Superfudge Part 17

Previous superfudge part 16.

There were three new kids in our class. I was the only one from New York. Another boy, Harvey, was from Pennsylvania, and a girl, Martha, was from Minnesota.

Mr. Bogner told us about some of the projects we’d be working on during the year, like building a Viking ship and studying our home state of New Jersey. I never would be, but before I had a chance, Martha said, “Excuse me, Mr. Bogner, but my home state is Minnesota. So will I be studying that, while the rest of the class does New Jersey?”

“No, Martha,” Mr. Bogner said. “As long as you’e living here, you can consider New Jersey your home state.”
“But Mr. Bogner…” Martha said.
“Why don’t you see me about it after class?” Mr. Bogner said. And he didn’t sound angry or anything.

Later, I found out the girl who was sitting next to me, the all one with the tangled hair, is named Joanne McFadden. I was going to ask her where she lived, when a message came over the intercom. “Good morning, Mr. Bogner… would you send Peter Hatcher to Mr. Green’s office is?” Mr. Bogner asked.

“I’ll find it,” I said.
“Don’t look so worried, Peter,” Mr. Bogner said. “You can’t be in that much trouble… it’s only the first day of school.”
The whole class laughed, except Joanne McFadden. She just gave me a kind of shy smile.

It probably has something to do with registration, I thought, on my way to the office. I’ll bet my mother didn’t fill out the part of the registration card, about who to call in case of emergency if the parents can’t be reache. She forgets that almost every year. Or maybe the principal likes to introduce himself personally to all the new students. But then, why wouldn’t be have asked for Harvey too? And Martha, from Minnesota? Because he calls them to his office in alphabetical order, I told myself, not knowing either Harvey’s or Martha’s lastnames. And if he started with the A’s early the morning, he’d probably be up to be H’s now. Yes, that made sense.

I found Mr. Green’s office. “I’m Peter Hatcher,” I told his secretary.
“Go right in,” she said. “He’s expecting you.”
“You wanted to meet me?” I said to Mr. Green. “I mean… se me?”
“Hello, Peter.” Mr. Green looked something like my uncle, but my uncle is clean shaven and Mr. Green had a moustache. Now that my father is growing a beard, I’m more aware of these things. “We’re having a bit of a problem with your brother,” Mr. Green said.

Oh, so that was it. I should have known!
“We’ve tried to get your mother or father on the phone, but there’s no answer, so we were hoping you’d be willing to help us.”
“What’d he do this time?” I asked.
“A number of things,” Mr. Green said. “Come on down to the kindergarten… I’ll show you.”
We walked down the hall together.

All the kindergarten babies were busy. Some were building with blocks, others were painting, and a group was playing house in the corner. It was just the way I remembered kindergarten. But I didn’t see Fudge anywhere.

“Oh, Mr. Green,” Mrs. Hildebrandt said, limping over to us. “I’m so glad you’re here. I can’t do a thing with him. He still refuses to come down.”
I looked up. Fudge was perched on top of the cabinets that were on top of the cubbies. He was stretched out, lying across the top, just inches from the ceiling.

Next superfudge part 18.