SAMMY AND THE TAPPING BIRD
Sammy sat in the classroom. His seat was wobbly and his papers a mess. It had taken a whole year to get them in such a state. He was a wobbly kind of kid. It was hard to sit still when big snowflakes drifted past the window. And when a bluebird lit on the window sill it looked right at Sammy and flapped its wings. “I KNOW he wants me to come and play!” said Sammy in an outdoor voice.
“Sammy, please sit still and listen to what I am saying.” The teacher tried to keep her voice soft and pleasant. But Sammy was so wiggly and did more day dreaming than thinking. “It’s just a few more days until summer vacation, Sammy,” said Miss Sherry, “Then you can run and wiggle and jump all you want. But right now it’s time to pay attention!”
So Sammy tried. He tried very hard. He kept his eyes on Miss Sherry. He put his feet flat on the floor and his hands on his desk. He was being very good. But out of the corner of his eye he saw a flash of red. He tried very hard not to look, but he just knew a redbird had lit on the windowsill! Then a tap, tap, tapping came from that direction. Even Miss Sherry looked at the window.
“Now, children, that’s just a bird pecking on the window. Ignore him and listen to the lesson.” But the tapping continued all through class.
Even though Sammy kept his eyes on Miss Sherry, his ears were on the windowsill! “I know you want me to come out and play, Mr. Redbird. Just wait until school is over!” And he made up all kinds of delightful games and adventures that needed a tap, tap, tapping to go with them.
Miss Sherry saw Sammy’s eyes upon her. She saw his feet on the floor and his hands folded peacefully on his desk. But when she pointed to the blackboard and asked the children what the words said, she saw Sammy still looking at her, his feet on the floor and his hands folded peacefully on his desk. Sammy was not looking at the blackboard. Sammy was not even in the class room.
“Sammy!” said Miss Sherry in a loud outdoor voice, “Sammy Smith, you pay attention!” And Sammy pulled his thoughts back to where his eyes were and saw a very angry teacher.
“I’m being good, Miss Sherry,” said Sammy. “I am not looking at the pretty bird in the window. I am not wiggling.”
“And you’re not listening, either, are you?” Miss Sherry tapped her foot on the floor.
“Oh yes, I am listening very hard,” said Sammy, “but that tap, tap, tapping, makes it hard to hear you.”
Miss Sherry looked at the window and the red bird that was making such a fuss. “OK, children, I think we will have an early recess this morning. Just put your papers away and you can go outside and play in the sunshine.”
“Thank you, Miss Sherry!” said all the children together and in seconds they were gone. Miss Sherry gave a last look at the red bird and headed for the janitor’s office. Soon there was a new screen fastened securely to the windows on the far side of the school room. Miss Sherry looked at the window and saw a red head bobbing along the ledge outside the windows. She smiled and put her papers in neat piles ready to pass out to the children.