21 January 2022

Published January 19, 2022 by rochellewisoff
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Friday Fictioneers and Poppy

The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.


Genre: Memoir
Word Count: 100

Her fourth-grade teacher dubbed her “Messy Bessy.” Each time the frustrated child attempted to organize her desk chaos quickly returned.

Mrs. Smith moved the girl’s desk to the front of the room. Perhaps sitting beside the teacher would encourage her to mend her slovenly ways.

The kid didn’t mean to misbehave. Reading or illustrating stories she wrote in her head took priority over neatness. She’d simply lose herself in her latest adventure.  

One morning, Mrs. Smith jolted Rochelle from the Ingalls’ cabin on the prairie with, “Miss Wisoff, would you care to join the class for our daily spelling test?”

My granddaughter Olive and her faithful companion Poppy

93 comments on “21 January 2022

    • Dear Anita,

      I’ve since learned that I wasn’t just a daydreamer, but a budding writer. That’s what we do. 😉 Thank you.



      PS the Ingalls family were immortalized in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s series of novels based on her childhood. The most famous one begin “Litte House on the Prairie.”

      Liked by 1 person

  • I had a few teachers like Miss Smith, they never understood me… I would be away in Africa and such like… Fortunately my last form teacher got me, and started tuning my brain🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Michael,

      I’ve had a few teachers who didn’t understand me. In reality, Mrs. Smith wasn’t one of them. We adored each other. She was like a grandmother to me. She did her best to help me learn to organize. Sadly, she failed. 😉 I believe she was actually amused that I could lose myself in a book and read right through the spelling lesson. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Adele,

      I’m glad you enjoyed my little trip down Memory Lane. Although it was embarrassing, it was still a sweet memory. I painted the picture of Olive and Poppy for her 9th birthday and sent her the original. She’s a budding artist/writer herself. I only wish she didn’t live so far away. Thank you.




    • Dear Blob Ross,

      I was actually pretty quiet. It was my messy desk that screamed “Clean me!” Poor Mrs. Smith. Little bitty Shelley was a challenge for her. My report card had a red question marks by “Pays Attention” and “Neat and Orderly.”
      Always a happy drawing day…and a happy writing day. Wearing my red nose to keep mine warm. Brrrrrr
      I hope you’re painting happy trees and your puppies aren’t having happy accidents.
      Thank you for stopping by.


      Sloven Shelley W(T)F


    • Dear Iain,

      I remember Mrs. Smith having a twinkle in her eye when she invited me to join the spelling test. It took years to realize that daydreaming was a trait of a writer. For years it was a self-protection…to detach. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lisa,

      It’s a pity I didn’t have more words to describe Mrs. Smith. She was the quintessential, silver-haired grandmother type. Even her calling me “Messy Bessy” never really upset me. I knew I had a problem with neatness. She never made me feel less than and I could feel her love and caring. I probably remember fourth grade better than any other year in elementary school because of this dear lady.
      Thank you for your kind comments.



      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Nobbin,

      There is a lot of truth to what you say, but oh I didn’t mean to infer that Mrs. Smith was that kind of teacher. She was a dear lady who made me feel loved and understood. If I’d had a few more words I could’ve said that her eyes twinkled. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.



      Liked by 1 person

  • My teachers always did have a time of it getting my nose out of books. And the librarian…Oh, what a witch she was, constantly not allowing me to read books she “felt were too old for me”… Like Little House, or Shakespeare… and worst of all Edgar Allen Poe. Ach, you would have thought Poe was some horrible thing. But I won out in the end. I just skipped up to the high school library and checked out Tolstoy’s “War and Peace”… and with the superintendent’s go ahead to do so. Thing is, that’s where my reading level was in first grade. Wasn’t until I reached 3rd that I got a teacher who “got it”. So glad to be away from a system that held me back so much, intellectually.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Bear,

      My oldest son’s problem was just the opposite. His ability was way above grade level and his teachers encouraged him to read more challenging books. He said, “I’m a kid. I want to read kid books.” When he was 8-9 we read The Chronicles of Narnia together. Great fun.



      Liked by 1 person

      • I had that, too. Just depended on the teacher. When I learned to read again, I read all those books that I never got the chance to when I was little… Discovered, though , that I like the artwork more than the story.


    • Dear Penny,

      I’m afraid Mrs. Smith never managed to cure me of my disorganization. But she did encourage a love of the written word. She and fourth grade truly hold a special place in my heart. Glad you understood and smiled. Thank you.



      Liked by 1 person

  • Lovely story! You did have an understanding teacher. I was in my very first class, walking my fingers up and down the desk and ‘seeing’ the worried pacing king in the story the teacher was reading, when I was chastised for not listening.
    Losing yourself (going gathering wool) is a great skill – I feel sorry for those who can’t!
    And I love the painting. I used to sit like that all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Isn’t it interesting how we can recall snippets of our lives like this, and the feelings that went with them. This is a beautifully recalled moment, and obviously very much a foreshadowing of your future.There will be many empathetic readers in this group, including me.

    Liked by 1 person

  • What a lovely recollection, Rochelle. As another dreamer-up of stories from forever ago, I also must confess that in junior school I got punished for doing the boys’ written spelling tests so they didn’t have to – I was only trying to help 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  • Lovely story, that I think many of us fellow bookworms would recognize … And … interestingly, the power of books resonated in my little entry, too. And I think probably for a similar reason, all around. Here’s to books, and the worlds they allow. xoxo Na’ama

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Neel,

      It’s fun to look back on where we’ve come from and the things that shaped us and made us what we are today, isn’t it? Happy to misdirect. 😉 Thank you so much for your kind words.




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