The Story

“1… 2… 3…,” Miss Mackey hopped her finger up and down as the children entered the bus.

“8… 9… 10… 11…,”

Her clipboard was under her arm, sunglasses still perched just slightly askew on her nose.

“26… 27…” 

Her face turned from one of simple concentration. Her eyebrows furrowed under her wide-brimmed hat. She climbed up on the bus to start the count over. 28. There were supposed to be 28 students. Who was missing?

“Children, check your partners. Who doesn’t have their partner?” 

Meekly, Meredith raised her hand. 

“Miss Mackey, Freddy’s not here.”

Miss Mackey notified the staff at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum. The class had just finished their field trip and everyone, including Miss Mackey, was tired. She was looking forward to a quiet bus ride back to campus.

It was just a short search since the Wool Shed was one of the last places they had visited. 

Freddy was fast asleep on the cot just inside.

The History

Some of my stories come from just a touch of truth. When I was in grade school, I fell asleep on the school bus. My parents notified the school that I hadn’t gotten off at my stop. They went out to the bus that was now parked at the depot where they found me fast asleep on my seat.

The Drover’s Woolshed is part of the Australian exhibit at Boyce Thompson Arboretum in Superior, AZ. It was erected to honor Agnes May Faul who lived in Pinal County, AZ with her family after relocating from Australia in the early 1900s.

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