My students line up in ABC order, so the line is very predictable. So that we won’t always have the same kid at the front, and the kid whose name starts with Q or W or Z won’t always be at the back, I have a line leader and a “caboose.”
This week’s caboose is a very sweet, very obedient little girl we’ll call Plum. On our way to Music today, she had a hard time herding the boy in front of her to stay in the line. We’ll call him Zucchini. Miss Slinger wasn’t at work yet, so there was no adult at the end of the line to see what was going on. When we got to Music, Zucchini and Plum ran around the corner from the stairs to catch up. Plum said, very sadly, “he wouldn’t stay in line!”
“I’m sorry to hear that, Plum,” I said, absent-mindedly.
“I don’t like being caboose,” she said, as they walked past me into the music room.
On my way back to the first floor, I bumped into another teacher, who knows Zucchini. She started laughing.
“Did you see what Zucchini did?” she asked. “Instead of following you up the stairs to the 3rd floor, he just headed down the hall here on the 2nd floor, like he knew what he was doing. There was nobody in front of him, but he just marched down the hall. And that little girl behind him stood here by the stairs and called after him, ‘no, no, no!’ and started to cry!”
Poor Plum. Zucchini had no idea what he was doing, and she always knows exactly what to do.