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They Talk to the Tattletale Fairy

But I'm the one who answers

By Rebecca MortonPublished about a year ago Updated 11 months ago 4 min read
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They Talk to the Tattletale Fairy
Photo by Mike Fox on Unsplash

This is my entry for the "If Walls Could Talk" Challenge:

"If walls could talk, they would tell quite a tale", is something I've heard, but only part of that is true. We can talk, but not with speech. Anytime a picture or anything else stuck to a wall falls down for no reason, that is most likely the wall trying to say something.

If I could literally say words, the kids wouldn't hear me anyway. They rarely use their "inside voices" as Miss Carol says. I guess they're allowed to scream out on the playground, but, in here, they are supposed to talk quietly. They don't.

But the children often talk to me, even more than they talk to Group Time Wall, the most popular wall in my room.

The kids gather in front of Group Time Wall twice every school day to sing both the "Good Morning" song AND the "Goodbye" song. They also put little stick-on pictures on its calendar AND on its weather chart. Then, they hear Miss Carol read them a story.

How can I compete with that?

I have pegs for art smocks to hang on under a shelf for art supplies and other doodads Miss Carol finds on the floor at the end of the day.

The only cool thing I have on me is something Group Time Wall will never have: The Tattletale Fairy. It's just to the left (or right, from the people's point of view) of the art smocks.

Here's why The Tattletale Fairy exists: these kids all love to tell on each other. The first sentence I ever heard one of them utter, just after the school opened about twenty years ago, was, "I'M TELLING!" They often yell this as they run to Miss Carol.

I cannot often hear what they say to Miss Carol, but I know what happens next. Miss Carol sends them to me, or rather, to The Tattletale Fairy.

She is a fairy, or a picture of a fairy, from an old story book Miss Carol has owned since she was a child. I know this because at the beginning of every school year, she brings all the children to me, Art Smock Wall, to show them The Tattletale Fairy picture and tell them about its origin.

She always ends this introduction by saying, "So, as long as no one is getting hurt, when you feel like telling on one of your classmates, instead of coming to me, come over here to The Tattletale Fairy. She loves to listen, and she will magically make everything alright."

What the kids don't know is that a fairy picture can neither hear nor understand their tattling tales, but I can.

I've heard it all, in whispered tones:

"Jimmy said a bathroom word."

"Ashley called Mark a doody head."

"Brianna took the baby doll, but then she gave it back, but then, she didn't say, "Sorry."

"Michael tooted."

Usually, I feel no desire to intervene. However, over the years, there have been a few times I have had to "say" something. Last Friday was one of those times.

I'd known one of the green smocks had been missing for about a week. I thought it must have gotten dirty and Miss Carol washed it and it wasn't put back on the hook yet.

Until Abby spoke to The Tattletale Fairy.

Many times, Miss Carol tells children to "go talk to The Tattletale Fairy", after they've tried to tattle on someone to her, but sometimes they approach the fairy without being told to. Abby did this. She walked slowly to the fairy, looking back to check if anyone was watching her.

As it appeared no one was looking, she whispered, "Jason took the green smock and Miss Carol doesn't know. It's at the bottom of his backpack, with something bad in its pocket."

Then, she whispered more quietly, but I still heard her say, "It's a gun."

Well, what could I do? I waited for Abby to go back to Dress-up Center, and then concentrated on the task at hand. I made sure no children were near me, and focused all my energy until finally, after about three minutes...

I PUSHED THE SHELF OFF ME AND ONTO THE FLOOR, SMOCKS AND ALL!

Miss Carol rushed over, saying, "Oh, my goodness!" and began picking up the smocks. "Isn't there another green one? Does anyone have the other green art smock?" Jason asked to go to the bathroom.

As soon as he was out of the room, Abby approached Miss Carol and told her it was in Jason's bag, and that she should look at it.

Of course, I couldn't see out to the hallway where the children's cubbies are, but I heard Miss Carol say, "Oh!"

That's all she said. She didn't sound that alarmed. I wondered if there really was a gun in the pocket.

When Miss Carol came back into my room, she was holding something made of orange plastic. It was a squirt gun, for shooting water at people. Thank goodness!

Miss Carol thanked Abby for the information, and promised she wouldn't tell Jason how she knew the green smock was in his backpack. I won't tell Jason either, but I'll be keeping an eye on him, so to speak. They say "the walls have eyes" too, don't they?

The children and Miss Carol will never know what I did to save them when I thought their lives were in danger, which hurts a bit, but not as much as the hammer will when a grownup puts the shelf back on me!

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About the Creator

Rebecca Morton

An older Gen X-er, my childhood was surrounded by theatre people. My adulthood has been surrounded by children, first my students, then my own, and now more students! You can also find me on Medium here: https://medium.com/@becklesjm

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