"I retorted while scratching my ear, licking that finger, and having those muscle spasms and nerve jerks.

The superintendent's automobile was an aged and paint-faded VW, a late 1940's model. His assistant accompanied the three of us. A tiny bald man with a slight limp, I imaged him as a former fighter pilot, but I did not inquire into that.

Upon reaching the first of attendance centers along our tour, we came upon a young woman holding a small child in her arms as she stood beside a covered wagon suggestive of early times on the American frontier.

The three of us associated with the local school district paused, approached, and offered assistance to that lovely young woman.

Grasping and holding her hand gently, I immediately noticed that she wore a wedding ring. "Hi!I'm Paws Frogs. Could I be of help to you? And by the way, isn't that a ring that came out of a box of Cracker Jacks? I have one just like it."

What to do with that woman and child, her covered wagon, and team of two horses became a concern for we three educators. She had a broken wheel and worn out an axle.

We learned that she had traveled from Michigan enroute to Beloit, Minnesota. A wrong turn had carried her south and in the wrong direction. There were her kid and her in Claxton, Illinois.

I explained to that lady her situation, and she decided to stay in the village. For a long time, they were happy and quite successful there,

Retiring after thirty-two years in the school district, I taught the child, a girl, when she was a junior high school student.

That school district kept the same superintendent and his assistant for all that time. Nothing changed at all. Time just stood still. Haw!Haw!Haw!Haw!Haw!

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