TITLE: Melvin C. Daniels and the Great Ratscapade
GENRE: Contemporary Humorous Middle Grade
At 2:37, on a Thursday in September, Mrs. Waddle marched into our classroom carrying a stiff dead rat by the tail.
I knew the exact time because Ryan had just nudged me and said, “Melvin, check out the clock.” It was covered in spit wads because that’s what happens when you leave a room full of seventh graders alone for five minutes.
I also knew this was not going to be a normal class. Mrs. Waddle was never late, and we weren’t supposed to dissect rats until the end of the year.
Two tables away Maggie Pepper’s long dark hair caught my eye. It rippled like a curtain of dark chocolate when she followed Mrs. Waddle’s progress up the aisle.
I could stare at Maggie all day…but I didn’t because that would be creepy.
Instead, I looked at Mrs. Waddle. Even with a dead rat in her hand, she wasn’t nearly as interesting as Maggie.
“All your work through our entire year should lead to this.” Mrs. Waddle held the rat high so even from the back row I could see its bulging dead eyes and swollen tongue.
“The precise and deliberate dissection of this revolting specimen should be your crowning glory.” Talk about crowning glory! I couldn’t believe my eyes when she dangled that rat straight above her head.
Thick yellow liquid oozed from the rat’s mouth and formed a drop that hung inches above Mrs. Waddle’s hair.