“It’s Parliamentary, Sir” | A Gift from Chapter XII of Miss Missy’s School

February 2023 update: Time to run the free family reading gifts series! Ten excerpts from chapters in Miss Missy’s School to read or download. Click to see the complete list of all gifts, with links to posts and PDFs. Valentines Day is coming! Give the gift of Miss Missy’s School!

Miss Missy’s School Book I: A Pack of Farm Dogs Starts a School by Marica Bernstein.

Illustrated by Caroline Cooper. Old Schoolhouse Road Publishing.

Dear Readers and Their Grownups,

Once Missy and her pack–including Tiger the Cat–decided they needed a school for all of the animals on the farm–and convinced Bebe that she’d have fun at school–they got started! Here they are telling Marica and John about their ideas. This is a longer chapter so we just snipped out parts.

We hope you are enjoying the family reading gifts from Miss Missy’s School! There have been eight short story previews from Miss Missy’s School Book I: A Pack of Farm Dogs Starts a School. This is the link to a PDF of this Gift post. This one single page has links to them all.

Please pass these gifts along to your family and friends. Thank you!

“WELL, WOULD YOU look at this! Hey John! Come and look at this!” Marica shouted as she opened the door to the shuttered back porch. “Look, John! It’s a meeting of the canine minds— the ca-minds!” she said pointing at the gathering of the Big Dogs— including Tiger the Cat— who were situated among piles of books and other reference materials.

“Oh Marica, please,” said Missy looking up from her iDevice to peer over the top of her reading glasses. “Using trite rhetorical devices like malapropisms to score cheap laughs is really beneath you, Marica. And not funny. Not funny at all.”


Missy said malapropism meaning to accidentally (or purposefully) misuse a similar sounding word for the one you meant to say, and she got it exactly right!

“Ca-minds. I like that,” John laughed. “I might use that.”

“Sheeze,” said Missy shaking her head.

“What are y’all doing anyway?” asked Marica.

“We’re starting a school, Ma’am!” blurted out Aubrey excitedly.

“A school!?!” said both Marica and John at the same time.


“Yes! A school! It’s so exciting, isn’t it!” Missy exclaimed. “Come on over and have a seat and we will tell you all about it.”

So Marica and John moved books and tablets and plat maps and such from a couple of comfy porch chairs and took a seat. Missy, Rocky, Aubrey, Gilbert, and Tiger then proceeded to tell their people of the motivations, and plans thus far, for the school.

Their chief motivations, they explained, were the zero-one-two episode (which they had to retell), Tommy’s insatiable curiosity (of which John and Marica were well aware), and their own desire for continued self-improvement. Aubrey was especially animated about this point, saying, “I’m going to be educated! Isn’t that exciting? I’m going to learn Latin and Art History and all about Queen Victoria!” Aubrey was so excited she sounded a little bit like Bebe!

Here, Marica smiled broadly at Aubrey and commented it was “very commendable” to want to improve yourself.

After they gave this little abstract of their ideas to Marica and John, John asked, “How to you propose to gather students, besides Bebe and Tommy?”

“Well, John,” Missy explained, “as soon as we clear up a few details, we’re going to have a Mass Meeting. With Caroline’s help, I will design a flyer that we can post near all of the watering holes and favorite spots of the larger wild animals who can already read a bit.”

“Ruff. Ruff,” Rocky contributed that he would be making the rounds to the other farms in the vicinity to announce the meeting. “Rrruuufff,” he said explaining to Marica that there would be no need to chase after him in the truck as he would return as soon as he’d visited the various farm animals.

“That’s fine,” Marica replied. “But if I were you, I’d take Tommy along. Might soften the shock of seeing a vicious pit bull coming down the road.”

“As you may have noticed,” Gilbert offered, “Aubrey and I have been spending quite some time in the pastures and woods and have met many pleasant smaller wild animals. We will be seeking them out to spread the word through their WAN— their Wild Animal Network.”

“And Tiger,” John asked, “What’s your role in all of this?”

“It’s parrrliamentarrry, Sir!” Tiger purred.

“Umm… I think you mean ‘elementary,’ don’t you? Will you be teaching the younger animals?” Marica asked.

“No. Parrrliamentarry prrrocedure,” Tiger held up his dog-eared outdated copy of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised. “Rrrobert’s Rrrules!” he purred proudly.

Missy explained, “Tiger is the only one among us who knows the rules and laws of having a Mass Meeting, though where he learned them is his closely guarded secret. He has been instructing us in the proper protocol for conducting such a meeting.”

“Well! This is just awesome!” cried Marica. “Y’all are so smart!”

“Ca-minds,” said John patting the smart bump on Missy’s head. “Ca-minds.”

PDF of this post is here. Page with links to all of the short story gifts from Miss Missy’s School is here. Don’t forget to share!

Miss Missy’s School Book I: A Pack of Farm Dogs Starts a School by Marica Bernstein.

Illustrated by Caroline Cooper. Old Schoolhouse Road Publishing.

Ages 7 and up. Grownups love it, too!
#Friendship #Countrylife #Talkinganimals #Animalstories #Familyreading #Homeschool

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