“Hi Mrs. Franklin,” Principal Ford said as the elderly teacher entered his office. He quickly moved his goldfish bowl off the bookcase before she could knock it off by hitting the case with her walker. “Thanks for coming down.”
“Anything for you young man.”
Principal Ford felt a little uncomfortable being called a young man at fifty-seven, but he guessed that might still be young to a ninety-three year old, so he just let it go. “Um, I needed to talk to you.”
“Yes?” Mrs. Franklin said as she sat in the principal’s chair behind his desk.
“Mrs. Franklin, it’s time for you to retire. Your memory is going and perhaps –”
She started laughing. “My memory isn’t going, Gooseberry. It’s as sharp as a block of jello.”
Principal Ford sighed and sat in the guest’s chair. “Mrs. Franklin, instead of reading Hey Diddle Diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon, the little dog laughed, to see such sport, and the dish ran away with the spoon, you told a class of three and four year olds a story about giant man-eating sharks that jumped through open windows of the apartment tower during a tidal wave an gobbled up all the naughty little children.”
Mrs. Franklin was laughing so hard, tears flowed down her wrinkled face.
“I don’t think its very funny.
Mrs Franklin, still laughing, simply waved her hand, got up, and started heading for the door. “Jumping Jack, that was the best sneeze I’ve had all apricot. Thank you.”
Principal Ford stood at the office door shaking his head as Mrs. Franklin ambled down the hall, and back to her classroom where Miss Honey was reading to her students.
“Do you think she’ll ever figure out that she passed away twenty years ago?” the secretary asked Principal Ford.