Tree Land School was filled with excitement about the Halloween party the following Monday. But Miss Landers had some bad news.
“I’m so sorry to miss our big day. But the sub will be the Great Green Frog, so you’ll be OK. Be good for the Frog.”
The students really wondered about that since their teacher never missed school. She always said teaching was her favorite thing to do.
Then Miss Landers went home and spread out her things on the couch. She laid out lots of green makeup, a huge mask, green leotards, and funny flippers for hands and feet.
When Monday came–just like she said–their teacher wasn’t there to say hi when the kids walked in the classroom. But there was a funny looking thing. The students figured it was the Great Green Frog. But it didn’t say anything!
It was kinda big, for a frog, that is. Its skin was yucky green all over. It flapped its feet as it walked. And that head! That thing was so big and gross it was hard to look at.
When they had all taken their seats, the Great Green Frog wrote on the board, “Sorry, I lost my voice. I can’t talk till I find it. Maybe we can look for it at recess. But for now you must read the chalkboard.”
The class did their math and language assignments. They weren’t sure about that ugly frog face, so they behaved very well.” One time they got a bit noisy, and the Great Green Frog quickly wrote, “Careful now. You don’t want to miss the party this afternoon!” The room got real quiet and they did all their work, although it did seem a bit funny without Miss Landers walking around and bragging on them or patting them on the back while she helped students.
Lunch time finally came! Days always go so slow when you’re waiting for a party.
That frog-teacher was not on lunch duty. The kids belted down their food while they talked about that strange new substitute teacher. One guy said, “The Frog lady jabbed out her finger at me when I was talking, so I shut up. No wonder what could happen with a teacher like that!” Another student giggled as she declared, “Well, I for one am glad the Frog’s voice was lost. It would have been really freaky trying to do our work with croaking all morning long.”
Before long recess was over and The Great Green Frog was there to pick up the students. When restroom turns were finished the children went into their classroom. Everyone was puzzled about how that weird substitute would handle Story Time. Soon these words appeared on the board: “STAR TIME: In case you don’t know, that means Students and Teachers are Reading.” So they all had one last look at the huge pile of Halloween books since they knew Miss Landers always made holiday books disappear the very next day. She was funny about that. She always said people needed calm times after exciting times.
P.E. time came and every single student was worn to a frazzle as they flopped onto their desks in the classroom. What a surprise! Miss Landers was in the room, and the Great Green Frog was mysteriously gone. One kid noticed a suitcase by the teacher’s desk, so she thought that meant Miss Landers had just returned from a trip.
The Halloween party was fantastic like all Tree Land events were. After the Historical Costume Parade Miss Popcorn Goat performed in the Goat Zoo and Fly Swatter Bubbles filled the sky! Some guys yelled as they carried Monster’s Eyeballs around a picnic table. If they could get all the way around, they got to eat those huge grapes.
But the best of all was the Sponge Throw. Kids could throw at each other’s faces. They went wild when a girl splashed Miss Landers smack dab in the face. After all the wonderful food and lots of yelling, the tired students headed to their cars.
As the last boy was leaving he pointed to Miss Landers’ left elbow. It was kinda green. He winked at her and said, “I’ll never tell. I promise.”
The Great Green Frog got busy finishing cleaning up from the party, but first she washed her elbow and checked herself over for any more green spots.
Copyright 2016 by Hildra Tague. Obtain permission for use online or in print.