I raced along the corridor with straight legs, past the Whitcourt Farm display to the toilets. Mr Reedy had suggested an early lunch and whilst I was incredibly grateful to have been invited to back to Holbeach for the reading training, my bladder was bursting. I ran up the stairs and reached the ladies. Just in time!
Shaking my hands dry, I bumped into Mr Morriss. “It’s good to see you again,” he smiled before beckoning me up the stairs to the medical room. “I have some gossip.” Once again, I found myself racing up the stairs. We plonked ourselves down on the clapped-out staffroom chairs. I had always enjoyed working with him and was glad that we had a chance for a quick catch up. I hadn’t expected gossip.
“This had better be good. I have a million people to catch up with and would it be OK to take some photos of the school journey display for The Writing Web?” He gave me the thumbs up. Brilliant, that was one job ticked off my to do list.
“Oh it’s good gossip! Don’t tell anyone,” he whispered, glancing at the clock. I was open-eared. “You know the roof playground?”
“Yup,” I responded impatiently, shifting in the soft chair.
“Well, don’t tell anyone but we’re going to make it into a farm in the Summer term!” he exclaimed, his eyes shining at the idea of animals living amongst the Holbeach community. An idea that would soon be a reality.
“That’s really lovely, the children are going to learn so much,” I replied and I meant it. However, whilst I didn’t exactly have a million people to catch up with, this was not the juicy gossip I’d been hoping for. Mr Morriss noted my lacklustre reaction and looked quickly up at the clock again, before continuing picking up the conversation again.
“It’s going to be a Goat Farm. Goats have been proven to …” he continued to quote the extensive research about what children can learn from caring for and observing the most perfect creatures on Earth. I wasn’t listening any more. I sat up. He had me at goats! Of course, I already knew everything he was saying and so much more. Teaching is the best job in the world but I would give it all up tomorrow to spend my days amongst goats! Oh, how I wished my body would allow me to apply for the new Holbeach Goat Tutor job he was now describing. Mr Morriss sat back, finally satisfied that this little interlude had been worth it. He glanced at the clock. Again, and so did I. It was five minutes after midday.
“Why do you keep …?”
“April Fools!” roared Mr Morris. Tears rolled down his cheeks, which glowed with triumph. I was pleased my brown cheeks don’t turn red when I’m embarrassed, as they certainly burned. Sadly, he was right. The master trickster had fooled me, as he had promised three years before when I had planted cress seeds in his computer keyboard.
“To be fair, you’ve played the long game perfectly,” I admitted, trying to disguise my humiliation. I extended my hand and he shook it. “Next one’s on me,” I swore.