John Robert Mallernee

Part 5: RINGO GOES TO SCHOOL

Boys and girls, do you ever get bored?

Do you get tired of the same old thing, day after day, and long for something new and interesting?

In a far distant country called France, which is thousands of miles away, the French say it is “ennui” (which is pronounced “AHN-WEE”).

See how smart you are?

You just learned something new, and you can say it in French, which is a foreign language.

Yes, boys and girls, even good ol’ Ringo, the amazing Border collie and trusty star wonder dog of the Rocking G Ranch, sometimes gets bored, because Ringo is very very smart.

Scientists have tested all of the many, many types of dogs, and have determined that the Border collie is definitely the most intelligent of all dog breeds.

Ringo, the amazing Border collie and trusty star wonder dog of the Rocking G Ranch, is probably the most intelligent of all the border collies in the whole entire world!

‘Twas a lovely morning in early spring, when Ringo was feeling unusually bored, because he was so smart and he was always looking for something new to tantalize and stimulate his Border collie brain.

So, Ringo, the amazing Border collie and trusty star wonder dog of the Rocking G Ranch, did something he was never allowed to do.

Ringo, who was supposed to be guarding the ranch, walked away.

Ringo is never supposed to leave the Rocking G Ranch, because cowboys always shoot any stray dog they see, since stray dogs sometimes hurt cattle, sheep, and horses.

So, Ringo was in great danger when he wandered away from the Rocking G Ranch.

But, Ringo is a handsome Border collie, who looks like he’s wearing a tuxedo, and he has a large shiny police badge hanging in front of his chest, and a genuine United States Army dog tag hanging next to it, so anybody would know that he was no ordinary stray dog.

Ringo likes little boys and girls, so Ringo trotted up the road to the corner, where the little narrow country road forked, because several little boys and girls were waiting there.

Now, my children, can you tell me why several little boys and girls were waiting by the road on a morning in early Spring?

Ringo politely allowed the youngsters to pet him, and after a few minutes, a big yellow bus stopped, and the doors opened.

Ringo watched as the neighborhood kids climbed aboard.

Suddenly, on board the bus, one little boy, Tommy, stumbled and spilled the contents from his lunch sack onto the lap of a little girl, Susie, causing her to scream and cry.

Then the bus driver, Mr. Farnum, left his seat and walked back to comfort the little girl to help clean up the mess.

While that was happening, Ringo leaped up into the bus, and crawled under Mr. Farnum’s big jacket, which was lying on the floor behind the driver’s seat.

Of course, the other children, who were close enough to notice, saw this happen, and began giggling and squealing, which further confused Mr. Farnum.

Eventually, things quieted down a little, and the bus continued on its route.

When the bus stopped, all the kids got off, and Ringo, seeing the kids get off, decided he’d better get off too.

So, while Mr. Farnum was out checking his tires, Ringo made a run for it, and found himself inside a strange building, unlike any he’d ever seen.

A loud bell rang, which frightened Ringo for a moment, but then he began following some of the youngsters, to see where they went.

He followed some of the children into a classroom, Mrs. McCrory’s first grade class, and as the pupils scrambled to their seats, Ringo quickly darted to the back of the room, where he hid behind some cardboard boxes.

Mrs. McCrory was trying to teach the class about the alphabet, but of course, the little boys wanted to talk about baseball, and the little girls wanted to talk about dolls.

“What is this letter called?” asked Mrs. McCrory.

At first, there was silence, for nobody knew the answer.

“Aarrrrrrr!” howled Ringo, from behind the cardboard boxes.

“That’s correct!” said Mrs. McCrory, although she didn’t see who was answering.

“What is this letter called?” asked the teacher.

After a bit of silence, Ringo volunteered, “Oooooooohhh!”

“That is correct!” replied Mrs. McCrory.

“What does one plus one equal?” she asked.

When nobody else answered, Ringo scratched loudly with his right forepaw on the side of a cardboard box, “SKRITCH! SKRITCH!”

“Why, that’s absolutely right!” chortled Mrs. McCrory.

“Who is my brilliant student, with all the correct answers?” she inquired.

“Please come forward and receive your gold star.”

After a few minutes, Ringo slowly made his way to the front of the class, as all around him, the kids giggled and hollered.

Just then, the school principal, Mr. Sturgis, heard the commotion, and came in to see what was going on.

“What is that dog doing here?” he roared. “Animals aren’t allowed in school! Who is responsible for this?” asked Mr. Sturgis.

Mrs. McCrory explained that the mysterious dog had correctly answered all of her questions, and had earned a gold star.

She bent down to fasten a small gold star made of paper foil onto the dog’s collar.

Then, she noticed the large shiny police badge hanging on his chest, and the genuine United States Army dog tag.

She read the dog tag, and informed everyone that “Ringo” was the dog’s name, and that he lived at the Rocking G Ranch.

Principal Sturgis telephoned the Rocking G Ranch, leaving a message on the answering machine for the ranger, who was out on patrol.

So, after an adventurous day at school, surrounded by happy youngsters, Ringo was finally driven back to the Rocking G Ranch, where he resumed his official patrol duty, making certain that birds and butterflies did not destroy the ranch.

And, for the moment, Ringo wasn’t bored.