Don't Judge a Book by its Cover


None of my friends like Mrs. O'Leary, I don't like her either. If you called her a nasty old crow, you wouldn't be telling lies.
"Watch out!" Aisling whispered to me the next day. "It's that old bat Mrs. O'Leary. You'd better do your homework quickly!" I had just put my copy in my bag when she came wheeling into the classroom in her squeaky wheelchair. She raked her eyes over the class, looking for something to give out about. "Maya, put up that dratted hair of curls in a ponytail!" "Don't slouch in your chair. Kayla, is that what you call a school uniform?" she said, exasperated.

Mrs. O'Leary teaches us when our teacher is gone and she's an awful person. She often has to be wheeled out of the room she gets in such a state. We were all glad when the bell rang and ran outside eagerly.

"I hate her. She gives out so much". "She's so angry". "She wouldn't let us have any lunch". "I can't wait until she's gone!" were the many complaints at lunchtime. "Does anyone know why she's disabled?" asked Sarah. "Oh everyone knows that replied Shauna replied scornfully. She got pushed off a balcony and her legs never worked again." "Really I didn't know that" I said. It was on her wedding day too, very tragic," Shauna said, basking in the attention. We all looked at her. She often made up stories but this time I felt she was telling the truth.

That weekend I asked my mum about Mrs. O Leary. "Oh yes I know her, that poor, poor woman." I nearly choked. "Mrs. O'Leary, poor?" "I know what we can do," mum continued, not noticing my dumbstruck face, "we can bring her over one of the puppies." My dog had had puppies some time ago and mum was still trying to get rid of them. She dragged me over to Mrs. O'Leary's house with the little puppy. I felt sorry for him but sorrier for myself.

She invited us in for a cup of tea and I sat on the edge of the couch feeling uncomfortable. Mum had handed her the puppy. I gripped the edge of the seat feeling sure she was going to strangle it. I was in for a surprise. She handled him gently and stroked his soft fur. She seemed different all of a sudden not like the harsh person she had been. It seemed she had a second side to her.

When I went to school the next day Mrs. O'Leary was way nicer and gave us no homework at all. Everyone was surprised. It seemed even Mrs. O'Leary had a kind heart inside her,
We had a very interesting lesson that afternoon and Mrs. O'Leary told us how she had really got disabled." I was running down all these stairs, when I tripped and fell over the banisters." she said sadly. We all liked Mrs. O'Leary after that and I will never judge a book by its cover.

Sinéad Price, Rang 6 2011