Amazing Kids! Magazine

Solving the Case

By Sarina Patel, age 9, Florida


WHOOSH! A gust of chilly air entered the classroom as I swung the massive wooden door open. The usual sea of heads “greeted” me with fierce eagle eyes and a stiff nod. I was very close to being tardy today. Trembling slightly, I lumbered to my seat. My teacher quietly acknowledged me but refrained from saying anything. I was flustered. What was going on? Why isn’t she punishing me? She turned as white as a ghostly chinchilla.

“I’m going outside to fax some papers. I’ll be right back,” my teacher breathlessly panted.

“Um, you left your bag,” but I didn’t get to finish my sentence, as she had already sprinted out the door.

Then my curious brown eyes settled on the leather bag, calmly resting next to the paint-slathered porcelain apple on her desk. “Ooh, look at that bag! Too scared to get it?!” the ever-indulging side of my mind taunted. The class was chatting like chipmunks that had just hit the jackpot….a lifetime supply of acorns. Murmurs of temptation swirled around the room like gathering mist. Tick-tock! Tick-tock! What’s in the bag? Tick-tock! The clock crooned awfully. Irritated, I slammed my fingers onto the spotless gray desk. The air was thick and tense with undiluted anticipation.

Suddenly, the obsidian-black leather bag stitched with tiny strips of orange appeared mountainous as it violently rocked back and forth. I ambled to her desk, utterly stunned by the sneaky element of surprise that had smacked me in the face. Even more shocking, the toughest class in 5th grade seemed vulnerable (a.ka. my class) and what was that? We seemed frightened. Tremendously baffled, I reached out a stubby middle finger and gently prodded the pretty bag. The thing increased speed until it resembled a dizzying blur. Gasps rippled through the classroom like a fierce stone had punctured a scared pond, riveted by anxiety and heart-stopping excitement. Petrified eyes locked onto the mysterious bag. My own dark eyes settled onto the glossy purse with sheer awe. It wasn’t really too much to look at, just a glossy leather handbag with tangerine-orange stitches that resembled ants the color of Cheddar Cheese. The object hefted to one side. So this is the high-and-mighty culprit. I tapped my flowered, sapphire-blue glasses and reached one slim hand over to my teacher’s desk to decode the creature’s identity when….

“EXCUSE ME!” Sharply snapped my strict teacher, who exceeded everyone’s expectations when scolding a room full of goggling, confused, jabbering children. She strolled through her classroom, scanning and scrutinizing each and every student with hawkish eyes. Then my teacher unleashed an excruciating blow by launching a furious lecture on proper conduct and embarrassment. Frankly, I couldn’t tell who was more aghast: the class, me, or the teacher!

“We do NOT start BLABBING like MOTOR-MOUTHS! If the principal walked in here, ALL of you would say, what’s going on?” She roared.

Then my teacher stuffed, swallowed, and forced every one of her nasty words back into her mouth and dangerously smiled at me.

“But of course, I think the perfect person to tell the tale would be Sarina!”

Her beam widened, and I knew that the grand showing of her evenly-spaced, marble-white teeth meant that she would glorify every word of what happened behind her back.

I shot her a rather reproachful look and confidently told her, “You didn’t hear me when I said you left your bag, so….” The story went on until I was finally finished. Instead of angrily scrawling a behavior mark in my agenda, she sported a smile. It wasn’t her taut, placid smile she used when wrestling information out of a student; it was a beautiful grin.

“Well then,” she said, as if gently emerging from a fantastic dream, “there’s no punishment. But all of you are getting warnings from me,” my teacher hastily added. “And as for the moving bag, I want all of you to say hello to my gorgeous hamster- Coconut Brownie! Coco for short.”

After some soft cooing, a fluffy hamster as white as a blizzard in Antarctica came out and shot us a mischievous glance. Otherwise, she looked perfectly innocent. A long, fudge-colored stripe ran down her plush back, which was luxuriously soft. Coco bared her tiny teeth and clawed at the desk like a treasure-hunting classroom rat.

“Thank you all for reminding me to introduce her! Now, take out your reading spirals and discuss with your desk buddy about yesterday’s The Lionfish Lurks article. You should be proposing challenging questions to your partner as you create your colorful Venn Diagram. Make it outstanding! Heads up, get engaged….”

It’s the best case-solving day ever! As I carefully set aside my big binder, my mind raced with excitement. It’s the best case-solving day in my entire life! Before my teacher could spot me dawdling, I quickly flipped open my reading notebook and talked to my buddy. As I did, I briefly glanced towards a joyous Coco. I noted to myself, “Today is a good day, and I’m glad!”

The End