Teacher: Mrs Spinks
10 of us kids had a really fun treat on Wednesday, ‘cos our teacher, Mrs Spinks, drove our school bus up to the Warby Ranges to teach us how to bushwalk. We all like Mrs Spinks, even though she is a bit strict, especially with naughty boy, Rupert, who’s always in trouble! We all carried Backpacks with us, all but Rupert, who said his Mum forgot to pack it. Lucky for him, Mrs Spinks always carries a spare. She said this is what grown up Bushwalkers do.
Mrs Spinks told us we were walking along The Sunrise Track, but it was already mid-morning, so we reckon she was fibbing. We all got puffed climbing up the steep hills, but of course Rupert showed off by running ahead. Boy, did Mrs Spinks get cross! Guess she didn’t want to lose anyone. But she did cheer up when Rupert found some wildflowers for her to take photos of. They were Helmeted Orchids or something. Not sure why she got all excited, but she said they were rare, whatever that means. There were also lots of those funny looking spiky plants, which Mrs Spinks told us used to be called Blackboys, but are now called Grass Trees, so that nobody gets offended, she said. Grown-ups are funny like that.
When we reached some fallen logs, Mrs Spinks told us it was lunchtime, and that we all had to sit down and quietly eat our playlunches. Natch, Rupert pretended to fall off his log. Very funny – NOT! Vaughan from Grade 4 got sick of Rupert showing off and started a competition to see who could throw Rupert’s funny old hat the furthest. Mrs Spinks pretended not to notice.
On our way back to the bus, Mrs Spinks decided to annoy us all by turning left along a steep track down to a boring place called The Quarry. She told us it used to be where in the Olden Days men used that old rusty thingy called a pulley, to dig out humungous rocks to build churches and stuff in Wangaratta. We reckoned it sounded like a lot of hard work, when they could have just used bricks like everyone else. Rupert pretended to start the rusty old machinery there but Mrs Spinks told him not to be silly. He also got into trouble again trying to open the old dug-out cupboard which had a name on the door saying “EXPLOSIVES”. We didn’t have a clue what that meant, but I heard Mrs Spinks mutter “just as well”.
Back at the school bus, we all piled in and were driven to Glenrowan to have some yummy cake Mrs Spinks had made. We all reckoned it looked a bit too healthy, but she said we needed to eat healthy food or we wouldn’t grow up brainy (like Rupert). Marion from Grade 3 got frightened and started to cry ‘cos she noticed some really spooky looking men in funny helmets watching us from the Glenrowan Pub veranda. Mrs Spinks said not to worry Marion, ‘cos they weren’t real. Duh! She said some men led by a dude called Ned Kelly used to hide up in the hills and rob banks and stuff. They all made those funny helmets out of old metal to protect their heads from police bullets. Pretty cool, huh? I think they all came to a sticky end but.
We all had to clap and thank Mrs Spinks for our outing (or she would get cross) and had to write an essay about our walk and what we learned from it. I thought I would please my teacher and try to write a funny essay, ‘cos it was really a cool day. Rupert of course didn’t write his essay, as he said the dog kept eating it (he doesn’t have a dog). Boy, did HE get into trouble! I guess every class has a troublemaker.
Signed: Beverly Rae Thornell, aged 9¾.