Caught Red-Handed


It happened in second grade.
A Weekly Reader had been placed on each desk.

It only took a second for me to notice.
The corner on my copy was badly crumpled.
Actually, it was slightly torn.

This imperfection was starting to
make my stomach churn.

What was I to do?

Dan, the student seated directly behind me,
was absent that day.
I glanced at his desk and noticed immediately
his copy was pristine.

Quickly, I made the switch….his perfection…
in trade for my dog-eared.
The deed was done.

With a crisp, clean copy in hand,
all was well with the world.
A sense of calm enveloped me.

My serenity, however, was short-lived.
In no time flat, the teacher was at my side.
She had witnessed the swap.

The fact, as I explained, my Weekly Reader
was blemished from the get-go, fell on deaf ears.

Life is tough when you’re a kid far too detailed
for your own good.