The chickadees are in full throat today, said Blurtso. No, said Pablo, those are blackbirds you hear. Really? said Blurtso. Well… how about that one… now that was a chickadee! No, said Pablo, that was a kingfisher. Really, said Blurtso, a kingfisher? Wow… it sure sounded like a chickadee… hold it… hold it…how about that one… now that was a chickadee! No, said Pablo, that was a red-tailed hawk. A red-tailed hawk? said Blurtso. Hmm, he must have been imitating a chickadee… hold it… hold it… how about that one! That was the most unmistakable chickadee I’ve ever heard! No, said Pablo, that was a duck. Remarkable, said Blurtso. What about that, was that a kingfisher? No, said Pablo. A blackbird? No, said Pablo. A red-tailed hawk? No, said Pablo. A duck? No, said Pablo. A chickadee? No, said Pablo. I give up, said Blurtso, what was it? That, said Pablo, was my stomach growling.
I like your house, said Virginia. Thank you, said Ditto. How is the intervention class? I love it, said Ditto, we’re reading a book by James Clavell. James Clavell? said Virginia. Yes, said Ditto, and Ms. Johnson asks all kinds of interesting questions, and she lets me answer any way I choose. Really? said Virginia. Really, said Ditto. It’s not like our regular class? said Virginia. No, said Ditto, we talk about whatever the story brings to mind. That’s great, said Virginia. Yes it is, said Ditto, you should try to get in. To intervention? said Virginia. Yes, said Ditto. How? said Virginia. What was your Benchmark score? said Ditto. I was a yellow light, said Virginia. Maybe if you failed your weekly tests, said Ditto, you could become a red light. Do you think? said Virginia. I don’t know, said Ditto, it’s worth a try.
It’s your turn, said Virginia, I’m sure you’ll do fine.
Alright big-nose, said the schoolmarm, you’ve got sixty seconds.
Read as many words as fast as you can… Begin!
DIBELS Nonsense Word Fluency
bol kiv ul jac lel
fij kug jat oj deg
wav pek yos mub fiv
ec faj vog kif puk
“bol?” said Ditto, What’s a “bol?” Just read the word, said the schoolmarm. But “bol” isn’t a word. Just read the word, said the schoolmarm. But it doesn’t make sense. Just read the word, said the schoolmarm. But there aren’t any words. Just read the word, said the schoolmarm. This isn’t English, said Ditto. Just read the word, said the schoolmarm. Can I use a Rosetta stone? Just read the word, said the schoolmarm. Or the Pentagon’s decoding program? Just read the word, said the schoolmarm. Or maybe a soothsayer? Just read the word, said the schoolmarm. Or a deck of Tarot cards? Stop! said the schoolmarm. Your time’s up! You scored one out of forty, you’re a red light. A red light? said Ditto. Yes, said the schoolmarm, an abject failure, you’ll start intervention in the morning.
Will they kick me out of school, said Ditto, if I fail the Dibels test? No, said Virginia, they’ll put you in an intervention class an hour a day until you pass the test. What if I never pass? Then you’ll be in intervention forever, said Virginia. Isn’t there any way, said Ditto, I can get kicked out of school?
Spring is here, said Virginia, only two months before summer vacation. Summer vacation? said Ditto. Yes, said Virginia. What’s summer vacation? That’s when we get three months off before coming back to school. Coming back? said Ditto. Yes, said Virginia, in the fall. For how long? said Ditto. Until the next summer, said Virginia. And then? said Ditto. Until the summer after that, said Virginia. How long do we have to keep coming? Forever, said Virginia. Forever? said Ditto. Yes, said Virginia, until we grow old.
Storm’s a brewin’… looks like a nor’easter. I’ve always wanted to say that, “looks like a nor’easter.” Every time a breeze blows, someone always says, “looks like a nor’easter.” This is a great place to watch the weather. Maybe I could get a job on TV? I could start the show with, “looks like a nor’easter,” and then I could say, “if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.” Wouldn’t that be something! To get paid for saying, “looks like a nor’easter.”
It’s very quiet. I can’t even hear the cars in the street. The flakes are so big that the ones near the window are a blur. I wonder how much it’s snowing at Bonny and Pablo’s cabin? It makes me happy to think of them all together, sharing a snack around the fire. I hope they have enough firewood. I’m sure they do. Bonny is good about that sort of thing. And so is Pablo. Even Ditto had a fire when I stopped by. I’ll bet the flakes are melting quickly on the lake. I’ll bet you could stray from the path and not even know. You’d have to make a new path, which wouldn’t be a path, but only a trail of wandering. When it gets dark you can’t even see the rise and fall of the land. Hmmm, it sure is quiet. I wonder how much it’s snowing at Bonny and Pablo’s cabin?