Charles Bins, Brunswick Forest



Guess what Zack is bringing to Show-and Tell…


Zack attends a pre-kindergarten for the gifted. Today is April 1st and it is thunder storming for  Show-and-Tell. He thought about bringing his inflatable dragon but figured it would take too long to blow up. His mother hands him a shoebox. “Don’t worry, there’s a Greek god inside.

They’ll be impressed.” She meant it, of course.

As Zack exits the car, box under his arm, she calls after him: “Don’t open it until it’s your turn — and remember my words.”

The classroom is filled with anticipation and the smell of moist boots. The kids are sitting in a circle, and Mrs. Marten is calling on them one at a time. Zack is sitting next to Ned, his friend from next door.

“Do you want to go first, Ned?” Mrs. Marten asks.

Coincidentally, Ned pulls out a previously inflated purple plastic dragon and flies it around the room. “Grrr, grrr, zoom-zoom, Zooooom.” He soars it by Doreen’s face. “You better behave, or I’ll burn you.”  Jealous Zack blurts, “My dragon can do that.” He really means it, of course.

Mrs. Marten jumps in, “OK, Ned, I think we got the idea. You can sit down now.”

Not to be outdone, little Frankie displays a giant Ferris wheel made out of Lego: “This is mine.” He turns it on, but the wheel only goes around once before squeaking to a stop. He switches the toggle back and forth until he panics and breaks into tears.

“Crybaby,” Zack whispers. Ned snickers.

“Let’s let Doreen go.”

Curly-haired Doreen holds up a doll with blue eyes dressed in a diaper. The baby moves its head and eyes and starts to wail. “That’s what she does when she’s wet.” Doreen changes the diaper, and the baby miraculously stops crying.

Next Larry goes, waving his “Empire Strikes Back” light saber around the room. “Vooom- vooom, vooom-vroom. Die Darth Vader, die!”

Eager Eddie is waving. “Can I go next?” Not waiting, he produces an emergency beacon. “This is what you do if your car breaks down.” He turns on a siren. Everyone covers their ears. Then he turns on the strobe, until Doreen appears to be going into a seizure.

“So, what’s in your box, Zack?” Mrs. Marten finally asks.

“I’m not sure I should open it,” he replies.

“Why not?”

“There’s a Greek god inside.”

“Let’s see,” she says. Everyone echoes.

Finally, Zack pulls the top off and shows everyone the box. It’s empty.

“What’s it say on the bottom?” Mrs. Marten asks.

“’Shoes’, I think.”

“No, it says ‘Zeus.’ He was the god of lightning and thunder.”

“You said it, not me.”

Lightning flashes and cracks a tree outside the window. The fluorescent lights flicker and pop like Jiffy-Pop. The children shriek. Doreen and her doll are crying; Ned is hugging his dinosaur; the Ferris wheel is spinning; Larry’s saber is vroom-vrooming, and the emergency strobe is now  lsing living shadows that are climbing the walls to escape.

The wall clock advances to 2:59 pm. Mrs. Marten is stunned, genuinely concerned she might morph into a toad.

“Maybe you should put him back in the box now,” she offers gently.

“OK, but my mom said to ask one thing first.”

“What’s that?”

“Where do you keep your god?”