Another day of complete agony at school, it seems that no one ever wants to be nice to “miss perfect” a.k.a, me. I am Savanna Guthrie, nice to meet you. I am the only kid on my island that does not have an illness, and allergy, or a learning defect. I am called “perfect” for it, and it is pure torture. I really just want to leave this island, but that ain’t gonna happen I already know that. Every day I have to go through people yelling at me, and saying that I’m not normal and it hurts me so much, but I can get through it, because I know that at the end of the day when I get home Cirius will be waiting for me. Oh, by the way, Cirius, is my dog, a black mini poodle.
Today is gonna be the same as any other day, all the kids are gonna tease me, and I can’t do anything about it. I get to school and walk in the doors. No one is in the hallway, no one ever is. I want down the hall and to my classroom, I walk in, sit down, and wait for the teacher, Miss Hendricks. She comes in the room and everyone quiets down. She takes out her book and says “Open your books to page 536, today we are learning about verb tenses. You will need your notebooks, we will have a lot of notes today.” Everyone groans like its pure agony to write some words down.
Alicia raises her hand and Miss Hendricks calls on her. She asks “Didn’t we learn these last week? I think we did, because you said the same thing and I have a good idea that you are gonna make us write the same notes.” She crosses her arms.
Man she always has to be so snooty. Miss Hendricks says “I believe you are right my dear.” she said with a glare. I could always tell which children Miss Hendricks despised. Miss Hendricks favored me though, because I was quiet and never said that we already did the lesson. Suddenly Miss Hendricks spoke again, which surprised and scared Alicia, “But this is a different part of the lesson Miss Todds. Today is the plural verb tenses.” Everyone stared at Alicia. Miss Hendricks was the only teacher to call us by our last names, well everyone but me, she called me Savanna.
Samuel Bracken leaned over to me and said “Looks like perfect Alicia gets told off again, ha.” Samuel has been mean to Alicia Todds since she had rejected him when he asked her for a date. Everyone was so surprised since Alicia likes him.
“S-stop b-being so m-mean to h-her.” I said as quietly as I could.
“Oh, I forgot I sit next to “princess perfect”, or should I call you the not normal kid, ha-ha!”
That made me mad, I hate it when they call me that so I raised my hand knowing I could get him in trouble, Miss Hendricks called on me. “S-samuel B-bracken is b-being m-mean to m-me.” I said.
The teacher glared at him and he scooted his chair back even though she is in the front of the room and he is in the back. “Mr Bracken I expected better than that because of what happened last week.” Last week he had said the same thing, and you would think he would know better, but no every week on wednesday he does it again in the middle of first period. “I guess I will have to take away lunch and recess from you. Again.”
I know how that sounds, but that’s not what she means. All she is going to do is make him eat lunch alone in the classroom and make him sit outside and do work while the others get to play. I look over at him, he is smiling. Again. Every week he gets punished and all the while he smiles and smiles, when he gets punished, it’s like he is trying to be bad. W-well, y-you l-like be p-punished h-huh? W-well h-how a-about t-this? I raise my hand, and I’m called on again, “I-i was t-thinking t-that m-maybe h-he s-should g-get a-another p-punishment, b-because h-he n-never s-seems to learn f-from t-that o-one”
He glares at me and leans over to whisper “What do you think you’re doing, little miss perfect?”
“That’s enough Mr Bracken. Now, Savanna, darling, what punishment shall I give him?”
I love that about Miss Hendricks, she never thinks about what I say, she just lets me do as I please. What I say goes. “W-well, I-i t-think m-maybe h-he c-could c-clean t-the c-class p-pet's c-cage.” The class pet was a bird. Not any bird though. It was a redneck toucan, and it hates and I mean hates Samuel.
Miss Hendricks is silent, then she turns to face the bird’s cage. It is filled with bird waste. She then says “Well, it does really need to be cleaned out.” She thinks a little more. “Ok, yes. That is your punishment Mr Bracken.”
I look over at Samuel, and he is not smiling. He is staring back at me with rage. he leans over and says to me, “I’m gonna get you for this tomorrow little miss perfect, and after that you ain’t gonna be so perfect.”
“Y-you b-better k-keep y-your m-mouth s-shut, l-lest y-you w-want to s-stay a-after s-school to c-clean M-mr. F-fuzzy’s cage.” I whispered back at him. Mr. Fuzzy was an albino guinea pig, next door. He was the class pet for the 8th grade.
Samuel nodded which meant he understood. He knew my threats were real and dangerous. I had control over everyone, but the one thing the I couldn’t get them to stop doing was yelling at me during recess when they all say “You’re not normal, you’re not normal…” over and over again, and you can’t punish everyone at the same time, so little by little I get my revenge.
I know that may make me sound like I’m evil or something, but I am just trying to get them to stop, and little by little it does work.
This recess everyone does the same thing. Here they go “You’re not normal, you’re not normal, you’re not normal…” keeping on me.
I pass others and normally get this, “Hello, princess perfect, what can’t speak?” or a “I don’t know why you still come here when you’re not wanted”. So yeah, life is hard, but I just stick my chin out and go through what I gotta go through. I never give in. I just keep walking, no matter what.
I finally make it over to my bench, and they all stop. That’s the strange thing with these kids, they yell and yell, but when I get to the end of the playground and sit on the bench, they stop and run away. I don’t know why they do that, but I’m kinda happy about it, because there is no way I wouldn’t be able to read through all that yelling.
Well recess ended just like 10 minutes ago and now I’m in math, how boring. My teacher now is Mr. Harris. When the rest of the class is talking and he says shut up, no one normally listens though. “Bahdgdfhfgdhgg” Mr. Harris, just yelled out of the blue. “You people must not understand english, because I’m pretty sure I said be quiet.”
I had to laugh in my head, it was so funny, I have never seen a teacher do that before. I looked around the room, everyone was there except, Alyssa Slama! Alyssa, my best friend where is she? I saw her at recess, now she’s gone! I raised my hand and I was called on, “Yes Miss Savanna, what do you need?”
“M-may I-i p-please b-be e-excused, M-mr. H-harris?” he stared at me, hard too. Mr. Harris was mean, and I think he is british.
Finally after 10 minutes of him staring at me he finally said “Go ahead, you’re excused.”
“T-thank y-you, M-mr. H-harris.” and hurriedly got up and left the room, I had to find Alyssa! I went to the office first, I asked Miss Mathis if she knew where Alyssa was.
“Um, yes, I believe she is with Mr. Hasenstab. She is talking about quitting band. If you go up there, knock on the door before you go in.”
“Y-yes m-mam, t-thank y-you.” I ran out of the room, and up the stairs, when I got to the top floor I knocked on the first door. “H-hello? I-is a-anyone in t-there?” I asked.
“Come in.” I walked in the door and found Alyssa sitting in front of Mr. Hasenstab, “What do you need, Savanna?”
I looked at him, I should’ve thought of what I was going to say to him! “U-um, A-alyssa is n-need in m-math c-class n-now.” I couldn’t think of anything else to say.
“Fine, Alyssa come at the end of class to talk to me, understand?” he glared at her and I could tell he was not very happy.
“Yes sir, Mr. Hasenstab.” and she got up and we left the room. “Now I know I’m not wanted in math, so whats this all about, Savanna?”
“S-sorry, I j-just d-didn’t k-know w-where y-you w-were a-and I g-got w-worried, s-so I g-got m-myself e-excused f-from c-class, a-and a-asked M-miss M-mathis if s-she k-knew w-where y-you w-were.” I looked down at the ground, Alyssa always told me that I don’t need to look out for her, and I don’t need to worry about her, but I can’t stop myself. She is my only friend in the entire school, plus what if the other kids played a mean prank on her and she got hurt, and I wouldn’t know? I have to worry about my friends. “I-it’s j-just y-you c-could g-get h-hurt. Y-you k-know h-how I-i a-am”
I was about to tell her all this when she stopped me, “I know, Savanna, but that’s not gonna happen.” she looked at me, my eyes always gave away what I wanted to say, “I promise, now come on we have to get back to class before we get in trouble.” she started running
I shook my head, nothing she says will change my mind about having to protect my friends. “C-coming” I said and started running, I tried to catch up, but she had a head start “S-slow d-down w-would y-you?” I yelled.
She slowed down a little, but as soon as she got to the stairs, she started to run again. “Come on class is almost over, if we don’t get there it would get us a detention!”
“I k-know!” I yelled after her. She plays soccer, its the only reason she’s so fast. I started to run faster, when I got to the stairs I slid down the railing past Alyssa, I waved as I went by.
“Hey! You’re cheating!” she yelled at me.
“A-alls f-fair in l-love and r-racing!” I yelled back at her. I heard that in a movie. We got to class just in time, the bell rang. Alyssa jumped for joy.
Mr. Harris glared at us. Everyone agreed that his glare was as hard as ice. “And where might you two have been?” Mr. Harris asked with his rugged voice.
“B-bathroom, s-sir, l-like I-i a-asked t-to.” I answered startled, Mr. Harris always spoke when you least expected.
His glare pierced right through me. “And what about you, Alyssa Slama?” his voice rougher than before.
“I was with another teach discussing how I would like to quit band, sir. Sorry I did not notify you before going.” she said. Alyssa always knew how to answer the teacher, and even made them smile. Including Mr. Harris, though his heart solid as ice.
Mr. Harris smiled, and said, “Ok, next time though if you need to speak with a teacher please notify me, before you go, Ok?”
“Yes, sir, Mr. Harris.” she said as she went to her locker, she came back to the room and said, “Have a good day sir.”, then she left and went to her next class.
I grabbed my stuff as well and said, “H-have a g-good d-day M-mr. H-harris.”
I started to leave when to my surprise he said, “You have a good day too, Savana.”
I looked back and smiled, but when I left the room, I felt out of breath. I told Alyssa what happened. I was so stunned. Mr. Harris never told anyone to have a good day.
“He must be in a very very good mood today.” Alyssa said after I told her what had happened.
I nodded, “B-but, n-normally, w-when h-he is in a-a g-good m-mood h-he g-gives us m-more h-homework.”
Alyssa shrugged. “Hey, didn’t you tell me you were going to a councilor for all that stuttering?” she asked. Just like Alyssa to change the subject.
“Y-yeah, w-what a-about it?” I hate talking about how I stutter. I have been stuttering since I was born, why does she care about that now?
“Well, how has it been going?” That made me mad. Had she not noticed that I don’t stutter on some words now? Examples: in, is, at, it, as.
“I-its b-been f-fine!” I was mad, so that sorta came out as a yell. I covered my mouth as quickly as I could, so that nothing else came out.
Alyssa stared at me. “What was that about?” she asked. “Did I make you mad, again?” she looked at me with concern.
I shook my head yes, and she understood. I took a deep breath to calm myself down. Then I spoke. “I-i am m-mad at y-you b-because y-you h-have n-not n-noticed t-that I-i d-don’t s-stutter on s-some w-words a-any m-more.” I said. I was glad that it came out calm, and quiet.
Alyssa looked at me funny, and then began laughing. “Of course I noticed! How could you think I didn’t?”
“Y-you a-asked h-how it w-was g-going, b-but y-you n-never m-mentioned it.” I said. Uh-oh, it had an edge to it. If I’m not careful I’ll be yelling again in no time.
“Just because I did not mention it, does not mean I did not notice it, silly.” She said with a laugh.
She laughed at me! That’s it, I lost my temper. “Do not laugh at me!” I covered my mouth. Not only had I yelled again, but I didn’t stutter!
Alyssa looked at me with astonishment, “Savana! You didn’t stutter! That’s amazing!” she hugged me. Tight.
“Ow. That hurts.” I said
“Oh my goodness! Savana, you’re not stuttering that anymore!” she screamed.
I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t stuttering! I could talk could talk like a normal kid! “I can’t believe it! I’m not stuttering!”.
“Uh, ya. That’s obvious.”
“What was that? Who just said that?” I looked around, but we were alone in the hallway. With the canary.
“Savana are you Ok? No one said anything.” Alyssa looked very concerned.
“But, but…I heard…Someone was…” I couldn't believe it! Alyssa heard nothing? Was I hearing things?
“You’re probably just hearing things. Are you half asleep, because you look tired.” Alyssa said to me.
“Ya, ya. That’s probably the reason.” I didn’t know what was going on.
Yay! Schools over and it went smoothly, no bullying. “Hey, mom, what’s up?” I asked. I wanted to surprise her and it seems I did, because she didn’t know that I wasn’t stuttering any more.
“W-what? No stuttering? What happened? How are you not stuttering any more?” mom looked scared.
“I’m fine mom. Are you ok?” I was getting nervous, mom had never acted like this before.
“A-are you sure? Nothing is wrong? You aren’t hurt in anyway?” mom started to look relieved.
“Ya mom, I’m totally fine.” Sheesh, she overreacts way to much.
Just got home and I am playing with Cirrus! He is so adorable. “Honey, dinner is ready!” my mom yelled from the kitchen.
“Coming” I yelled back. I ran down the stairs and into the kitchen, with Cirrus right behind me. “So, what’s for dinner?” I asked, my mom jumped a little, guess she still wasn’t used to me not stuttering.
“Steak, with corn and broccoli.” she said as she turned around.
“Yay, broccoli!” I said. “Hey, when is dad getting home?” I asked. I haven’t seen him all day, and I want to see his face when he hears me.
“He’ll be home soon, don’t worry.” she said.
We sat down to eat dinner and Cirrus started barking. He was hungry. As always. “Well, hello, Mr. Always Hungry.” she placed Cirrus’s bowl on the ground in front of him and he dug in. “There you go.”
I finished dinner and was in my room. I was reading my favorite book, “Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry!”.
“Is that a good book?” asked a male voice. I looked around my room, but me and Cirrus were the only ones in there.
“Who said that?” I asked, I was a little scared.
Cirrus jumped on my bed. “I did. Now, I answered your question, now you have you answer mine. Is that a good book?” Cirrus asked again.
“Y-yes. Wait...How can you...What’s going on?” I shouted. Hopefully mom didn’t hear me.
“What do you mean? What’s wrong?” he looked confused.
“Y-you’re a dog, and you can talk, that’s what’s wrong!” I yelled. I really need to stop yelling. “Dogs can’t talk.” I tried to say calmly.
“Actually dogs can talk, its just normal humans can’t understand us, but you’re not normal, are you?” Cirrus asked me.
“What do you mean I’m normal? What’s so different about me?” I asked. What did he mean, I mean sure I don’t have allergies or anything, and I don’t have any learning disabilities.” I said. None of this made sense, what-so-ever. How was I not normal? I don’t get it, and why can I understand this dog?
“Want me to explain?” He asked. All I could do was nod my head. “Ok, let’s begin. You are one of the hundreds of kids who get blessed with a special power. Each child get’s a different power, yours is that you are able to talk to animals. You are the new link between animals and humans. You may be judged for this power, and some people may not believe you. You need to be prepared for anything that people may say to you. People may accuse you of lying to trick everyone into following your rule, so you need to be able to ignore them.” Cirrus explained.
“W-wait, how do you know all this?” I asked him, still a little confused.
“I am many many years old darling, because I am no normal dog. I was born with mortality, I will live forever. The last human that could talk to animals was my master. My master denied his power and was killed by “The Villains Bandits”. They are a group of villains who will try to hurt and destroy all others with powers. They will be the cause of all the ridicule that you will her. You will work on the side of justice won’t you?” He asked.
The side of justice? The Villain Bandits? What’s going on? This has to be a dream right? It took me a few minutes to answer, but I finally said “Yes, I mean sure, or maybe. I don’t know! I don’t understand any of this! What does any of this have to do with me? Why can’t you just leave me alone, no one will bother me if no one knows, will they?” He didn’t answer. “That’s what I thought! Now go any, and stop talking to me!” I kicked him off the bed.
“Why you, that was very…” I cut him off.
“I don’t care! Shut up you annoying mutt! You’re a dog, you’re not supposed to be able to talk! Now leave me alone!” I really didn’t care for what he had to say to me. He was a dog, so what did he know. He was a dog, and he can talk, ya right! This probably just all a dream. I laid down in my dream bed, and went to sleep.
“Wake up or you will be late for your bus.” I opened my eyes and saw Cirrus hovering over me. I really wished I could have been woken up by a kidnapper rather than a talking dog. “Hello, have the lights been turned on in there?” He said.
I pushed him off of me. “What did I tell you about talking?” I said as I sat up in bed.
“Well you need to used to an animal talking, because you can understand all animals now. Every shape, size, and type, that you run into.” He said.
All animals? I can understand all animals? Ugh, why me? “I can just ignore them can’t I. It’s not like I have to respond to every single animal, ya know.” I said, my voice had the same edge that is had yesterday with Alyssa.
“I suppose you could, but it will be quite hard. Any way, if you need anything come and talk to me. I can help you with anything you need, my dear Savana.” He smiled. I think. It’s hard to tell when he needs a haircut.
“Oh, that’s great. That’s wonderful. I now have a doggy councilor, that’s so exciting.” I said sarcastically.
“You just wait, you’ll be chatting it up when you get back from school. Like always.” He said.
“Whatever.” I mumbled as I was getting dressed.
Well today wasn’t going so well, Mr. Fuzzy just wouldn’t shut up. “Food, food! I’m hungry! Feed me, feed me!” he squeaked. I can remember when I didn’t have to hear all this.
“Shhh!” I whispered as quietly as I could. I really didn’t have to whisper, though. We were in the 8th grade classroom for science. We had a flex, because our normal science teacher, Mrs. Klusky, was out sick today, so we had a substitute teacher. Her name was Ms. Brooks, she was very nice and kind, but she seemed a little confused.
“Don’t you tell me what to do!” He squeaked as loudly as he could.
“Would you just shut up, please.” I said to him.
He shook his head. “I am hungry and I won’t be quiet till I get fed!” He yelled at me.
“Alright then, I tell Ms. Brooks that it’s time for you to be fed. Deal?” I said. I hoped he would take the bargain, I couldn't take any more of him.
“Hm, ok then. Deal.” He said. Yes! He agreed! No more of “I’m hungry! Feed me, feed me! Food!”. I don’t have to deal with him any more.
I walked up to Ms. Brooks and said “It’s time for Mr. Fuzzy to be fed. Do you want me to feed him?”
That would be wonderful, Miss…” she trailed off, she didn’t know most of our names.
“Savanna Guthrie, nice to meet you.” I shook her hand.
“nice to meet you too. Now like I was saying Miss Guthrie, it would be wonderful if you fed Mr. Fuzzy, but I don’t have any idea where his food is.” she said. Oh, well she could have said that in the first place. Honestly, why do grown ups have to be so formal?
“Oh, well that’s easy. It’s by his his cage.” I said. Hopefully she didn’t take that as an insult, because she could turn it into, “It’s by his cage, obviously. Are you blind or something?” I hoped she didn’t take it like that.
“Well ok then. You go feed him before he starves. That will stop him from squeaking won’t it? Out of all these loud children, he’s the loudest.” She said with a little laugh.
“Ok then.” I walked back to Mr. Fuzzy’s cage. “Time to eat Mr. Fuzzy. Don’t jump out when I open your cage, or no food for a whole day!” I said.
“I won’t”, he said, “I like it here.” He laid down to show his loyalty.
I opened the cage, and picked up his bowl. “You know, spring break is coming up, and someone is going to take you home with them for two weeks. How would you like to come home with me?” I asked when I set his bowl back in his cage.
“Hm, I don’t know. What would I do there?” He asked. Did he mean “Do I get to leave my cage and run around your house, and do I get to eat all the time?”
It wouldn’t really matter if he ran around my house would it? I could just ask Cirrus to watch him. “I’ll let you run around, out of your cage, and you can eat as much as you want.” I said I hoped that would convince him. I am only doing this so h doesn’t go home with Samuel, I don’t think Mr. Fuzzy would come back in one piece because of Samuel's cat, Suzzy. So, do you want to come home with me?” I asked.
“Hm...yes! I would love to come to your house.” He said. Phew, he agreed. I was worried, what if he had gone home with Samuel? He would never make it back to school.
“Alrighty then.” I said. “You’re going to have fun at my house!”