Jackie Takes a Field Trip
Jackie could hear them from across the street. "Let's skip school," said Mark to his friends Tad and Jeremy. Jackie swooped in to listen. "Who needs it?" continued Mark. This made Jackie very mad.

"You do," she thought. "Everyone needs school or how are they ever going to learn?" Jackie thought about how hard she worked in angel training school and how well it had served her now that she was on angel duty all the time.

"No," Tad said, "I don't want to miss school. My parents would be so mad I don't know what they might do!"

"Mine, too," echoed Jeremy. Mark just hung his head. He really did not want to go to school that day.

"All right," said Mark, "Let's get going or we'll be late." Jackie was busy watching the boys decide whether or not to go to school. She wanted to make sure they were going and was trying to figure out a way to make sure they went. She was thinking very hard. She was thinking so hard she didn't see what was happening nearby.

What she did not see was an old man nearing the crosswalk. There was some oil on the water on the pavement below and if Jackie had seen it she could have helped the old man. But she didn't see it so she couldn't help him if he took a fall as he curb.

The old man took a step and sure enough, he slipped and fell. He didn't fall because he was a klutz but because a dog ran in front or him and he was forced to step into the oily street. The boys on the way to school ran to the old man and helped him up, "Are you all right?" they shouted in unison.

"Takes more than a fall to get me when you're my age," chuckled the old man whose face lit up at seeing the youngsters' faces. "I thank you. I think I'll be all right." Jackie saw what had happened but the man had already tumbled and the boys had already helped him up when she got there. She didn't know what to do so she just watched.

"Let's take you to the hospital and get you checked out," offered Mark.

Tad and Jeremy chimed in, "Come on. Let's go." And even though the three boys were much younger and smaller than the man, they helped him down the street and into the hospital.

"I'm fine," the man insisted, but the boys were just as determined to make sure.

A doctor came over and checked the man. "I'm Mr. Jules Banks," the old man said, "And I'm afraid I slipped in some oil stepping off the curb. Of course, the frisky dog who ran ahead of me and nearly tripped me didn't help a whole lot!"

The doctor started poking and listening and he didn't talk except to say, "Hmmmm, Ahhhh, Hmmmm, Uh huh." Jackie was listening, but didn't get the point of what the doctor was saying. The boys were gathered around and Mark said, "I'm Mark. And this is Tad and this is Jeremy."

"I'm Jackie the Angel," chimed Jackie, but no one could hear her. Jackie felt a little guilty about not being a perfect angel but then again, she was an "angel in training."

The doctor finally spoke. "Mr. Banks. We're going to keep you here and do a few X-rays just to make certain you are indeed just fine." Reluctantly, Mr. Banks agreed and just as reluctantly, the boys left for school. Jackie had to give them a little nudge with her wings to get them under way. They did not want to leave Mr. Banks, but he kept saying it was all right and that the boys should get to school. Secretly, Jackie wanted to fly through the hospital corridors but she knew that wasn't good angel in training behavior.

And so they went to school with Jackie flying close behind. Their teacher, Mrs. Kennedy, did not look too happy when the boys walked into the classroom and took their seats. She was silent and just stared at the late arriving boys. Her look said she didn't like what she saw. Tad spoke first, "Sorry we're late."

"We have a good excuse," continued Jeremy.

"We helped a man to the hospital," finished Tad.

"I expect you boys to stay after school at which time we will have a long talk and figure out proper punishment for coming so late to class."

"Even if we had a good excuse?"

"There is no excuse," snarled Mrs. Kennedy who didn't want the boys to set a bad example for other students, but soon Jackie gave a winged poke to each of them. She was urging them to do something. But what?

The three boys looked at one another and then spoke to the teacher all at once, "We'll show you!" they exclaimed, but the teacher wasn't convinced. Jackie invisibly flapped around Mrs. Kennedy and tickled Mrs. Kennedy under her nose with her feathered wing. Mrs. Kennedy sneezed and said, "All right. Let's go." Jackie smiled a big angelic smile and thought, "Oh boy, a field trip."

"But we'll all look together," said Mrs. Kennedy. The boys' classmates seemed excited.

So, off the class went and followed Mark to the hospital. Mrs. Kennedy made sure the students were all safe on their walk. "This better show me." The boys moved quickly.

Soon the children all walked together into the hospital. There was gleaming white and silver everywhere, then they saw a gift shop. Mark asked Mrs. Kennedy, "Can we get him a get well present?" Mrs. Kennedy leered, still unsure what to believe from her three bad boys.

As they stepped into the shop, a stuffed animal jumped out in into Mark's arms. It was a pink gorilla. Of course Jackie had tossed it at Mark and said to them, "I have a friend who is a pink gorilla and her name is Mimi. When anyone sees Mimi they have a good time." Mark couldn't hear Jackie but he got the idea.

With Jackie guiding them, they all left the gift shop and walked straight to the hospital room of the old man who was resting in a hospital bed. There in front of all the students was Mr. Banks who didn't look too happy to be there. When he looked up, he saw their teacher before anyone else. "Eleanor Kennedy! What are you doing here?"

"Mr. Banks! What are you doing here?"

"I'm in the hospital for tests because I'm old and I fell down. But it seems some very brave young men saw me fall and brought me here. What do you think of that?! I like those youngsters!" Tad, Jeremy, and Mark all stepped forward. "You know a lot of kids don't pay attention to old people, but we tell the best stories of anyone. We've had so many things happen in out lives, we're happy to share our stories with kids of all ages!" Mr. Banks seemed very young for an old man!

"So, it's true!" Mrs. Kennedy couldn't believe it. She turned to the class and said, "Mr. Banks was my teacher when I was your age!"

"Wow!" said Mark, "You were our age?

"A long time ago, yes," answered Mrs. Kennedy. "And Mr. Banks was the best teacher in the world. He was fair and kind and is the reason I became a teacher." Old Mr. Banks beamed from his hospital bed and Jackie flew out his window and toward the sky.

"I guess I owe three boys in my class a big apology."

"I'm sure they understand," said Mr. Banks and gave all the kids a big grateful smile.

"I think I should tell you all that I wanted to ditch school today," confessed Mark.

"Why?" asked Mrs. Kennedy.

"I was bored and wanted to learn about things outside of the classroom."

"That's why we have field trips," explained Mrs. Kennedy.

Tad and Jeremy both popped out with. "This was some field trip."

Mr. Banks chimed in, "Eleanor. Now that all your class is gathered here; why don't you see if you can have a tour of the hospital?! It's quite interesting! I liked the X-ray room because it made me feel like a superhero like Batman. They have laboratories and emergency rooms and all sorts of exciting places to visit! They can do magic with medicine right now. However, I wouldn't suggest visiting an operating room because the doctors have to concentrate on making an excellent operation. When I needed some surgery, the doctors taught me so much that I shared it with my students!"

Mark couldn't help but ask, "Do you think we'll grow up to be teachers, too?"

"I hope so! We need more good teachers!" beamed Mrs. Kennedy and Mr. Banks at the exact same time.

"In that case, let's see if we can get into an operating room and do a report!"

Jackie could only laugh.




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