It was a horrible, stinky, rainy day. Some rainy days are fun and exciting, but not this one. This one stunk. All the children were wet and wore smelly raincoats. The whole room smelled awful.
"Ooooh, it stinks in here," said Maurecia.
Everybody laughed. But she was right.
There was one good thing, however. There was a new boy in class. New kids are always fun. Except no one could even tell what the new boy looked like. He was completely covered by his raincoat.
"Class," said Mrs. Jewls. "I'd like you all to meet Sammy. Let us show him what a nice class we can be."
Leslie walked up and smiled at Sammy. But her smile quickly turned into a frown. "You smell terrible," she said.
"Leslie!" exclaimed Mrs. Jewls. "That's no way to greet a new member of our class." Mrs. Jewls wrote Leslie's name on the blackboard under the word DISCIPLINE.
"But he does, Mrs. Jewls," said Leslie. "He smells awful."
"You're ugly," Sammy replied.
"Now, Sammy, that's no way to talk," said Mrs. Jewls. "Leslie's a very pretty girl."
"She's ugly," said Sammy.
Allison spoke up. "Well, you smell terrible and are probably even uglier. But nobody can see you because you are hiding under that smelly old raincoat."
"That will be enough of that," said Mrs. Jewls. "Now, Sammy, why don't you take off your coat and hang it in the closet? Let us all see how nice you look."
"I don't want to, you old windbag," said Sammy.
"That's because he's so ugly," said Leslie.
"I'm sure he's quite handsome," said Mrs. Jewls. "He's just shy. Here, let me help you." Mrs. Jewls took off Sammy's coat for him. But underneath it was still another raincoat, even dirtier and smellier than the first one.
They still couldn't see his face.
"Ooooh, now he smells even worse," said Maurecia.
"You don't exactly smell like a rose, either," Sammy replied.
Mrs. Jewls took off his second raincoat, but there was still another one under that. And the smell became so bad that Mrs. Jewls had to run and stick her head out the window to get some fresh air.
"You're all a bunch of pigs!" Sammy screeched. "Dirty, rotten pigs!"
The smell was overpowering. Sammy just stood there, hidden under his raincoats.
Mrs. Jewls wrote Sammy's name under the word DISCIPLINE.
"Send him home on the kindergarten bus," said Joy.
"Not with me," said Todd.
Mrs. Jewls held her nose, walked up to Sammy, and removed his raincoat. She threw it out the window. But he had on still another one.
Sammy hissed. "Hey, old windbag, watch where you throw my good clothes!"
Mrs. Jewls put a check next to Sammy's name on the blackboard. Then she took off another raincoat and threw it out the window. The smell got worse, for he had on still another one.
Sammy began to laugh. His horrible laugh was even worse than his horrible voice.
When Sammy first came into the room, he was four feet tall. But after Mrs. Jewls removed six of his raincoats, he was only three feet tall. And there were still more raincoats to go.
Mrs. Jewls circled his name and removed another coat. She threw it out the window. Then she put a triangle around the circle and threw another one of his coats outside. She kept doing this until Sammy was only one-and-a-half feet high. With every coat she took off, Sammy's laugh got louder and the smell got worse.
Some of the children held their ears. Others could hold only one ear because they were holding their nose with the other hand. It was hard to say which was worse, the laugh or the smell.
Sammy stopped laughing and said, "Hey, old windbag, if you take off one more of my coats and throw it out the window, I'll bite your head off."
"They smell too bad for me to allow them in my classroom," said Mrs. Jewls. "You can pick them up when you leave."
"They smell better than you do, Pighead!" Sammy shouted.
Mrs. Jewls didn't stop. She took off another one of his coats, then another, and another. Sammy was only four inches tall, three inches tall, two inches tall. At last she removed the final coat.
All that was there was a dead rat.
"Well, I don't allow dead rats in my classroom," said Mrs. Jewls. She picked it up by the tail, put it in a plastic bag, and threw it away.
Mrs. Jewls didn't allow dead rats in her class. Todd once brought in a dead rat for show-and-tell, and Mrs. Jewls made him throw that one away, too.
"I'm glad Sammy isn't allowed in our classroom," said Rondi. "I didn't like him very much."
"Yes," said Mrs. Jewls, "we caught another one."
Dead rats were always trying to sneak into Mrs. Jewls's class. That was the third one she'd caught since September.