Tree Land School was a magical place. The students were magical. The animals were magical. The schoolhouse was magical, just like a chocolate gingerbread house set way back in the woods. But most of all, The Chocolate Porch was magical.
These smart children learned to forgive their teacher, Miss Landers, for making them do work all morning. Everything was A-OK as long as they got to go outside for lunch.
Opening their lunch kids under the sweet gum trees in the side yard was such an adventure. Some kids sat at one of the large picnic tables. One day a squirrel decided they didn’t really need to sit there, and started throwing nuts at them. Since they realized the yard belonged to the animals as much as to the school, they just moved to another table and the little bushy-tail settled down.
Most of the students rushed to The Chocolate Porch to sit on one of the benches that went all around it where they could watch the 32 kinds of hanging plants grow. While they were chomping their food they might catch a glimpse of a frog or hummingbird since these creatures spent their free time in those same plants. It was fun to see the world from up high. There was so much to see in nature.
But one day at lunch all the children could hear was a constant banging sound. Miss Popcorn Goat sometimes got her head set on an idea and just couldn’t let it go. Even though the class had studied all about goats and they knew about their love of butting their head, they were not prepared for the determined show Miss Popcorn was putting on that day.
Miss Popcorn’s home had a sign “Goatrun Texas, Population 1” and she liked to do her own home decorating. Her goat pen was huge, but she especially liked changing the fence. Because of that, The Man With The White Hair and his friend the handyman had set the fencing in cement and made it even stronger than Fort Knox.
But Miss Popcorn Goat liked a challenge. She had already managed to make the fence curve outward all the way around. She had worked tirelessly on each of the four 40-foot sides to create the modern curvy fence look.
But with that done she got bored. She started butting that fence so hard that the sound echoed all over the acre of the school’s play yard. The lunchtime wasn’t as peaceful as it usually was. Even the chickens seemed to be getting tired of the constant rhythmic noise.
At long last The White Haired Man showed up in Goatrun Texas and Miss Popcorn ran after him, watching his every move.
Yup, everyone was sick and tired of the banging, but no one ever got tired of singing. So after a few minutes of helping each other get the words just right, the children began to sing to the tune of Bill Grogan’s Goat:
Miss Popcorn Goat was feeling fine.
Till she butted the fence all of our lunch time.
The White Haired Man came. He gave her a snack.
He fixed the fence, and got her on track.
Baa, baa, baa, baa!
The students sang to her till lunch time was over and their silly teacher made them come back in to do schoolwork. But in their spare time they started thinking of things they could do to help that crazy goat so she wouldn’t be bored. They brainstormed and found lots of ways to include her and keep her company. They even came up with a way for Miss Popcorn to help with their school parties!
After that it wasn’t unusual to find a student singing to Miss Popcorn Goat. She loved it, especially when the serenade came with her very favorite kind of bouquet – stickers, of course!
One of the boys suggested it might be time to get her another pet like she used to have so she wouldn’t be lonely. He kept reminding his parents till one day he showed up with a new pet for Miss Popcorn.
But that’s another story.
Copyright 2013 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.