Oh! by
(194 Stories)

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The first day in first grade. The first time I sat in a desk, leaning my elbows in the carved-up wood, wondering if there would be a bottle of ink for the inkwell. Our teacher, Mrs. Beavens, shook her auburn curls as reached for the pole to open the top window. Her freckled arms jiggled as she clapped two erasers. She began writing on the chalkboard:

Her mouth rounded as she faced us and said, "This is Oh--Oh--repeat after me:

O h

Her mouth rounded as she faced us and said, “This is Oh–Oh–repeat after me: Oh.  We all said “Oh” in unison. My world opened up as the letters made sense with the sounds. Later that day each of us got a colorful hardback book called The Little White House, and I immediately started reading about Dick and Jane and Sally and Spot and Puff who lived in a little white house.

What a lovely little slice of time, before our first quiz, before being graded, and before I understood what the radiation sign in the brick hallway was about. The beginning of learning how to read.

Profile photo of Marian Marian
I have recently retired from a marketing and technical writing and editing career and am thoroughly enjoying writing for myself and others.

Tags: first grade, reading, Dick and Jane
Characterizations: right on!, well written


  1. David Rock says:

    This brief story has a nice sense of whimsy and lilt to it.

  2. Oh! What an interesting word your teacher chose for your first reading lesson! I can’t remember my first read word, but I’m sure it wasn’t an exclamation. Nice story.

  3. Oh, Mare…I love how your story opens up so simply, expands ever so slightly, and closes with the wide, wide world of reading at our fingertips. Just wonderful!

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