"Brow! Martin! Please pay attention!"
The plushie Eyrie called Ian Brow looked up at
his strict teacher. He risked a quick glance at his friend, Cavem Martin, a
red Yurble. They flashed a smile at each other.
"Thank you," Miss Paws said, nodding disapprovingly
at the pair. "Back to what I was saying."
Ian coughed into his textbook. Miss Paws glared.
"Anyway," she said, "I expect your projects
on Monday. Anyone without a project will receive a zero… not to mention a call
home and a nice parent teacher conference. Understand? I must also tell you
that this is a very large part of your grade… so don't blow it off!"
Her eyes swam certainly through the students
and landed on Ian and Cavem. They smiled guiltily.
"Monday," she repeated, eyes still on Ian, "don't
The bell rang, and the students collected their
things, ready to go home and enjoy themselves for the rest of the day.
"Geez!" Cavem said angrily to Ian, as they made
their way out of Neoschool. "She really likes to put pressure on us." He screwed
up his face in an imitation of Miss Paws. "'I must tell you that this is a very
large part of your grade… so don't blow it off!' Did you see her look at us
Ian laughed. "Yeah. Honestly, you'd think the
way she treats us we'd never done any of our homework, and are a constant disruption
They laughed together, much to the annoyance
of a faerie Acara, who swooped upon them.
"What are you two laughing about?" she ordered,
hovering menacingly in midair, "Planning your next disruption, eh?"
"Go away, Sophie, you're not worthy enough to
speak to us and all our greatness."
A look of great amusement spread over Sophie's
face. "Greatness?" she giggled. "The only thing you're great at is failing in
school… and being rude."
"Proud of it," Cavem said, winking.
"Go away!" Ian repeated. "We're not talking
to you because you're not our friend."
"That's what you want, isn't it!" Cavem accused,
pointing at Sophie.
She snorted. "Yes, that's what I've always wanted,
to become friends with two losers who aren't good at anything and pledge themselves
to being horrible!"
"Then don't talk to us."
"Like I wanted to!" The faerie Acara stuck her
nose in the air and flew off.
Cavem smirked at Ian. "Can she be any more arrogant?"
Ian flopped clumsily on his bed, throwing his
backpack in the corner. Cavem sat down on the floor.
"So," Ian repeated, smiling. "What're we going
to do for our stupid report?"
A look of pure revulsion spread over Cavem's
Ian shrugged, no longer smiling. "I just thought-
I don't know, maybe…." He cut off, unsure. He didn't want his best friend to
know that he really didn't want to get an F again. Cavem grinned.
"I know," he said. "I know why you want to do
Ian frowned. "Eh?"
Cavem's grin widened. "Sophie," he said, simply,
"you want to get back at Sophie."
Ian opened his mouth to correct Cavem, but his
friend kept on.
"I don't blame you, of course," he said, shrugging.
"It'll be fun to wipe that smirk off her face."
"Actually-" Ian began, but stopped. It was better
this way, if Cavem believed he wanted to get back at Sophie. He wouldn't have
to admit to wanting to pass Neoschool. "Right on," he said, smiling.
"Well," Cavem heaved a sigh, "then we are going
to actually have to do some work for a change. What do you reckon… should we?"
Ian answered at once. "Yeah. Let's… let's get
back at Sophie."
And then came the decision, what to do it on?
"It's a history report," Ian said, "so let's
do it on something, you know… historical."
"Wars?" Cavem suggested.
"Nah, everybody'll do that."
"It has to be original … not something everybody
else will end up doing too…"
"… Boys will do wars, of course." Ian said,
"Girls… um… I don't know what they'd do."
"They'll probably do it on stupid stuff like
Brightvale history and when the Ixi came."
Ian thought about it, but was interrupted when
his owner came in bearing a large plate of assorted steaming pasties.
"Here," she said, setting them down, "thought
you'd like a snack while you play-" she spotted the paper that Cavem had headed
Report. "…Are you doing homework?"
She frowned and looked at the plushie Eyrie,
uncertainly. Slowly, she backed out off the room and slammed the door.
"Just goes to show you," Cavem sighed, grabbing
a pizza pasty, "how much we really slack off."
Ian nodded and helped himself to seafood pasty.
They sat and ate in silence for a few moments.
"I like pasties." Cavem said, wiping his mouth
and reaching for a second one. "They're quite good."
"Yeah," Ian agreed, also grabbing another, "I
wonder who baked the very first one?"
Just then, Cavem dropped the pasty he was holding.
"That's it!" he exclaimed.
Ian frowned, but then it dawned on him. "Yeah,"
he said slowly, "it's interesting…"
"…And I'd say it's pretty historical."
Ian smiled at the tray of the delicious snacks.
"Let's do it."
"Now, we're going to share our projects," Miss
Paws said, "who'd like to go first?"
Cavem and Ian energetically raised their hands,
bouncing on their heals and jumping up and down.
Miss Paws raised an eyebrow. "Ah, you two?"
Ian nodded vigorously. "We learned loads doing
"Yeah," Cavem said, "we want to share it with
Sophie, who sat at the front of the class, turned
around and stared at them.
"Are you saying you actually did it?" she asked.
The class murmured in agreement.
Cavem rolled his eyes. "Yes, yes, we did the
stupid project… now can we share it, please?"
Miss Paws sighed. "Very well, come in front
of the class."
Ian and Cavem grinned at each other, and bounced
to the front of the room.
"We did our project on…"
"The very first pasty!"
A few eyebrows were raised in the class and
looks were exchanged. No one had ever heard of such a bizarre subject. Sophie
giggled. "Pasty?" she asked. "You did your report on pasties?"
Cavem, however, ignored the snooty Acara and
started to read the report.
"It all began in the beginning of year 5. Edna
the Witch, tired from a day of collecting potion ingredients, walked into her
house. Her sister, Elaine, was visiting. Elaine was busily working at the stove,
plopping broccoli into the pot. 'Hello, Edna!' she called, 'Broccoli for dinner!'
Edna scowled and moved toward the stove. 'No,' she said simply, 'I want some
cheese fondue.' So Elaine angrily fixed up some cheese fondue, just to make
her hard-working sister happy. 'How 'bout some rolls, eh?' Edna called. Elaine
sighed and baked some rolls.
So, their dinner that night consisted of broccoli,
cheese fondue, and rolls. All was well, and they had just started to eat… when
the unexpected occurred!"
Cavem glanced at Ian, who took over.
"One of the ingredients Edna had picked was
flammable… and had gotten in the way of the lit stove! It remains a mystery
today how the stove became lit when Elaine had turned it off and how the flammable
ingredient found its way to the stove. Anyway… the whole house exploded!"
A few pets in the class gasped. Sophie snorted
Ian continued. "Elaine and Edna got up and looked
at the remains of the tower…. But all they saw was a weird sight. The broccoli,
the cheese, and the roll seemed to have become one! Edna… being the curious
witch that she is… reached for it and took a bite. 'Good heavens!' she exclaimed.
'This is very scrumptious, indeed!' And thus… the first pasty was made."
"By accident," Cavem said.
"By witches," Ian stated.
"By explosion!" they practically whispered together.
The whole class, including Miss Paws, applauded.
Sophie, however scowled.
"Yeah right," she said, "sure, whatever. Pasties
were not made like that."
Miss Paws disagreed. "Actually," she said, "that
was a very good project indeed! An A+ I believe! Good work, boys!"
Ian and Cavem then went into fits of hysterical
laughter at the look on Sophie's face.