THE STUDIOUS SNAKE
Short Story written by: Jose Antonio Zayas Salazar
My school is very old, the walls of the playground have holes in them where the roots of big, old trees drive into them, These huge trees could be hundreds of years old.
School children still play there every afternoon and I still remember what happened one day a long time ago, when I was there.
I was one of the school pupils and one day after school, I went out to play as usual. Some kids were in detention and had to stay in class when we were all playing outside, and that day two of my best friends couldn´t come out to play, Peter and my cousin Franky.
We were a group of four, so Josh and I went out alone to wait for them to come out. My name is Anthony by the way.
We were sitting on a pile of the stones that had fallen from holes in the wall talking about the our friends punishment.
Josh said how unfair the teacher was to give them it, just because they were talking a bit.
Anthony: “I’m with you, I´m tired of this “apply yourselves” thing.”
Josh: “Yes, We only talk sometimes.”
Anthony: “The teacher is a witch.”
And then we both began to laugh.
Suddenly a voice said:
“The teacher really cares about all of you.”
Josh and I looked at each other:
Anthony: “Did you hear something?”
Josh: “A voice?”
Anthony: “A voice saying something about the teacher.”
Josh: “Yes, I did.”
We ran far from that place, and once out of reach, we looked back at the wall, but nobody was there.
Peter and Franky finally finished their punishment and came to see us.
Anthony: “Josh; don´t tell them anything about it.”
Franky: “Let´s go over there to play.” – he said pointing at the wall.
Josh: “No, there is a strange voice.”
Franky: “What?, are you mad?”
Anthony: “Josh, I told you not to say anything!”
Franky: “Anything about what? come on, tell us.”
We told them the story and went back to the wall where we had sat before and sat and waited, but there was no voice at all.Then the school bell sounded and we had to leave.
The next day we were very quiet in class because we all wanted to go out at break time, so none of us talked during class time.
At break time, we went running to the wall and sat there waiting.
Anthony: “Maybe we should say something about the teacher again.”
Josh: “The teacher is a witch!”
But there was no voice, so we began to shout: “The teacher is a witch!” and the voice sounded again.
“Some day you will regret not letting the teacher teach you, then it will be too late. I have seen many more kids like you over the years”.
Peter and Franky fleed frightened, but we didn´t.
Anthony: “Who are you? I can´t see you.”
The voice: “Look up here inside the hole in the wall.”
When I looked couldn´t believe what I was seeing. There was a big snake staring at me.
The snake: “Don´t be afraid, I´m a student too.”
Anthony: “What? I have never seen you in class.”
The snake: “I arrived here when I was very small, so you can imagine how many years I have been sitting on that branch up there, where my desk is, and from where I see your class and listen to everything your teacher says“.
Anthony: But how can you talk?
The snake: “I have been paying attention in class from the beginning. I have applied my self and now I can talk, and teach you maths, history and literature, just because I pay attention in class.”
The bell sounded again and I had to go back to class.
Anthony: I have to go, what´s your name?
The snake: “I don´t know..mmm, call me Snaky”
When I went to the classroom, Josh had already told Peter and Franky about the snake.
Peter: “We should tell the teacher.”
Anthony: “Don´t !”
Franky: “But she might be dangerous!”
Anthony: “No! She is just trying to study! Don´t you dare say anything!”
The next day,I was very good in class, because I wanted to see Snaky at break time, so I really paid attention and even the teacher congratulated me! Then, when te bell sounded, I went out to see Snaky. My cousin and my friends couldn´t because they had been talking about the snake during the whole class and were punished.
Anthony: “Snaky! Snaky!”
Snaky: “I´m coming!”
Anthony: “My friends say you are dangerous.”
Snaky laughed and said: “I´m not dangerous, actually I protect all of you, on the other side of the wall there are some dangerous snakes, but I don´t let them cross the wall.”
Anthony: “So, you protect us from them.”
Snaky: “Sure, they call me the wall guardian.”
Suddenly a group of children came over and asked about the snake, and Snaky hid inside his hole.
Anthony: “There is no snake.”
Child: “I will tell the teacher!”
I was there trying to conceal my expression when the teacher came over.
Teacher: “Anthony come here!, What´s going on? Something about a snake?”
Anthony: “It was just a joke.”
Teacher: “Ok, but I´m going to talk to the Principal to make sure this wall is remodelled and the trees are cut down! I don´t want anyone playing near here until then.”
I looked for Snaky for several days, but I couldn´t find her. One day some men came to cut down the trees and other men sprayed the wall.
I asked one of them: “Whats´s that for?”
“To kill insects inside the wall.”
Anthony: “Even snakes?”
After a few weeks I assumed that my friend Snaky was dead. One day I was watching a football match with some of the kids from my class, and one of them scored a goal and I screamed:
And suddenly I heard Snaky saying: “Yes, nice goal”….
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