Mr. Hyde, the Principal, was sitting at his desk one day when his secretary knocked on the door.
“Charlie Johnson’s mother is here asking to see you, sir. Something about a comment the teacher made on her son’s report card.”
“All right, send her in.” He frowned, wondering what sort of complaint he’d have to listen to now. He stood as a thirty-something woman entered his office. “Mrs. Johnson, glad to see you.” He shook her hand politely. “How can I help you?”
She held out a report card. “Mr. Hyde, we need a little clarification on this remark Charlie’s teacher made. We just can’t make it out.”
“In fact,” she continued, “”none of our friends can decipher it, either. We had a bunch in for a party last evening and for fun we passed Charlie’s report card around — even offered a prize if anyone could tell us what it said — but none of them could. So I thought I’d better get the answer from you.”
Hyde opened the report card and looked long and hard at the comment. “I’m really sorry, Mrs. Johnson, but I simply can’t read it. I believe it’s Mr. Thwaite’s writing, though. Let’s get him in here to tell us what it says.”
Mr. Hyde reached for the intercom button by his desk and paged Mr. Thwaite, who came hurrying to the office.
Thwaite glanced at Mrs. Johnson and nodded, then asked, “What can I help you with, Mr. Hyde?”
“I can’t make out what this remark says and Mrs. Johnson here would like to know. Could you kindly interpret it for us.”
Thwaite flushed slightly and took the offered report card. He looked at the indecipherable scribble for a few minutes, looked blankly at the wall, then back at the report card. His face lit up as the light dawned. “Yes, I remember now. It says, ‘Charlie needs to take more care with his handwriting’.”
(A sad but true tale related by Principle Hyde – perhaps at his retirement party? 🙂 )
(Story redone from an old Friendship Book. Originally posted in Christine Composes March 2013)