This assignment was intended to make us focus on detail and setting. I was to make something impossible in the real world happen and make it seem as realistic as I could.
This was the first (and only) thing I could think of:
“All right, everyone! It’s time for show-and-tell!” shouted Mrs. Endersbe. “Go get your things and then come sit in a circle here. Sally! Put your shoes back on. Thank you.” The young students rushed around the classroom, smashing their chairs into desks, some ripping open their Dora the Explorer and Spiderman backpacks, their hands plunging inside them, searching for their special items to bring to the circle. Within what seemed like seconds, every child was sitting in a sloppy semi-circle on the blue carpet around Mrs. Endersbe.
“Jack,” she called, and the first presenter stood up and faced the class, his back against the blackboard. He dug his hand down the front pocket of his jeans and pulled something out which he kept enclosed in his fist.
“My show-and-tell is this really cool thing I found,” he began. “I was playing with my cat and then on the ground I found a butterfly. I thought it was cool so I brought it for my show-and-tell. Here,” Jack said as he handed the insect to Mrs. Endersbe. She seemed reluctant to take it from the boy but she did anyway. She looked down at the lifeless creature and frowned.
Looking back up to Jack she said, “This isn’t a butterfly.” Jack tilted his head in confusion. “This is a moth. How long was it in your pocket? It’s squished.”
The entire class let out a moan, “Ewwwwww!”
Jack replied, “Since yesterday. But it’s like a butterfly. Look!” He took it from the teacher and spread its wings excitedly – so excitedly that one of the grey-brown wings broke off. Some of the girls screamed but most of the class simply repeated the moan of disgust.
Jack frowned and said, “Whatever,” as he shrugged off his classmates’ disapproval and shoved the crumpled moth back into his pocket.
“Go wash your hands please, Jack,” said Mrs. Endersbe.
“Fine,” Jack frowned, tears forming in his eyes, and he trudged towards the sink with his arms crossed tightly across his chest.
“All right. Let’s see who is next. Hmm.” Mrs. Endersbe scanned her list of names.
“Here we go! Peter, you’re up.”
A small, brown-haired boy jumped up from his spot in the circle, adjusted his glasses and exclaimed, “You’re not going to believe what I brought for my show-and-tell!” His classmates looked at each other in puzzlement.
“All right, Peter. Settle down. Bring what you have to the middle of the circle here,” said Mrs. Endersbe calmly.
“No!” shouted Peter. “I can’t. I mean, it won’t fit. You have to… Just hold on. I’ll go get it.” Peter dodged tables and boxes of toys on the floor as he rushed to the window.
“Peter, what are you doing?” Mrs. Endersbe stood up from the blue plastic chair and put her hands on her hips. Peter climbed onto the counter and started opening the window as his teacher began hurrying towards him.
“Axel!” Peter shouted out the window. “Axel!” He grinned at his teacher.
“Peter, what are you… Oh my gosh!” Mrs. Endersbe gasped and raised her hands up to her mouth. Several deep, loud, stomping noises came from outside, the windows shook, and suddenly all the children were on their feet, none daring to go closer to the window. Their eyes widened in both excitement and horror. Their hands clasped in anticipation as Peter sat on the counter with an enormous toothy smile, waiting for his classmates’ jaws to drop. With everyone in the room holding their breaths, a long, soft, grey, snake-like tube came in through the window. Nearly everyone screamed, including Mrs. Endersbe.
“This is Axel. He’s my elephant!” Peter announced as he pushed his chest forward and gestured his hands as if to say, “Ta-da!”
The whole class said “Woah!” The children could only see four grey stumps, the trunk, and two white bits of tusk that were like an elephant’s equivalent of facial hair stubble. The long tube led to a large head with wide eyes and huge floppy ears, which you could only see if you looked up and out the window, for he must have been at least ten feet tall.
“Peter! How did you… what… how?!” exclaimed Mrs. Endersbe.
“I brought him for my show-and-tell because not everyone has seen an elephant yet. They have ‘em at the zoo but I thought you might like to see one in our natural habitat.”
“Peter, where did you get this elephant?” Mrs. Endersbe demanded.
“I met him at the circus. He was real friendly. He really likes peanuts too! Here, watch!” Peter took out some peanuts from his pocket and stuck his hand out in front of Axel’s trunk. The soft trunk smelled the peanuts and began searching for them. Soon it found them and in one smooth sweep, the trunk took them from Peter’s hand, came back out the window and dropped them straight into the elephant’s pink mouth.
“He’s from the circus. But my dad knows a guy and he helped us bring Axel! There he is. See?” Peter pointed at the man outside who was standing with three men behind the elephant. They were from the circus and came to make sure Axel's visit went smoothly. They waved to the class. Some of the more courageous children stepped forward and the bravest even asked to pet the animal.
“Mrs. Endersbe, can we go outside for my show-and-tell? Please?” Peter pleaded. Mrs. Endersbe, still wide-eyed and speechless, nodded.
"Okay, but don't run to Axel because you might scare him," said Peter. All the youngsters threw up their hands and shouted “Yay!” as they ran out the classroom door towards the four men. The men told the children they could go up two-by-two if they wanted to pet Axel’s trunk. The girls giggled and some of the boys stepped forward to pet the elephant. Peter had grabbed Mrs. Endersbe’s hand and pulled her outside of the classroom. She looked at the men in confusion, but before they could explain to her how they managed to arrange the visit, Peter took her hand and gently put in it some of the remaining peanuts from his pocket. Mrs. Endersbe's hand shook as the peanuts fell from Peter's small hand into hers.
“Put your hand out like this, Mrs. Endersbe,” said Peter as he demonstrated how to hold out her hand. The other children stepped back, giving their teacher and the elephant some space. Without a word she lifted her trembling hand towards Axel. Peter nodded and smiled at her. Axel’s trunk came swooping towards the small human hand and gently took the peanuts from it. Mrs. Endersbe held her breath when it touched her skin and exhaled once Axel opened his pink mouth to quietly gobble up the peanuts. Everybody stared at the two, waiting for a reaction. No one moved. Finally, Mrs. Endersbe blinked.
“He’s… so soft!” exclaimed Mrs. Endersbe and everyone smiled at them. “Peter, do you have more peanuts?” she asked.
“Sure, I do!” he replied and ran back into the classroom to fetch some.
That day, Axel got to see humans in their natural habitat, Mrs. Endersbe fed Axel at least fifteen peanuts and got a free pass to the circus, and it was decided that Peter had given the best show-and-tell ever.