by Mo Lovelly
Phyllis is a platypus with a problem! She thinks life at Lyons Day School is just awful!
I am a little platypus with a HUGE problem. My exceptionally large feet make my life at Lyons Day
School nearly impossible. All the kids call me Clumsy Phyllis because I trip and fall over everything
in front of me. I don't get picked to play games with the other kids, so I've become quite the paddle
ball player. Tomorrow I'm going to show them just how good I am. Hopefully Mindy Minchkey, class
superstar, will stop picking on me and be my friend.
Monday morning I wake up bright and early, feeling very nervous about my upcoming performance.
When I walk into the classroom I see that my teacher has already written our names on the board.....
GULP ...I'm first!! I totter up to the front of the class, feeling ready to lose my breakfast. I nervously
explain what a paddle ball is and how it is played, bouncing the ball as I speak.
The rubberband grows longer and longer with each whack of the paddle, until SNAP! The ball
breaks loose from the rubber band and...OH NO! Lands right on Mindy's head! I dart right for the
bathroom, the only place for any embarrassed platypus to hide. Chants of, “Clumsy Phyllis can't play
games,” following right behind.
When I get home I am still very bothered about the paddle ball incident. My mom tries to make it
better by telling me that all the practicing I did on Sunday must have worn the rubber band out, it
must have given up. I think I should give up too.
I take the broken pieces of paddle ball out of my bag and throw them in the garbage can. BOINK!
the ball hits the side of the purple can and rolls right back to me. I chop at the ball with my too large
foot as hard as I can. THUD! When the wall delivers it back, I bat it with my tail...CRASH...Uh-Oh!!
I just broke my piggy bank!!
I hide the small red ball in my drawer of dreams, along with the half melted crayons from when I
wanted to be a sidewalk artist, and a broken plastic stethescope from when I wanted to be a Doctor.
Before I go to sleep I wish upon a star that I don't get in too much trouble for breaking the fragile pink
BOO! Tuesday! I think that I'll hide under my bed all day and not go to school. I will pretend that
the dust bunnies are nice monsters. They won't call me clumsy when we play games. Instead I fall in
music class, sending a cymbal stand and triangle to the floor with a ting and clang.
UGH! Wednesday! I am going to invent a new sickness today and call it Platy Pox. I insist that
though the spots are invisible, they are scratchy, and very catchy. My mom tells me nice try, and sends
me off to brave another day. When I step outside, I see the cloudy skies match my cloudy mood.
There's only one good thing about Thursday, the next day is Friday. Today we have gym and we are
playing kickball. I swing my giant foot as hard as I can to hit a homerun and...WHOOSH..I lose my
balance falling flat on my tail in front of the ENTIRE world! I just want to go home and hide in my
YAY! It's finally Friday! Today Miss Holly is reading By Golly Molly Tamale, a story about a girl
who wants to be a terriffic soccer player, even better than the boys! I imagine myself as a professional
paddle ball player, signing autographs for my fans and being interviewed by famous sports journalists.
Oh, how I want to be like Molly!
Saturday morning I rescue the tiny ball of certain disaster from my drawer and twirl and whirl the
day away, only knocking over the trash can once. While flipping about on Sunday, I discover that I'm
not so clumsy on my hands! By the time Monday arrived again I was a brand new Phyllis!
EWW! Artie McFinnigan brought his disgusting bugs again. They give me the willies and the
ticklies all in one. When he finished telling us the difference between the different insects, Miss Holly
called me up to the front of the class. The kids had begun to giggle as soon as I got out of my
seat, expecting the worst. As I weave my way towards the front, I imagine they're Artie's ants, so
tiny that I can barely see them.
I begin with a perfect cartwheel, whacking the ball back and forth from the wall to my tail. I
pirouette, doing circles in front of Miss Holly's desk. I dribble the ball on my tail, standing on my
hands with my eyes closed! I finish with a double somersault and a twist, causing the kids to erupt with
applause! A giant smile explodes across my face as I take a bow. The class loves it, especially Mindy
Minchkey! From now on I love Mondays. I love Tuesday and Wednesday. I really love Thursday!
Nobody cares how clumsy I am. All they talk about is my talented tail!