“Ok first day of school, here we go!” Mother Goose declared. She looked up proudly at the sign hanging above the front gate. Nursery Rhyme School – because every character deserves an education.
Mother Goose, (who was in fact very human), reached her hand out and struck the old brass bell that hung from the sign. A wonderful chiming rang out into the air and it was answered by the sound of children laughing and chattering as they rushed through the large stone gates.
“Now where are you?” Mother Goose muttered to herself as she scanned the crowd of children filing in through the gates. She heard a high pitched bleating and turned to see Mary skipping into school with her snowy white lamb trailing behind her.
“Mary dear, I have a lovely pen all set up for your lamb. He can wait there for you with Baa Baa Black Sheep. Little Bo Peep will be putting her sheep in there soon too. They can all play together while you are in your lessons and you can visit with them at lunchtime.”
“Oh thank you Mother G!” Mary cried happily as she led the lamb off in the direction Mother Goose had pointed.
Ok one problem solved. Mother Goose thought. Now where is that boy who looks after the sheep? A tooting sound startled her and she turned to see Little Boy Blue blowing his horn.
“Oh Blue would you be a dear and head over to the haystacks and find Sammy for me?” she asked.
“No problems Mother G!” Blue cried eagerly.
Mother Goose secretly thought that Blue would happily agree to any task which gave him an excuse to blow that horn. She would have to make sure she got him signed up for the school band this year.
Satisfied that most of the students had now arrived, Mother Goose headed towards the classrooms. She noticed a flash of colour out of the corner of her eye and turned to see Mary Quite Contrary lovingly tending the school flower garden.
“Mary dear, the gardens look lovely but it’s time for class now. Run along.”
“Yes Mother G,” Mary agreed and skipped off to class, but not before casting one final admiring look at the pretty rows of flowers.
What next? Mother Goose thought as she continued walking. As though in answer to her unspoken question, she heard a crunch under her foot. She looked down to see a pile of breadcrumbs.
“Hansel!’ she called to the little boy up ahead who was sprinkling a trail of breadcrumbs behind him as he walked. “Dear there is really no need for you or Gretel to leave a trail behind you. I know you’re only visiting from Fairy Tale School but the classroom is very easy to find. Here, you can follow me.”
Mother Goose led the way to the classroom. As she walked into the room she saw that they were all taking their seats. Well almost all…
“Jack Horner will you please get out of the corner and find a seat. And Goldilocks I know you’re joining us from Fairy Tale School so everything is new, but you also need to find a seat please.”
“But Mother Goose,” Goldilocks said forlornly, “this chair is too hard and this one is too soft and …”
“I think you’ll find the yellow one at the back is just right,” Mother Goose interrupted.
Just then a shriek pierced the air. Mother Goose looked to see Miss Muffet pointing at the wall in terror.
“Muffet it’s ok, that’s just Incy Wincy. She’ll be joining our class for a few days until her waterspout is repaired. It was flooded in the recent rains. Take a seat dear.”
Mother Goose looked across all the desks to see that everything was in order. She noticed an odd problem.
“John are you wearing only one shoe?”
“Yes Mother G. I slept with one shoe off and one shoe on,” he offered happily as though this explained everything.
Mother Goose sighed, “Tomorrow do you think you could wear two shoes to school?”
John nodded solemnly.
“Oh and Red, may I take your hood please? I’ll hang it on the coat rack. It’s nice and warm in here so you won’t need to wear it.” Little Red Riding Hood shrugged out of her hood and passed it to Mother Goose.
“Ok, good morning everyone. Welcome to the first day of the new school year. We are lucky to have a few of our fairy tale friends here with us this week. I hope you will make them feel right at home here at Nursery Rhyme School.”
The students nodded, eager to please, as they stole shy glances at the newcomers.
“Let’s start with a maths lesson. Turn to page 5 of your maths book. If Jack had seven beans and he dropped two, then how many would he have left?”
“Five beans and two beanstalks!” a voice called out, sending the class into peals of laughter.
“Yes, yes very funny.” Mother Goose smiled.
“Ok let’s try the question on page 6. If we had four blackbirds and we added twenty more then…”
“We could bake them in a pie!” More laughter erupted.
“Ok settle down everyone. We may need to update out textbook. How about you all work quietly on the questions on page 7 and 8 and raise your hand if you need help.”
Mother Goose spent the next hour working with the children on maths. Then they spent a very enjoyable reading session which was, of course, everyone’s favourite lesson!
Finally it was recess time.
“It’s such a lovely day. Let’s all eat outside under the mulberry tree,” Mother Goose suggested.
“I’m sure the monkey has stopped chasing the weasel by now.” (There had been a nasty incident of popping weasel last year which she certainly didn’t wish to repeat!)
The class grabbed their snacks from their bags and trundled outside into the fresh air.
“Who would like to fetch some water from the well?” Mother Goose asked.
“We will Mother G!” Jack and Jill cried.
“Hmm,” Mother Goose hesitated, remembering last year’s spectacular fall. “That’s very kind but I think it might be Jack Candle’s turn today. Jack can you be nimble and quick and fetch the water please? I can put the kettle on for anyone who’d like tea. Polly could you please help with the tea?”
Muffet started eating her curds and whey, Jack Horner stuck his thumb straight into a juicy purple plum and Peter Piper started devouring his pickled peppers. All the children were enjoying their food. Well almost all…
“Oh my porridge is too cold.” Goldilocks complained.
“You can share my pie,” Simple Simon offered. “I met the pie-man on the way to school.”
“And remember,” Mother Goose said with a laugh, “you must always do as Simon Says!”